Bigger brains make for smarter peopleApril 1st, 2009 - 11:43 am ICT by ANI
Washington, Apr 1 (ANI): Are you nicknamed “thick-headed” in school? Well, stop cursing you mates, for being literally thick-brained suggests one is smart, concludes a new study.
For a long time now, researchers have been unearthing conflicting evidence regarding where intelligence lies in the brain. For example, in 2000, researchers in England and Germany discovered that intelligence seemed to depend exclusively on the brain’s frontal lobes.
“That was a bit surprising,” Live Science quoted neuroscientist and psychiatrist Sherif Karama at the Montreal Neurological Institute, as saying.
“It was hard to understand why something as complex as intelligence was restricted to just a few places in the brain,” the expert added.
After some years later, other teams of investigators found signs that intelligence was based in other parts of the brain. However, there was one problem with all these experiments -they each looked at relatively small numbers of children.
To finish off the debate, using MRI Karama and his colleagues scanned the brains of 216 healthy boys and girls ages 6 to 18 from a range of ethnic groups and socioeconomic statuses.
The kids were also made to take intelligence exams testing analogies, vocabulary, reasoning and visual-spatial skills.
From the analyses, boffins discovered that intelligence was linked in general to the thickness of the “grey matter” - the cerebral cortex of the brain, which plays a key role in memory, thought, language and consciousness.
“It’s not just a few regions. It’s dispersed all throughout, in the areas associated with integrating information coming from diverse areas of the brain, which makes sense,” Karama said.
The expert explained that if one looked at the average thickness of the cortex in these children, the differences between the lowest and highest IQs is on the order of a half-millimeter.
Karama stressed these findings do not mean that cortex thickness - or intelligence - is based solely on genetics.
“Environment plays a role, to be sure,” he said.
“You could help treat a lot of cognitive decline,” Karama added.
The study has been published in the March-April issue of the journal Intelligence. (ANI)
- Smokers 'more likely to be impulsive, indecisive' - Oct 29, 2010
- Brain's size does matter when it comes to intelligence - Mar 26, 2009
- Brain size linked to early Alzheimer's risk - Dec 28, 2011
- Why you recognise someone, but can't name him - Aug 05, 2011
- Neural mechanism that help adapt to new situations discovered - Apr 29, 2010
- 'Rose-colored glasses' associated with less frontal lobe use - Jan 09, 2010
- Why men don't want to chat after sex? - Jul 23, 2012
- You are not as adult as you think! - Dec 16, 2010
- IQ depends on particular regions of the brain - Mar 12, 2009
- Single gene's mutations shaped our brain - Apr 29, 2011
- Brain imaging tells how smart you are - Aug 02, 2012
- Brain scans may help find your ideal job - Jul 22, 2010
- How to boost brains of young men - Jan 12, 2010
- Brain cells wired for team work - Nov 04, 2011
- 'Creativity chemical' in the brain biased towards smarter people - May 21, 2009
Tags: analogies, areas of the brain, boys and girls, cerebral cortex of the brain, cortex of the brain, frontal lobes, girls ages, grey matter, highest iqs, karama, key role, live science, millimeter, montreal neurological institute, mri, neuroscientist, parts of the brain, psychiatrist, statuses, visual spatial skills