Latimer: Connecting the IQ dots

Researchers found general intelligence is not tied to one part of the brain, but is determined by a network of regions across both sides.

Intelligence and creativity are wonderful qualities to find in another person.

But what is behind general intelligence and creativity? Observation has long suggested intelligence involves a combination of knowledge and experience.

Many well-known creative thinkers talk about this interplay and the importance of experience to connect the dots between different pieces of knowledge.

Several studies in brain activity seem to corroborate this theory. In a 2010 study from the California Institute of Technology, IQ and brain imaging data from more than 200 patients with brain injuries was examined to produce a map of brain regions involved in intelligence.

Not surprisingly, researchers found general intelligence was not tied to one particular part of the brain, but was determined by a network of regions across both sides of the brain. This doesn’t mean intelligence is tied strictly to general whole brain functioning—rather, it bears out a theory called parieto-frontal integration theory, which says general intelligence depends on the brain’s ability to integrate several different kinds of processing such as working memory.

So our brains need to have high functioning areas as well as the ability for those areas to communicate well with one another.  Here is where education and life experiences come in handy.

The more curious we are to learn about a broad array of subjects, the more raw material we have at our disposal and the more varied our building blocks for creative thought.

Although many creative people will tell you that nothing is truly new, we do have the potential for creative contributions because of our unique combination of knowledge and experience.

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