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Describe three views on neural correlates of human intelligence. Which according to your view is the most plausible?

Three views on neural correlates of fluid intelligence (Gf) will be discussed and described. First view describes the connection between cortical network and Gf. Gf is distributed in various parts of the brain which forms the cortical network and hence it is not located in a specific part of the brain. (Prat & Just, 2008) Synchronization of the brain brings Gf together for cognitive task and thus the ability of cortical network to communicate and synchronize effectively will affect Gf. Research has shown that higher skilled readers have a more effective neural synchronization compared to less-skilled readers. (Prat & Just, 2008) This shows the link of Gf and cortical network as more effective neural synchronization suggests the more intelligent one is. Second view describes the link between frontal lobes and Gf. Gf does not reside in the cortical network but only in the frontal lobes. (Prat & Just, 2008) The statement is supported by studies which show that frontal lobes are highly correlated to intelligence. This suggests that neural efficiency of frontal lobes affects Gf. Further evidences such as experiments that test on individual differences in cognitive ability have shown that good readers activate lower volume of energy in frontal lobes area like the Brocas area compared to the poor readers. (Prat & Just, 2008). The lower activation means energy is used more efficiently. We can see that efficiency of frontal lobes is linked with Gf as more intelligent people require less activation compared to the less intelligent.

The third view describes Gf correlating to both frontal lobe and also the cortical network. In this view, frontal lobe is the coordinator of the cortical network. . (Prat & Just, 2008) How effective the frontal lobes coordinate and synchronize cortical network will influence Gf.

Parietal-Frontal Integration Theory shows that frontal lobes works and communicate with other brain region to form mental processes. (Prat & Just, 2008) From this theory, it shows that frontal lobes play a central role in connecting information to other regions

Hybrid view that describes Gf relating to both frontal lobe and also the cortical network is the most plausible because the first two views do not give a complete picture about the brain. Neuroimaging shows that there is adaptation in terms of activation of brain areas on a needed basis. If there is an increase in demand for the brain, other regions of the brain will be activated. Activating of other regions of the brain suggests that other parts of the brain are also using energy in the process of the task. (Prat & Just, 2008) If Gf resides only in the frontal lobes, there should be only activation of the frontal lobes only and not the other brain regions and this is not the case. This is evident in Gray and Braver (2003) findings, where use of fmri reflects widespread activity on various parts of brain. Hence the view regarding frontal lobes as source of Gf does not give an accurate account of individual differences in cognitive functioning. Second view describes link of Gf and cortical network through neural synchronization. White matters affect the effectiveness of the synchronization of the brain. White matters represent the

networking of processing center. Studies in University of California, Irvine (2005) have shown that though women have nearly ten times more white matter related to Gf than men, both men and women have equal performance in IQ. These studies show that Gf does not just correlates with cortical network because Gf of men and women are not affected just by the amount of white matters. There are more underlying factors that influence intelligence. This brings us to the third view which is supported by J Glascher et al. (2010) study. Through lesion mapping, researchers conclude that Gf are located in various parts of the brain and frontal lobes play an executive role in promoting information process. This view appeals most to me because it provides me with a

complete picture of the neural synchronization of brain regions and also efficiency of frontal lobes.

In closing, hybrid view is most plausible because evidences have shown that no one part of the brain or cortical network influences Gf totally. From here we can conclude that the hybrid view is the most possible.


Chantel S. Prat and Marcel Adam Just (2008) Brain Bases of Individual Differences in Cognition. Psychological Science Agenda

Gray, J. R., Chabris, C. F. & Braver, T. S (2003) Neural mechanisms of general fluid intelligence. Nature Neuroscience. 6, 316322

J. Glscher, D. Rudrauf, R. Colom, L. K. Paul, D. Tranel, H. Damasio and R. Adolphs (2010) Distributed neural system for general intelligence revealed by lesion mapping

University Of California, Irvine (2005, January 22). Gf in Men and Women Is A Gray and White Matter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 26, 2010, from