Chapter 1. Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook

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Chris McManus, professor of psychology and medical education at University College London, responds: if by intelligent you mean someone who performs better on IQ tests, the simple answer is no. Studies in the U.K., U.S. and Australia have revealed that left-handed people differ from right-handers by only one IQ point, which is not noteworthy. If by intelligent you mean someone who performs better on IQ tests, the simple answer is no. Studies in the U.K., U.S. and Australia have revealed that left-handed people differ from right-handers by only one IQ point, which is not noteworthy. Left-handedness is, however, much more common among individuals with severe learning difficulties, such as mental retardation. A slightly higher proportion of left-handers have dyslexia or a stutter. Other problems, such as a higher rate of accidents reported in left-handers, mostly result from a world designed for the convenience of right-handers, with many tools not made for left-handed use. Although some people claim that a higher percentage of left-handers are exceptionally bright, large research studies do not support this idea. If by smarter you mean more talented in certain areas, left-handers may have an advantage. Left-handers’ brains are structured differently from right-handers’ in ways that can allow them to process language, spatial relations and emotions in more diverse and potentially creative ways. Also, a slightly larger number of left-handers than right-handers are especially gifted in music and math. A study of musicians in professional orchestras found a significantly greater proportion of talented left-handers, even among those who played instruments that seem designed for right-handers, such as violins. Similarly, studies of adolescents who took tests to assess mathematical giftedness found many more left-handers in the population. The fact that mathematicians are often musical may not be a coincidence. © 2012 Scientific American,

Keyword: Laterality; Aggression
Link ID: 16656 - Posted: 04.16.2012

OUR intelligence, more than any particular behaviour or anatomical feature, is what distinguishes humans from the myriad other species with which we share our planet. It is a key factor in everything from our anatomy to our technology. To ask why we are intelligent is to ask why we are human; it admits no discrete answer. But let's ask it here anyway. Why are we, alone in nature, so smart? Perhaps we are not. Maybe our anthropocentric conceit prevents us from fully appreciating the intelligence of other animals, be they ants, cephalopods or cetaceans. As Douglas Adams put it: "Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons." So let's rephrase the question. There is a cluster of abilities that seems unique to humans: language, tool use, culture and empathy. Other animals may have rudimentary forms of these abilities, but they do not approach humans' sophistication and flexibility. Why not? Some come closer than others. German psychologists say they have identified a chimp whose mental abilities far surpass those of its peers (see "Chimp prodigy shows signs of human-like intelligence"). Intriguingly, they go on to suggest that this might be because Natasha, the simian prodigy, exhibits strong social-reasoning skills, such as learning from others. These are the same skills to which the explosive development of human intelligence is increasingly attributed. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Keyword: Intelligence; Aggression
Link ID: 16580 - Posted: 03.27.2012

By Melinda Wenner Moyer Is intelligence innate, or can you boost it with effort? The way you answer that question may determine how well you learn. Those who think smarts are malleable are more likely to bounce back from their mistakes and make fewer errors in the future, according to a study published last October in Psychological Science. Researchers at Michigan State University asked 25 undergraduate students to participate in a simple, repetitive computer task: they had to press a button whenever the letters that appeared on the screen conformed to a particular pattern. When they made a mistake, which happened about 9 percent of the time, the subjects realized it almost immediately—at which point their brain produced two tiny electrical responses that the researchers recorded using electrodes. The first reaction indicates awareness that a mistake was made, whereas the second, called error positivity, is believed to represent the desire to fix that slipup. Later, the researchers asked the students whether they believed intelligence was fixed or could be learned. Although everyone slowed down after erring, those who were “growth-minded”—that is, people who considered intelligence to be pliable—elicited stronger error-positivity responses than the other subjects. They subsequently made fewer mistakes, too. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, I did something wrong, I should slow down,’ but it was only the growth-minded individuals who actually did something with that information and made it better,” explains lead author Jason Moser, a clinical psychologist at Michigan State. © 2012 Scientific American,

