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Feeling demoralised after you slacked off work to take an online IQ test - and scored dismally?

No need to worry, you may not be as stupid as it says you are.

This study concluded thatIQ (intelligence quotient) is not an accurate measure of a person's cognitive ability.

Published in the journal Neuron in 2012, 'Fractionating Human Intelligence' proposes that intelligence is "composed of multiple independent components".

The study explains:

Each behavioural component is associated with a distinct functional brain network.

Using 12 distinct cognitive tasks, designed to measure planning, reasoning, attention and working memory abilities, the study compared models of individual performance with models of brain functional organisation.

Participants' lifestyles and backgrounds were also taken into account.

According to the study's authors, Professors Arian Owen, Beth Parkin, Roger Highfield and Dr Adam Hampshire:

We demonstrate that different components of intelligence have their analogs in distinct brain networks.

Using simulations based on neuroimaging data, we show that the higher-order factor 'g' is accounted for by cognitive tasks co-recruiting multiple networks.

Finally, we confirm the independence of these components of intelligence by dissociating them using questionnaire variables.

We propose that intelligence is an emergent property of anatomically distinct cognitive systems, each of which has its own capacity.

In short, intelligence is a combination of a number of different factors, which people have different levels of aptitude in.

As the study was shared widely on social media, thousands of people took part in the study from all over the world.

The study summarised that there were three main components of intelligence:

  • short-term memory
  • reasoning
  • verbal ability

Professor Owen also told Psyblogthat regular brain training didn't improve cognitive ability, yet ageing had a

profound negative effect on both memory and reasoning abilities.

Dr Hampshire commented that people who played regular computer games performed better in the reasoning and short-term stakes.

Smokers and those who suffer from anxiety also performed badly on the short-term memory factor.

HT Spring

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