intelligence

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How a Dog IQ Test Could Help Humans

How well 'Mensa mutts' do on cognitive tasks could help with human health, too

(Newser) - In a move that researcher Dr. Rosalind Arden says could have "far-reaching implications for understanding human health and disease," scientists from the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh set out to understand the link between intelligence and health by studying … dogs. Per the Independent ... More »

Distracted at Work? You Might Be a Genius

All those great ideas are clogging your brain, study suggests

(Newser) - The modern world is rife with distractions, but new research suggests those who find it most difficult to focus tend to be the most intelligent. "The difficulty to withstand multiple tasks and distractions in the office affects smart people in the same way as everyone else, if not more,... More »

Scientists: We May Be Able to Alter Human Intelligence

There are 2 gene networks perhaps controlled by master 'switches': researchers

(Newser) - Researchers from London's Imperial College think they've found two networks of genes, possibly controlled by a master system, that control cognitive functions—a find that may allow them to modify human intelligence down the line, the Guardian reports. In a study published in Nature Neuroscience , scientists say these... More »

Mom's Age Affects Child's Intelligence

London School of Economics researchers cull the data

(Newser) - Think a mother's age at childbirth plays any role in her child's intelligence? According to data on British kids, it sure does. Using information on 18,000 children gathered over "an extended period of time," researchers from the London School of Economics say kids born to... More »

150-Year-Old Question About the Brain Is Answered

A bigger brain doesn't equal a bigger IQ, meta-analysis finds

(Newser) - If brain size relative to body size determines IQ, the venerable shrew would be the smartest creature on the planet. But it doesn't, and it's not, and scientists from Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany have combed through 88 studies with more than 8,000 participants to confirm in... More »

Brain Scan 'Fingerprints' Can Show How Smart We Are

Scientists say 'connectivity profiles' may predict how well we do on cognitive tasks

(Newser) - Each person's brain activity, or "connectivity profile," may be as unique as a set of fingerprints, YaleNews reports—and could prove useful in IDing individuals, assessing intelligence, and predicting future success on certain tasks. In a study published Monday in Nature Neuroscience , scientists reviewed fMRI scans for... More »

Preteen Girl Has Higher IQ Than Einstein

Lydia Sebastian just got perfect score on Mensa IQ test

(Newser) - A 12-year-old girl in England just scored higher on a Mensa IQ test than notorious high-IQ-havers Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Now, you might think such a thing would require months of practicing. Well, guess again. The Colchester Daily Gazette reports high-schooler Lydia Sebastian didn't really prepare at all.... More »

Hidden Virus Makes Us Dumber

Study: People with chlorovirus ATCV-1 score lower on cognitive tests

(Newser) - US researchers have come across a virus that may make us dumber—and it's turning up in the throats of otherwise-healthy people, the Independent reports. Some 43% of 92 people in a study were found to have the virus. Those affected scored about 10% lower on tests involving visual... More »

McCain Slaps Obama: We Predicted Rise of ISIS

'Of course' we are at war, says senator

(Newser) - In a 60 Minutes interview last night , President Obama asserted that the US had "underestimated" the looming threat posed by ISIS, but John McCain strongly disagrees. "We predicted what would happen if we didn't leave residual force [in Iraq]," McCain tells CNN . "His intelligence comments—... More »

Kids' Drawings May Predict Future Intelligence

Study: Ability to draw at age 4 bodes well for thinking skills at age 14

(Newser) - Parents wondering whether their 4-year-olds will grow up to be on the honor roll might do well to pay attention to their drawings. Researchers at King's College London say a long-term study suggests a link between how well children draw at age 4 and their intelligence 10 years later,... More »

In Race to Get Smarter, Women Are Speedier

Study points to benefits of improved living conditions

(Newser) - Over the years, humankind has been getting smarter, and lately, it looks like women's brains are in the faster lane. Researchers studied data on 31,000 people from 13 European countries, with the participants born between 1923 and 1957. They found that women are ahead of men when it... More »

Most Americans Think They're Smarter Than Most Americans

55% say they've got above-average smarts in YouGov poll

(Newser) - Americans don't think the country as a whole is all that bright, but they point the finger at other people instead of themselves. A new survey by YouGov finds that 55% of Americans consider themselves smarter than the average American. Meanwhile, just 25% say that Americans overall have above-average... More »

To Sound Smarter, Use Your Middle Initial

And if you want people to trust your kid, give him an easy-to-pronounce name: studies

(Newser) - Want to be seen as an intellectual? Here's an easy first step: Start using your middle initial in writing. Doing so, a study finds, boosts "positive evaluations of people's intellectual capacities and achievements." The study—run by researchers Wijnand A.P. van Tilburg and Eric R.... More »

SAT Is Like an IQ Test —and It Works

Slate essayists say it can and should play a valuable role for colleges

(Newser) - The SAT is a favorite punching bag these days, with critics saying it should be eliminated from the college-application process. But in an essay at Slate , David Hambrick and Christopher Chabris come to the test's defense on several fronts. Those who say the SAT is a lousy predictor of... More »

Men's IQ Easier to Spot Than Women's

Study asks people to guess IQ by looking at faces

(Newser) - It's easier to guess men's intelligence than women's just by looking at their faces—maybe because we're so distracted by female beauty, according to a new study . Czech researchers gave IQ tests to 80 male and female students, took photos of them, and asked 160 students... More »

Goats: Way Smarter Than You Thought

Study: They can learn complex tasks and remember them

(Newser) - Goats aren't known for being the Einsteins of the animal kingdom, but they're highly adaptable to challenging environments—and that may be because they're a lot smarter than researchers had believed, Phys.org reports. Scientists in London and Switzerland gave goats what they called a "complex... More »

Big Reveal: FBI Had Mole Who Met bin Laden—in 1993

He then died on a CIA mission

(Newser) - The FBI once had a mole so deep within al-Qaeda that he met with Osama bin Laden and provided the intelligence necessary to thwart his planned attack on a Masonic Lodge in LA, new investigative reports from the Washington Times and NBC News have revealed. The informant started out as... More »

Older Brains Are Slower —but Smarter

Wealth of knowledge, not weakness slows things down

(Newser) - When elderly people seem slow or forgetful, it's not because their brains are weaker, but because they have so much knowledge stored up, according to new research. A team using computer models found that measures used to test cognitive decline are flawed and that the wealth of information to... More »

NSA Able to Decode Most Calls, Texts Worldwide

Washington Post unveils latest Snowden material

(Newser) - The NSA is capable of breaking the encryption used on most phone calls and text messages worldwide, the latest Edward Snowden leak shows, though it's not certain how often the agency actually does it. Under US law, the NSA can't eavesdrop on citizens' conversations without a court order.... More »

Guardian Has Published Just 1% of Snowden Materials: Editor

Alan Rusbridger faces questions over national security

(Newser) - The Guardian has only published about 1% of some 58,000 files leaked by Edward Snowden—and it's unlikely to "publish a huge amount more," says editor Alan Rusbridger. He spoke to a British parliamentary committee as he faces scrutiny over whether the paper had weakened national... More »

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