Keyword: Intelligence; Aggression
Link ID: 16540 - Posted: 03.19.2012

By Eric Michael Johnson Americans take their rights seriously. But there is a lot of misunderstanding about what actually constitutes a ‘right.’ Religious believers are correct that they have a right to freely express their beliefs. This right is protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution that prohibits Congress from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” However, as a result, devout believers feel it is a violation of their rights when intelligent design creationism is forbidden in the classroom or when prayer during school sporting events is banned. After all, shouldn’t the First Amendment prohibit the government from interfering with this basic right? The answer is no and represents an important distinction when understanding what a right actually is. Because public schools are government-run institutions, allowing prayer during school activities or promoting religious doctrines in the classroom is a direct violation of the First Amendment. These activities infringe on the rights of those who do not share the same religious beliefs (or any at all). The key point is that rights are obligations that require governments to act in certain ways and refrain from acting in others. The First Amendment obligates the government to protect the rights of all citizens from an establishment of religion. You may have the right to freely exercise your beliefs, but that doesn’t give you the right to impose your views on others in public school. It was just this understanding of rights as obligations that governments must obey that formed the basis for a declaration of rights for cetaceans (whales and dolphins) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in Vancouver, Canada last month. © 2012 Scientific American

Keyword: Animal Rights
Link ID: 16500 - Posted: 03.12.2012

How many neurons are there in the human brain? It was a question that scientists thought they had nailed – and the answer was 100bn (give or take). If you went looking you would find that figure repeated widely in the neuroscience literature and beyond. But when a researcher in Brazil called Dr Suzana Herculano-Houzel started digging, she discovered that no one in the field could actually remember where the 100bn figure had come from – let alone how it had been arrived at. So she set about discovering the true figure (HT to the excellent Nature neuroscience podcast NeuroPod). This involved a remarkable – and to some I suspect unsettling – piece of research. Her team took the brains of four adult men, aged 50, 51, 54 and 71, and turned them into what she describes as "brain soup". All of the men had died of non-neurological diseases and had donated their brains for research. "It took me a couple of months to make peace with this idea that I was going to take somebody's brain or an animal's brain and turn it into soup," she told Nature. "But the thing is we have been learning so much by this method we've been getting numbers that people had not been able to get … It's really just one more method that's not any worse than just chopping your brain into little pieces." She told me that so far, she has only looked at four brains, all of them from men. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited

Keyword: Miscellaneous
Link ID: 16451 - Posted: 03.01.2012

By Theodoric Meyer Fifty-five high school students sat silently in a Columbia University auditorium on Saturday afternoon, listening to the first question: “About how many cells are in the human brain?” The room echoed with a slight scraping sound as the students scribbled out their answers on brightly colored sheets of paper, then fell silent again. “The answer,” Michael E. Goldberg, a professor of neuroscience at Columbia, said into a microphone, “is 100 million.” It was the first of many questions to test students’ knowledge of neuroscience in this year’s New York City Regional Brain Bee, which drew students from each borough and Westchester County. The contest works a bit like its more familiar cousins, the spelling and geography bees: Eight rounds, five questions each. Thirty seconds to answer. Spelling, however, doesn’t count. The first two rounds proved fairly easy. Students needed to get only two of the five questions correct to move on, and only a few of them were eliminated. But the competition picked up during the third and fourth rounds, when students needed three correct answers for each round. Dr. Goldberg, a diminutive man in a tweed coat with black-framed glasses and thick white hair, seemed to relish his role as moderator and often supplied scientific asides to the questions. © Copyright 2012 The New York Times Company

Keyword: Miscellaneous
Link ID: 16349 - Posted: 02.07.2012

A suburban Chicago man accidentally shot a 3.25in (8.25cm) nail into his skull but is recovering after doctors successfully removed it from the centre of his brain. Dante Autullo, 34, was in his workshop when a nail gun recoiled near his head. But he had no idea the nail had entered his brain until the next day, when he began feeling nauseous. Doctors told Mr Autullo that the nail came within millimetres of the area used for motor function. His fiancee, Gail Glaenzer, told the Associated Press on Friday that he was in good spirits after the two-hour surgery to remove the nail at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. "He feels good. He moved all his limbs, he's talking normal, he remembers everything," she said. "It's amazing, a miracle." Ms Glaenzer said she had no idea the nail had entered his skull when she cleaned a cut on his forehead. BBC © 2012

