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Neuroscience and intelligence


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for psych 101

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Neuroscience and intelligence

  1. 1. Neuroscience and Intelligence
  2. 2. <ul><li>Does having a big head or brain have anything to do with intelligence? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Head and Brain Size <ul><li>Ratio of brain weight to body weight </li></ul><ul><li>  1:5000 </li></ul><ul><li>1:1500 </li></ul><ul><li>1:220 </li></ul><ul><li>1:180 </li></ul><ul><li>1:50 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Head and Brain Size <ul><li>Larger head size and larger brain size are associated with higher intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>IQ test + brain imaging </li></ul>
  5. 5. Head and Brain Size <ul><li>Males have bigger brains </li></ul><ul><li>Are males more intelligent than females? </li></ul><ul><li>In one study, scientists converted the SAT scores of 100,000 17- and 18-year-olds to a corresponding IQ score and found that males averaged 3.63 IQ points higher than the females  </li></ul><ul><li>The greater the brain tissue, the greater the ability for cognitive processing. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Magnitude of the correlation is not </li></ul><ul><li>very large </li></ul><ul><li>Larger brains  more neurons, greater myelination of neurons, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Larger brain size greater intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Behaving intelligently larger brain size </li></ul>
  7. 7. Head and Brain Size <ul><li>It may not be overall size that matters, but size of certain sections beyond just the frontal lobe. </li></ul><ul><li>  perfectly normal-size brain, but certain parts of it were larger than normal, including the inferior parietal region, which </li></ul><ul><li>affects mathematical thought </li></ul>
  8. 8. Information Processing Speed <ul><li>Brain size only matters if the rest of the brain is organized properly to facilitate information processing. </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s Play </li></ul><ul><li>Reaction Time </li></ul><ul><li>Higher IQ scores- faster/ shorter reaction time </li></ul>
  9. 9. Electrical Activity in the Brain <ul><li>Actual neural transmission and intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Nerve Conduction velocity (NCV)- speed with which electrical impulses are transmitted along nerve fibers and across synapses </li></ul><ul><li>Less consistency in results </li></ul><ul><li>Evoked Potential - electrical activity that is caused by some external stimulus </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals who register such stimuli more quickly score higher on intelligence tests than perceptually slower counterparts </li></ul>
  10. 10. Energy Consumption in the Brain <ul><li>The extent to which the brain is “working” is the rate at which it break downs glucose to compensate for the energy it uses </li></ul><ul><li>When individuals are at rest and can engage in any activity they choose, those with higher intelligence demonstrate increased brain activity and their brains use more glucose. </li></ul><ul><li>Higher intelligence- less energy </li></ul><ul><li>Ind’ls with intelligence have levels of brain activity at their disposal and can use it more efficiently than less intelligent ind’ls. </li></ul>