A new technique has shown the existence of a link between connections within the brain and intelligence in humans.Understanding the so-called “connectome” – the network of connected nerve cells that make up the brain – is a key area of research for scientists.
“We saw a clear link between the ‘hubbiness’ of higher-order brain regions – in other words, how densely connected they were to the rest of the network – and an individual’s IQ,” said Jakob Seidlitz, a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge who co-authored the study.For their study, Mr Seidlitz and his collaborators compared the brains of nearly 300 typically-developing adolescent volunteers, and validated their results with an additional 124 volunteers.
The researchers used MRI scans to build what they called “morphometric similarity networks”, which showed the connectivity inside the brains of their volunteers.While intelligence – as measured using IQ – varied across the participants, their morphometric similarity networks accounted for around 40 percent of that variation.
Scientists suggested that the physical structure of participants’ brains had some bearing on their intelligence.Researchers think this is a step in the right direction to ascertain human intelligence using a scan, as well as they suggested other interesting insights that could arise from their technique.”Our new mapping technique could also help us understand how the symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression or even schizophrenia arise from differences in connectivity within the brain.”said Professor “Edward Bullmore”at the University of Cambridge who was involved with the research.
Source: “The Independent”