Keyword: Miscellaneous
Link ID: 16282 - Posted: 01.23.2012

Heidi Ledford A Scottish intelligence study that began 80 years ago has borne new fruit. Researchers have tracked down the study’s surviving participants — who joined the study when they were 11 years old — to estimate the role that our genes have in maintaining intelligence through to old age. Researchers have long been interested in understanding how cognition changes with age, and why these changes are more rapid in some people than in others. But, in the past, studies of age-related intelligence changes were often performed when the subjects were already elderly. Then, in the late 1990s, research psychologist Ian Deary of the University of Edinburgh, UK, and his colleagues realized that Scotland had two data sets that would allow them to take such studies a step further. In 1932 and 1947, officials had conducted a sweeping study of intelligence among thousands of 11-year-old Scottish children. The data, Deary learned, had been kept confidential for decades. He and his colleagues set about tracking down the original participants, many of whom did not remember taking the original tests. The team collected DNA samples and performed fresh intelligence tests in nearly 2,000 of the original participants, then aged 65 or older. © 2012 Nature Publishing Group,

Keyword: Intelligence; Aggression
Link ID: 16270 - Posted: 01.19.2012

By Helen Briggs Health editor, BBC News website Web addicts have brain changes similar to those hooked on drugs or alcohol, preliminary research suggests. Experts in China scanned the brains of 17 young web addicts and found disruption in the way their brains were wired up. They say the discovery, published in Plos One, could lead to new treatments for addictive behaviour. Internet addiction is a clinical disorder marked by out-of-control internet use. A research team led by Hao Lei of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan carried out brain scans of 35 men and women aged between 14 and 21. Seventeen of them were classed as having internet addiction disorder (IAD) on the basis of answering yes to questions such as, "Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop Internet use?" Specialised MRI brain scans showed changes in the white matter of the brain - the part that contains nerve fibres - in those classed as being web addicts, compared with non-addicts. BBC © 2012

Keyword: Drug Abuse; Aggression
Link ID: 16248 - Posted: 01.14.2012

By JAMES GORMAN Once, animals at the university were the province of science. Rats ran through mazes in the psychology lab, cows mooed in the veterinary barns, the monkeys of neuroscience chattered in their cages. And on the dissecting tables of undergraduates, preserved frogs kept a deathly silence. On the other side of campus, in the seminar rooms and lecture halls of the liberal arts and social sciences, where monkey chow is never served and all the mazes are made of words, the attention of scholars was firmly fixed on humans. No longer. This spring, freshmen at Harvard can take “Human, Animals and Cyborgs.” Last year Dartmouth offered “Animals and Women in Western Literature: Nags, Bitches and Shrews.” New York University offers “Animals, People and Those in Between.” The courses are part of the growing, but still undefined, field of animal studies. So far, according to Marc Bekoff, an emeritus professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, the field includes “anything that has to do with the way humans and animals interact.” Art, literature, sociology, anthropology, film, theater, philosophy, religion — there are animals in all of them. The field builds partly on a long history of scientific research that has blurred the once-sharp distinction between humans and other animals. Other species have been shown to have aspects of language, tool use, even the roots of morality. It also grows out of a field called cultural studies, in which the academy has turned its attention over the years to ignored and marginalized humans. © 2012 The New York Times Company

Keyword: Animal Rights; Aggression
Link ID: 16201 - Posted: 01.03.2012

By Sora Song The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is warning people against the improper use of neti pots, following the deaths of two people who were infected with Naegleria fowleri — the so-called “brain-eating amoeba” — after using tap water to irrigate their sinuses. A 53-year-old woman from De Soto Parish and a 20-year-old man from St. Bernard Parish both died after using contaminated water in their neti pots, a popular home remedy that looks like a genie’s lamp and is used for flushing out mucus from the nose and sinuses. “If you are irrigating, flushing or rinsing your sinuses, for example, by using a neti pot, use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution,” said Louisiana State Epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard. Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose, Ratard said. It’s also important to rinse the neti pot after each use and leave it open to air dry. Typically, Naegleria fowleri infection occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater lakes and rivers, particularly in summer in the southern U.S. Last summer, at least three other people died from Naegleria fowleri infection in Florida, Virginia and Kansas. The amoeba enters through the nose, travels to the brain and starts eating neurons. It sounds scary — and it is — but it’s also exceedingly rare. In the 10 years from 2001 to 2010, only 32 infections were reported in the U.S., despite millions of people swimming in lakes and rivers. Of those infected, 30 people were infected by recreational water sources, and two were infected by water from hot springs. © 2011 Time Inc.

