This is a sign that you have a high IQ

Getty Images / ANGELA WEISS / Staff

There are endless exams and strange surveys designed to measure intelligence, but is this incredibly quick and simple task all we needed?

A study from the University of Rochester created an exercise that tests the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement - and it turns out that better perception is linked to intelligence.

For example, people with higher IQs can tell which ways the objects are moving more quickly. So, if you throw a fast ball, intelligent people will theoretically pick up on its trajectory faster.

On the other side of the coin, however, they also better at blocking out non-essential background information, which means they are worse at detecting large background movements.

Your performance in this video can predict your intelligence

A test similar to this one was used in the study; individuals watched video clips of black and white bars moving across a video screen and were asked to identify the direction the bars moved - to the left or to the right.

The results showed that people with higher IQs were quicker at picking up the direction of the moving lines - but were also the worst at seeing the movement in large images. In other words, they are best at filtering out distraction.

Dr Duje Tadin, a co-author of the paper, said in a statement:

Because intelligence is such a broad construct, you can't really track it back to one part of the brain.

But since this task is so simple and so closely linked to IQ, it may give us clues about what makes a brain more efficient, and, consequently, more intelligent.

This makes sense: for most tasks, you will be better at completing them if you block out distracting and irrelevant information.

Dr Tardin continued:

We know from prior research which parts of the brain are involved in visual suppression of background motion.

This new link to intelligence provides a good target for looking at what is different about the neural processing, what’s different about the neurochemistry, what’s different about the neurotransmitters of people with different IQs

More: If you're the oldest sibling, you are probably the smartest

The Conversation (0)