Study maps brain area linked to intelligence

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Through magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have identified American and Slovenian correspondence between the activity of a specific area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, and the intelligence of a person.

According to the study, published in the journal Neuroscience, the number and frequency of brain connections in this region is higher in people with better intellectual performance.

Scientists have already linked a variation of up to 6.7% in the intelligence of a person the size of your brain and up to 5% of the neural activities in the prefrontal cortex.The new study went further and found that the frequency of activity in the left prefrontal cortex (behind the forehead) accounts for a variation of up to 10% of intellectual performance.

To develop research, neuroscientists from, University of Washington, made by intelligence of a person’s ability to solve logic problems in unusual situations, regardless of the knowledge acquired.

“The intelligence depends on two factors: having a prefrontal cortex that do their job well and get him to communicate well with the rest of the brain,” says Todd Braver, Washington University, coauthor of the study, in partnership with scientists from American universities of Colorado, Yale and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Central distribution – According to scientists, one possible explanation is that the prefrontal cortex acts as if it were a central data distribution, monitoring and influencing other brain regions. “There is evidence that the left part of the prefrontal cortex is responsible for helping us stay focused,” says Neuroscientists.

To reach these conclusions, the researchers conducted several tests with volunteers. First, did the MRI of the brain while they rested. Then made a second shooting of the neural activities while they were subjected to various mental challenges such as tests of logic. Then they compared the data to additional tests of intelligence and cognitive control. The results showed high levels of connection between the left prefrontal cortex and the rest of the brain when subjects were tested for intelligence. Thus, they concluded that intense neural activity in this region are an indication of greater capacity to detect and resolve problems.

According to Neuroscientists, the discovery may provide new avenues for understanding how brain connections in these interferences contribute to cognitive control deficits in cases of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

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