Keyword: Miscellaneous
Link ID: 16166 - Posted: 12.19.2011

By Rose Eveleth When I was in fifth grade, my brother Alex started correcting my homework. This would not have been weird, except that he was in kindergarten—and autistic. His disorder, characterized by repetitive behaviors and difficulty with social interactions and communication, made it hard for him to listen to his teachers. He was often kicked out of class for not being able to sit for more than a few seconds at a time. Even now, almost 15 years later, he can still barely scratch out his name. But he could look at my page of neatly written words or math problems and pick out which ones were wrong. Many researchers are starting to rethink how much we really know about autistic people and their abilities. These researchers are coming to the conclusion that we might be underestimating what they are capable of contributing to society. Autism is a spectrum disease with two very different ends. At one extreme are “high functioning” people who often hold jobs and keep friends and can get along well in the world. At the other, "low functioning" side are people who cannot operate on their own. Many of them are diagnosed with mental retardation and have to be kept under constant care. But these diagnoses focus on what autistic people cannot do. Now a growing number of scientists are turning that around to look at what autistic people are good at. Researchers have long considered the majority of those affected by autism to be mentally retarded. Although the numbers cited vary, they generally fall between 70 to 80 percent of the affected population. But when Meredyth Edelson, a researcher at Willamette University, went looking for the source of those statistics, she was surprised that she could not find anything conclusive. Many of the conclusions were based on intelligence tests that tend to overestimate disability in autistic people. "Our knowledge is based on pretty bad data," she says. © 2011 Scientific American

Keyword: Autism; Aggression
Link ID: 16097 - Posted: 12.01.2011

By Katherine Lymn As head of Experimental Surgical Services at the University of Minnesota, he’s been the focus of animal rights activists’ rage. Bianco estimated that up to 300 sheep are “sacrificed” each year as part of his experiments in heart valve research. Pathology staff members kill the sheep with an overdose injection of a drug similar to what a veterinarian would use to euthanize a pet. Bianco speaks out in support of animal experimentation and accepts his status as a public figure of the biomedical research industry. But he sees it differently when animal rights groups try to influence students. “My solution is to bring the students to us,” he said. He invites high school students to his lab for field trips to “counteract” PETA’s message that using animals for research is wrong. Bianco tests heart valves in animals before the valves go on to human trials. He proactively promotes research like this, which has drawn threats in the past. Activist Camille Marino, out of Florida, posted a threat against Bianco on her website negotioationisover.net in 2009. “We should not be surprised when the unconscionable violence inflicted upon animals is justifiably visited upon their tormentors,” she wrote. Animal rights organizations have demonstrated at the University in the past. In 1999, the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for vandalizing research facilities and stealing more than 100 animals. © 1900 - 2011 The Minnesota Daily

Keyword: Animal Rights
Link ID: 16063 - Posted: 11.22.2011

By Alan Boyle Slides containing thin slices of Albert Einstein's brain will go on display at Philadelphia's Mutter Museum, thanks to a donation from a neuropathologist who has been holding onto the samples for decades. Lucy Rorke-Adams of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia received the box of 46 slides in the mid-1970s from the widow of a physician who helped arrange the preparation of the brain samples, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Thomas Stoltz Harvey, a doctor at Princeton Hospital, conducted the autopsy on the famed physicist just hours after his death in 1955. Apparently without the family's permission, Harvey preserved Einstein's brain and sectioned it into hundreds of specimens on microscope slides for study. The controversy, as well as the strange journey of Einstein's brain, are detailed in Michael Paterniti's book "Driving Mr. Albert." Harvey and other researchers found nothing unusual about the brain's size, but there was evidence that Einstein's brain contained more than the expected proportion of glial cells, which play a role in supporting connections between neurons. Rorke-Adams, whose research focuses on comparisons of brain cells at different ages, said Einstein's brain looks remarkably youthful under a microscope: "“It does not show any of the changes that we associate with age," CBS Philly quoted her as saying. © 2011 msnbc.com

