Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Biol. 2013 Jun 3;23(11):1013-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.053. Epub 2013 May 23.

A strong interactive link between sensory discriminations and intelligence.

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.

Abstract

Early psychologists, including Galton, Cattell, and Spearman, proposed that intelligence and simple sensory discriminations are constrained by common neural processes, predicting a close link between them. However, strong supporting evidence for this hypothesis remains elusive. Although people with higher intelligence quotients (IQs) are quicker at processing sensory stimuli, these broadly replicated findings explain a relatively modest proportion of variance in IQ. Processing speed alone is, arguably, a poor match for the information processing demands on the neural system. Our brains operate on overwhelming amounts of information, and thus their efficiency is fundamentally constrained by an ability to suppress irrelevant information. Here, we show that individual variability in a simple visual discrimination task that reflects both processing speed and perceptual suppression strongly correlates with IQ. High-IQ individuals, although quick at perceiving small moving objects, exhibit disproportionately large impairments in perceiving motion as stimulus size increases. These findings link intelligence with low-level sensory suppression of large moving patterns--background-like stimuli that are ecologically less relevant. We conjecture that the ability to suppress irrelevant and rapidly process relevant information fundamentally constrains both sensory discriminations and intelligence, providing an information-processing basis for the observed link.

PMID:
23707433
PMCID:
PMC3702042
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center