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Published On: Tue, Jun 17th, 2014

Intelligent quotient and selective sensory information

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People with high IQ scores aren’t just more intelligent – they also process sensory information differently, according to new study.

Scientists discovered that the brains of people with high IQ are automatically more selective when it comes to perceiving moving objects, meaning that they are more likely to suppress larger and less relevant background motion.

‘It is not that people with high IQ are simply better at visual perception,’ said Duje Tadin of the University of Rochester. ‘Instead, their visual perception is more discriminating

‘They excel at seeing small, moving objects but struggle in perceiving large, background-like motions.’

The discovery was made by asking people to watch videos showing moving bars on a computer screen.

Their task was to state whether the bars were moving to the left or to the right.

That ability to block out distraction helps to explain what makes some brains more efficient than others

The researchers measured how long the video had to run before the individual could correctly perceive the motion.

The results show that individuals with high IQ can pick up on the movement of small objects faster than low-IQ individuals can.

‘That wasn’t unexpected, Tadin says.

The surprise came when tests with larger objects showed just the opposite: individuals with high IQ were slower to see what was right there in front of them.

‘There is something about the brains of high-IQ individuals that prevents them from quickly seeing large, background-like motions,’ Tadin added.

In other words, it isn’t a conscious strategy but rather something automatic and fundamentally different about the way these people’s brains work.

The ability to block out distraction is very useful in a world filled with more information than we can possibly take in.

It helps to explain what makes some brains more efficient than others. An efficient brain ‘has to be picky’ Tadin said.

The findings were reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.

Tanishq Abraham, a 10 year old boy graduated from high school last Sunday with a 4.0 GPA and a Mensa membership. The pintsize prodigy, who lives in Sacramento, Calif., with his parents and 8-year-old sister, Tiara (who is also a Mensa member), also received a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama just in time for his big day. “I sensed there was something different about Tanishq when he was 6 months old because he became very interested in clocks and numbers — he started counting and could point out numbers when he saw them in books,” Tanishq’s mother, veterinarian Taji Abraham, tells Yahoo Shine. “He would also stare very intently at photos and ask so many questions. I always wondered, ‘Why is he so curious?’”

By the time Tanishq was 2, he was adding and subtracting numbers. “I told my husband that Tanishq was very smart, but he said I was just a proud mom,” she says. “But a friend who was a kindergarten teacher insisted that Tanishq was different.” Abraham and her husband wanted to test their son’s IQ but were advised to wait until he was a little older to get a more accurate reading. When Tanishq turned 4, he scored in the 99.9th percentile on an IQ test (Abraham declined to provide her son’s precise IQ).

Abraham had heard about Mensa, a society for people with high IQs, and hoped that a membership would lead to better educational opportunities. After Mensa confirmed the boy’s IQ by having him undergo more testing, Tanishq was admitted into the group. (Mensa requires members to have an IQ in the 98th percentile.)

By the time Tanishq turned 6, he was “pestering” his mother to take paleontology college classes. After he skipped first grade, Abraham began homeschooling her son and allowed him to enroll in college courses at American River College in Sacramento while he studied for his high school degree. Tiara also joined Mensa when she was 4 and started homeschooling two years later. She loves dogs and cats and wants to become a veterinarian like her mom one day.

Despite her children’s high intelligence, Abraham insists they are grounded. “They have friends their age and older from their classes; however, we never let them forget that we are their parents,” she says. “While we learn from them, they have to respect us because they’re children.” Both kids also participate in extracurricular activities — Tanishq and Tiara are involved in chorus, swim, and play the piano. “Education is just one part of their lives,” says Abraham.

In September, Tanishq will be a full-time student at American River College where he’ll take on a five-class course load. He hopes to graduate with an associate’s degree by the end of his fall semester. Then, Tanishq will transfer as a junior to another university. “He would like to attend either Harvard, MIT, or

Cornell,” says Abraham. After that, he wants to enroll in medical school and then research a cure for cancer — a goal he’s had since he was 4. Knowing Tanishq, it’s hard to imagine he won’t reach it.

In summary, an intelligence quotient or IQ is a score derived from a set of standardised tests developed to measure a person’s cognitive abilities or ‘intelligence’ in relation to their age group.

IQ tests do not measure intelligence the way a ruler measures height, but rather the way a race measures speed.

Modern IQ tests produce scores for different areas – such as language fluency and three-dimensional thinking – with the overall score calculated from subtest scores.

The average score, according to the bell curve, is 100.

Studies have linked IQ scores to morbidity and mortality and even social status.

The average IQ scores for many populations have been rising at an average rate of three points per decade since the early 20th century, a phenomenon called the Flynn effect.

It is disputed whether these changes in scores reflect real changes in intellectual abilities.

Source: Cell Press journal

 

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