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White matter integrity, quantified using FA, was used to fit structural equation models SEM at each point in the brain. Afterwards three-dimensional maps of heritability were generated. White matter integrity was found to be under significant genetic control in bilateral frontal, bilateral parietal, and left occipital lobes values ranging from. FA measures were correlated with the estimate of general intelligence and with nonverbal intelligence in the cingulum, optic radiations, superior fronto-occipital fasciculus, internal capsule, the isthmus of the corpus callosum, and the corona radiata.

Further, common genetic factors mediated the correlation between intelligence and white matter integrity which suggests a common physiological mechanism and common genetic determination. As noted above, gray matter supports information processing capacity and white matter promotes efficient flow of information across the brain.

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Connections are relevant for intelligence and these connections might be organized in networks. From this perspective, Li et al 64 reported a study testing the hypothesis that high levels of intelligence involve more efficient information transfer in the brain. These networks included intrahemispheric and interhemispheric connections.

Six white-matter tracts were further constructed: Thereafter, they calculated the topological properties of the networks for every participant. The sample was divided between average and high intelligence according to scores on the Wechsler scales. Higher global efficiencies were revealed for the latter group: This was interpreted as a characteristic of a more efficient parallel information transfer in the brain anatomy.

Therefore, the efficiency of brain structural organization could be an important biological basis for human intelligence, as originally proposed by Haier et al. Song et al 67 analyzed 59 adults for studying the relationships between spontaneous brain activity at rest and individual differences in intelligence. Intelligence was assessed by the Wechsler scales. Using fMRI, the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices were the seed regions for investigating the correlations across subjects between individual intelligence scores and the strength of the functional connectivity between the seed regions and the remaining brain regions.

These researchers found that brain regions in which the strength of the functional connectivity significantly correlated with intelligence scores were distributed in the frontal, parietal, occipital and limbic lobes. Furthermore, functional connectivity within the frontal lobe and between the frontal and posterior brain regions predicted differences in intelligence.

These results are consistent with the relevance of a network view for human intelligence. Functional connections of this brain network were analyzed computing correlations among the spontaneous signals of different brain regions during rest. The sample comprised 19 subjects and intelligence was measured by the Wechsler scales. They found associations between global communication efficiency - more long-distance connections - and scores of intelligence.

This was interpreted as suggesting that a difference in the efficiency with which the brain integrates information between brain regions is related to differences in human intelligence. The strongest effects were found in frontal and parietal regions. Furthermore, intelligence differences were not related to the level of local information processing local neighborhood clustering and to the total number of functional connections of the brain network.

Obtaining brain images during rest shows large-amplitude spontaneous low frequency fluctuations in the fMRI signal. These fluctuations are related across areas sharing functions and the correlations show up as an individual's functional connectome. Biswall et al 69 report findings obtained from participants from 35 laboratories. Their main results were: The frontoparietal network is relevant for intelligence, but also for other cognitive functions. The effect of three content domains verbal, spatial, and object , three executive functions updating, temporal order, and manipulation along with their interactions were analyzed.

Brain areas most involved in all these cognitive facets were located in the frontal and parietal lobes: The meta-analysis by Wager, Jonides, and Reading 72 after 31 PET and fMRI studies of shifting attention also highlights this fronto-parietal network medial prefrontal, superior and inferior parietal, medial parietal, and premotor cortices. Similarly, Marois and Ivanoff 3 analyzed the capacity limits of information processing in the brain.

Three basic limitations for perception, working memory, and action were explicitly considered. Their revision was based mainly on fMRI evidence and these were the basic conclusions: The lateral prefrontal cortex may support general target consolidation and response selection, using a flexible coding system for processing relevant information in any given task.

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In contrast, the lateral parietal cortex might provide support to more specific processing goals. This brain region is more sensitive to perception than to action. Thus, core cognitive functions especially working memory and intelligence share a frontoparietal brain network. If this network is involved for most individuals, it could be possible to predict individual differences in intelligence based on brain data.

Even when this figure may be questioned on several grounds, the main approach underscores that brain images might be employed for estimating intelligence levels in some instances using a neurometric approach. Finally, experimental confirmatory approaches should be welcomed to increase refinement of ongoing research efforts. In this regard, transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS may help test hypotheses aimed at determining whether or not specific brain regions are really important for understanding individual differences in human intelligence. TMS induces transient changes in brain activity noninvasively.

It does this by producing changes in a magnetic field that, in turn, evoke electric currents in the brain which promote depolarization of cellular membranes. Cognitive neuroscience often relies on a correlation approach, whereas TMS allows studying almost causal brain-behavior relationships in higher cognitive functions.

Working memory and intelligence performance is partially supported by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Using repetitive TMS rTMS - adapted in the Hz band for suppressing cognitive processing - over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a significant decrease of performance in the forward and backward digit span test was found. Thus, regional suppression or enhancement might be produced to experimentally test specific predictions. Regardless of the use of exploratory correlation or confirmatory experimental approaches, we do agree with Kennedy Frontal and parietal lobes likely comprise crucial processing areas for intelligence, but integrity of hard connections across the entire brain or spontaneous harmonic coactivation among distant regions appear also to be relevant.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Dialogues Clin Neurosci v. Jung , PhD Rex E.

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Haier , PhD Richard J. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Intelligence can be defined as a general mental ability for reasoning, problem solving, and learning. Abstract La inteligencia se puede definir como una capacidad mental general para razonar, resolver problemas y aprender.

