human intelligence

11 Stories

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 »

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 »

Stone Age Humans Found Wisdom in Crowds: Study

(Newser) - The jump in human ingenuity during the Stone Age could have resulted not from a biological change but from closer, more populous communities, NPR reports. “Anything that we teach is going to be susceptible to loss, or to decay,” said the British scientist who cooked up the theory.... More »

Mothers' Epilepsy Drug May Lower IQs of Kids

Study urges caution for popular valproate

(Newser) - Children born to women taking the popular epilepsy drug valproate have notably lower IQs than other kids, a new study shows. The anti-seizure drug, sold generically and under the brand name Depakote, also is prescribed for migraines, pain, and psychiatric disorders, the New York Times reports. Doctors involved with the... More »

Soldiers Who Survive War Are Less Intelligent

Records reveal that the smartest of Scottish regiments died on WWII battlefields

(Newser) - Soldiers who survived World War II were on average less intelligent than their fallen comrades, a study of British records has revealed. Researchers merged military records with an IQ test given to Scottish schoolchildren in 1932 and found that Scots who died in battle had an average IQ of 100.... More »

Search Engines: How They're Reshaping Your Brain

Is faster thinking always better?

(Newser) - Although he’s thrilled with all the time he saves using the Internet for research and awed by the vast intellectual opportunities available to every web surfer, Nicholas Carr is a bit disconcerted that he no longer has the patience for reading books or long articles. With his netizen mind... More »

Brain Training Can Boost Smarts

Mental gymnastics can strengthen general intelligence, study finds

(Newser) - Software claiming to improve intelligence has met with market success in recent years— along with plenty of skepticism—but sales could now get a boost with the discovery that it really is possible to improve general intelligence with mental gymnastics. Researchers had thought so-called "fluid intelligence" was purely genetic,... More »

'Petraeus Generation' Is Making Muslim Allies

CO's learn that gun-blazing ways only sparked insurgency in Iraq

(Newser) - US officers in Iraq and Afghanistan are learning to talk first and shoot later—a sea change for CO's trained to win by force, Newsweek reports. But their early gun battles only sparked insurgency and mired them in baffling street battles. Now, says David Petraeus, “You can’t kill... More »

IQ Measures Not Just Brains, But Also Culture

Smarts index is rising because the world's more 'demanding'

(Newser) - The average global IQ is rising three points per decade not because humans are getting smarter, but because culture is getting more challenging—and the measure isn’t just a test of our smarts genes. The quotient effectively tests “the quality of the world [a] person lives in,”... More »

Scientist Blasted for Racism Has Black Genes

Watson said blacks less intelligent than whites

(Newser) - Nobel laureate James Watson, famous for co-discovering DNA and infamous for his theory that black Africans are less intelligent than whites, turns out to have a genetic profile with 16 times as many black genes as the average white European, the Independent reports. Watson's genes are said to be comparable... More »

CIA Superspy Unmasks After 3 Decades

Clandestine service head blows own cover before retirement

(Newser) - As he prepares for retirement, the CIA's chief spymaster has elected to reveal his true identity, the AP reports. Jose Rodriguez spent more than 30 years undercover, much of the time in Latin America; the Puerto Rico native has headed the agency's clandestine service since 2004. An agency spokesman says... More »

11 Stories