Keyword: Miscellaneous
Link ID: 16059 - Posted: 11.21.2011

By R. Douglas Fields Children breast-fed longer than six months scored a 3.8-point IQ margin over those who were bottle-fed, according to a seven-year study by researchers at Jagiellonian University Medical College in Poland. Medical epidemiologist Wieslaw Jedrychowski and colleagues followed 468 babies born to nonsmoking mothers. The children were tested five times at regular intervals from infancy through preschool age. The data showed that cognitive abilities of preschoolers who were breast-fed scored significantly higher than bottle-fed infants, and IQ score was directly proportional to how long the infants had been breast-fed: IQs were 2.1 points higher in children who were breast-fed for three months; 2.6 points higher when babies were breast-fed for four to six months; 3.8 points higher in children breast-fed longer than six months. The results were published in the May 2011 issue of the European Journal of Pediatrics. This research confirms observations reported 70 years ago by Carolyn Hoefer and Mattie Hardy in JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, as well as many subsequent studies. This body of research provides the scientific basis for the World Health Organization's recommendation that all infants should be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of life. But what is the missing ingredient that undermines the cognitive development of bottle-fed babies? Chemists searching for a specific compound in mother's milk have been overlooking the obvious difference between breast-feeding and bottle-feeding—something that could easily account for the difference in cognitive development, wrote Tonse Raju, a pediatrician and neonatalogist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the current issue of Breastfeeding Medicine, October 2011. (Raju was not involved in the Jedrychowski study.) © 2011 Scientific American,

Keyword: Development of the Brain; Aggression
Link ID: 16047 - Posted: 11.17.2011

By JAMES GORMAN NEW IBERIA, La. — In a dome-shaped outdoor cage, a dozen chimpanzees are hooting. The hair on their shoulders sticks straight up. “That’s piloerection,” a sign of emotional arousal, says Dr. Dana Hasselschwert, head of veterinary sciences at the New Iberia Research Center. She tells a visitor to keep his distance. The chimps tend to throw pebbles — or worse — when they get excited. Chimps’ similarity to humans makes them valuable for research, and at the same time inspires intense sympathy. To research scientists, they may look like the best chance to cure terrible diseases. But to many other people, they look like relatives behind bars. Biomedical research on chimps helped produce a vaccine for hepatitis B, and is aimed at one for hepatitis C, which infects 170 million people worldwide, but there has long been an outcry against the research as cruel and unnecessary. Now, because of a major push by advocacy organizations, a decision to stop such research in the United States could come within a year. As it is, the United States is one of only two countries that conduct invasive research on chimpanzees. The other is the central African nation of Gabon. “This is a very different moment than ever before,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States. “Now is the time to get these chimps out of invasive research and out of the labs.” © 2011 The New York Times Company

Keyword: Animal Rights
Link ID: 16038 - Posted: 11.15.2011

By BENEDICT CAREY ST. HELENA, Calif. — The scientists exchanged one last look and held their breath. Everything was ready. The electrode was in place, threaded between the two hemispheres of a living cat’s brain; the instruments were tuned to pick up the chatter passing from one half to the other. The only thing left was to listen for that electronic whisper, the brain’s own internal code. The amplifier hissed — the three scientists expectantly leaning closer — and out it came, loud and clear. “We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine ....” “The Beatles’ song! We somehow picked up the frequency of a radio station,” recalled Michael S. Gazzaniga, chuckling at the 45-year-old memory. “The brain’s secret code. Yeah, right!” Dr. Gazzaniga, 71, now a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is best known for a dazzling series of studies that revealed the brain’s split personality, the division of labor between its left and right hemispheres. But he is perhaps next best known for telling stories, many of them about blown experiments, dumb questions and other blunders during his nearly half-century career at the top of his field. Now, in lectures and a new book, he is spelling out another kind of cautionary tale — a serious one, about the uses of neuroscience in society, particularly in the courtroom. Brain science “will eventually begin to influence how the public views justice and responsibility,” Dr. Gazzaniga said at a recent conference here sponsored by the Edge Foundation. © 2011 The New York Times Company

