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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2012 Mar;14(1):19-27.


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Psychology and Education, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.


Intelligence is the ability to learn from experience and to adapt to, shape, and select environments. Intelligence as measured by (raw scores on) conventional standardized tests varies across the lifespan, and also across generations. Intelligence can be understood in part in terms of the biology of the brain-especially with regard to the functioning in the prefrontal cortex-and also correlates with brain size, at least within humans. Studies of the effects of genes and environment suggest that the heritability coefficient (ratio of genetic to phenotypic variation) is between .4 and .8, although heritability varies as a function of socioeconomic status and other factors. Racial differences in measured intelligence have been observed, but race is a socially constructed rather than biological variable, so such differences are difficult to interpret.


crystallized ability; environment; fluid ability; gene; heritability; multiple intelligences; race

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