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19 - The Biological Basis of Intelligence

from Part IV - Biology of Intelligence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2019

Robert J. Sternberg
Cornell University, New York
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Genetic studies provide a compelling story of gene influences on intelligence, and neuroimaging studies provide insights about relevant brain structure and function. Polygenetic scores based on DNA and brain connectivity patterns based on neuroimaging are beginning to show correlations with individual differences in intelligence. Imaging studies also provide insights on specific brain networks related to intelligence, especially the PFIT model. The concept of brain efficiency is now being explored at the network and the dendrite levels. As we push inexorably deeper into the brain from cortex to neurons to synapses, we are at the threshold of developing a molecular biology of intelligence based both on gene expression related to brain development and function, and on the cascades of neurobiological events at the neuron and synapse levels. As prediction advances and the biological mechanisms underlying intelligence are identified, a major step will be manipulation of those mechanisms to enhance intelligence. That is why the study of intelligence has never been more exciting or important.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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