Keyword: Miscellaneous
Link ID: 15971 - Posted: 11.01.2011

By James Gallagher Health reporter, BBC News The idea of making brain cancers glow to help surgeons operate is being tested in the UK. Patients will be given a drug, 5-amino-levulinic acid (5-ALA), which causes a build-up of fluorescent chemicals in the tumour. The theory is that the pink glow will clearly mark the edges of the tumour, making it easier to ensure all of it is removed. More than 60 patients with glioblastoma will take part in the trial. They have cancerous glial cells, which normally hold the brain's nerves cells in place. On average patients survive 15 months after being diagnosed. No room for error In some cancers, such as those of the colon, some of the surrounding tissue can be removed as well as the tumour. Removing a brain tumour needs to be more precise. Dr Colin Watts, who is leading the trial at the University of Cambridge, told the BBC that surgeons "don't want to take too much functional tissue away". BBC © 2011

Keyword: Neurotoxins
Link ID: 15967 - Posted: 11.01.2011

Paul Vallely A sad-eyed, mournful-mouthed beagle stares out from a poster on a bus shelter by the front door of the Ear Institute of University College London. Below the melancholy dog blares the legend 'Boycott Vivisection'. It is clearly intended to be a reprimand to the scientists passing through the door into one of the world's leading research centres on hearing and deafness. Not that there are any experiments on dogs going on in the Institute, but then facts are not always the first currency when it comes to the emotive subject of experiments on animals. The number of research procedures on animals carried out in the UK rose by 3 per cent last year. The figure has risen steadily over the past decade to just over 3.7 million in 2010. 'Procedures' is the term used by the Home Office, which is looking at ways to meet a commitment in the Government's coalition agreement to reduce the use of animals in scientific research. And it is a significant word, for behind it lies a major shift in animal experimentation. The headline figure disguises considerable changes. Experiments on many of the kind of animals which most inspire protest among animal rights activists were down: dogs by 2 per cent, rabbits by 10 per cent and cats by 32 per cent. Even the eponymous guinea pigs were down 29 per cent. There was also a fall of 11 per cent in the number of animals used in toxicity trials, as thanks to rule changes one test can now be used to satisfy several requirements. Where there was an increase was in mice and fish – the latter up a whopping 23 per cent. What that reveals is a switch to animals whose genes can be easily modified. An extraordinary 44 per cent of those 'procedures' turn out not to be what most members of the public imagine as an 'animal experiment' but merely the act of breeding transgenic creatures, mostly done by allowing mice to do what male and female mice do naturally anyway. But the nature of the experiments has undergone a notable change. ©independent.co.uk

Keyword: Animal Rights
Link ID: 15933 - Posted: 10.22.2011

By Laura Sanders The roller-coaster teenage years can take IQs along for the ride. A person’s IQ can nosedive and climb sky-high during adolescence, while corresponding brain regions wax and wane in bulk, researchers report online October 19 in Nature. The results suggest that the IQ number given to a child is not immutable, as many researchers believe, says neuroscientist Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine. “This is an extremely interesting paper.” Back in 2004, Cathy Price of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London and colleagues tested the IQs of 33 healthy participants who were, on average, 14 years old. While the teens were in the lab, structural MRI brain scans measured particular brain regions. About four years later, Price and her team invited the teenagers back for a redo. Overall, IQ scores held steady: Average IQs were 112 in 2004 and 113 four years later. But when the researchers zoomed in on individual teens, they found that about a third of the teenagers had meaningful changes in IQ, and a handful showed dizzying climbs or plunges. One such plunge was 18 IQ points — which would be enough to demote a person from genius status to merely above average. The retest also turned up an IQ gain of 21 points — which would elevate a below-average person to above average. Some people who scored high the first time around scored even higher later, and some low scorers scored even lower. © Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2011

Keyword: Development of the Brain; Aggression
Link ID: 15926 - Posted: 10.22.2011