Open in a separate window. Examples of classes of mental tasks. Schematic representation of the three stratum taxonomy of intelligence.

Human intelligence and the brain Exploring the relationships between human intelligence and the brain requires a careful consideration of the structure of human intelligence. Brain size and human intelligence Wickett et al 30 state: A distributed brain network for human intelligence Jung and Haier 35 reviewed 37 structural and functional neuroimaging studies published between and Processing stages proposed by the P-FIT model. Occipital and temporal areas process sensory information in the first processing stage: Integration and abstraction of the sensory information by parietal BAs 39 angular gyrus , 40 supramarginal gyrus , and 7 superior parietal lobule correspond to the second processing stage.

The parietal areas interact with the frontal lobes in the third processing stage and this interaction underlies problem solving, evaluation, and hypothesis testing. Frontal BAs 6, 9, 10, 45, 46, and 47 are underscored by the model. The anterior cingulate BA 32 is implicated for response selection and inhibition of alternative responses, once the best solution is determined in the previous stage.

Storage and processing components of working memory accounted for the strong relationship between this cognitive function and g. Networks involved in working memory overlap with those relevant for intelligence.


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These findings support an evolutionary conservation process of the structure and determinants of intelligence beyond humans. The design matrix controls for total gray matter. Functional networks and neurotransmitters Using an fMRI approach, Bishop et al 56 reported a study based on previous evidence showing that a polymorphism valmet in the catechol-O-methyltransferase COMT gene regulates catecholaminergic signaling in prefrontal cortex.

White matter The relationship between human intelligence and the integrity of white matter has been much less investigated, although this trend is changing rapidly. Networks for human intelligence As noted above, gray matter supports information processing capacity and white matter promotes efficient flow of information across the brain. Integration of intelligence and cognitive findings The frontoparietal network is relevant for intelligence, but also for other cognitive functions.

Conclusion Regardless of the use of exploratory correlation or confirmatory experimental approaches, we do agree with Kennedy J Person Soc Psychol. Introduction to the special section on cognitive abilities: Schmidt F, Hunter J. General mental ability in the world of work: The stability of individual differences in mental ability from childhood to old age: Genetic influence on human intelligence Spearman's g: The Science of Mental Ability.

Snyderman M, Rothman S. Survey of expert opinion on intelligence and aptitude testing. Mainstream science on intelligence: General intelligence objectively determined and measured. A dynamical model of general intelligence: The positive manifold of intelligence by mutualism. Johnson W, Bouchard T. The structure of human intelligence: It is verbal, perceptual, and image rotation VPR , not fluid and crystallized.

CHC theory and the human cognitive abilities project: Bias in Mental Testing. Cambridge University Press; The higher-stratum structure of cognitive abilities: Current evidence supports g and about 10 broad factors. In Nyborg H, ed. The Scientific Study of General Intelligence: Tribute to Arthur R.

Colom R, Thompson, PM. Understanding human intelligence imaging the brain. Handbook of Individual Differences. Cortical glucose metabolic rate correlates of abstract reasoning and attention studied with positron emission tomography. Cerebral glucose metabolism and intelligence. In Vernon PA, ed. Biological Approaches to the Study of Human Intelligence.

Theories of intelligence

Individual differences in general intelligence correlate with brain function during nonreasoning tasks. Structural brain variation and general intelligence. The neuroanatomy of general intelligence: Gray matter correlates of fluid, crystallized, and spatial intelligence: Testing the P-FIT model. The distributed neural system for general intelligence revealed by lesion mapping.

Gray matter and intelligence factors: Is there a neuro-g? Relationships between factors of intelligence and brain volume.

Big-brained people are smarter: Neuroanatomical correlates of intelligence. Genetics of brain structure and intelligence. Factors influencing the relationship between brain size and intelligence. The Scientific Study of General Intelligence. The parieto-frontal integration theory P-FIT of intelligence: Perisylvian language networks of the human brain, Ann Neurol.

Gray J, Thompson PM. Neural mechanisms of general fluid intelligence. General intelligence and memory span: Evidence for a common neuro-anatomic framework. Working memory is almost perfectly predicted by g. Memory span and general intelligence: Working memory and intelligence are highly related constructs, but why? Working memory capacity as executive attention. Curr Dir Psychol Sci. Working memory capacity and fluid intelligence are strongly related constructs: Working memory and intelligence--Their correlation and their relation: Matzel LD, Kolata S.

Selective attention, working memory, and animal intelligence. Impaired working memory duration but normal learning abilities found in mice that are conditionally deficient in the close homolog of L1. Neural correlates of superior intelligence: A fully automated comprehensive pipeline for anatomical neuroimaging research. In Corbetta M, ed. Intellectual ability and cortical development in children and adolescents. Relationships between IQ and regional cortical gray matter thickness in healthy adults.

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Sex differences and lateralization in temporal lobe glucose metabolism during mathematical reasoning. Sex differences in N-acetylaspartate correlates of general intelligence: Intelligence can mean many things to many people, and we've been clever enough to gather some of those explanations in this playlist. The "G-Factor" is a theoretical explanation of what defines intelligence. Emotional intelligence is just one of many factors influencing a person's overall intelligence. The original formula for figuring out a person's IQ was their mental age divided by their chronological age, then multiplied by You just joined millions of people that love getting smarter every day.

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