IQ changes in adolescence


24/10/2011

IQ, the standard measure of intelligence, can greatly increase or decrease during adolescence, according to a new study funded by the "Wellcome Trust", and these changes are associated with changes in the structure of the human brain. Information can be useful for testing students. Usually, it is believed that throughout the life of our intellectual capacity remained stable, with the same results of the evaluation of the intelligence quotient (IQ), the predictions made at the time of the achievements in education and employment prospects in later life. However, in the analysis, published Oct. 20 in the journal "Nature", researchers at the neurological center at University College London and the Centre for Educational Neuroscience for the first time, it was found that, in fact, the level of our IQ - is not constant.

The researchers, led by Professor Cathy Price (Cathy Price), tested 33 healthy adolescents in 2004 when they were aged between 11 and 16 years old. They then conducted a retest four years later, when the same respondents were under the age of 15-20 years. In both cases, the researchers examined the structure of the brain through its scan performed using magnetic resonance imaging.

Professor Price and colleagues found significant changes in the results of estimating IQ received in 2008 compared with results in 2004. Results of some of the respondents were higher by 20 points according to the standard measurement scale IQ compared with members of the same age, and the results of other respondents, however, were as lowered. In order to determine whether these changes are significant, the researchers analyzed the MRI scans, trying to find the correlation of this fact with the changes in the brain structure of participants.

According to the data of Professor Price, is not yet clear why IQ can vary so much, and why some participants demonstrated improved results, while others reduced quite surprised with the results. It is possible that these differences are due to the fact that some respondents brains have evolved faster than the other, then it is completely equivalent to that education played an important role in changing IQ, and this affects directly to the evaluation of students.

Other research Center of Neurology Foundation "Wellcome Trust" and other research groups have found strong evidence that the structure of the brain is "flexible" throughout adult life. For example, Professor Price recently discovered that members of the group the FARC in Colombia, who have learned to read when he was older, had a higher density of gray matter in some areas of the left hemisphere of the brain than those who have not learned to read. Professor Eleanor Megir (Eleanor Maguire), also a researcher at the Center Foundation "Wellcome Trust", revealed that part of the structure of the brain called the hippocampus, which plays an important role in the development of memory and movement, has great size from licensed taxi drivers in London.

"This interesting analysis underscores just how" flexible "is the human brain," - said Dr. John Williams (John Williams), head of the Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health Foundation "Wellcome Trust." "It will be very interesting to observe what kinds of structural changes occur in the brain as we grow and develop, and how it affects IQ and other mental functions. This analysis encourages us to use observations in practice to better to understand what happens when some individuals are mental health disorders. "

Original: Sciencedaily Translation: M. Potter


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