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What Part Of The Brain Controls Intelligence

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Where Does Intelligence Reside In The Brain

What are the different parts of the brain and what do they do? | Cancer Research UK
  • Intelligence is such a complex phenomenon that it’s difficult to imagine specific regions of the brain could be responsible for greater, lesser, or different varieties of intelligence.
  • However, neuroimaging and brain lesion research has enabled us to pinpoint the neural networks that are most likely to be involved in intelligence.
  • The best contender thus far is the parieto-frontal integration theory, or P-FIT, although other models of the neuroscience of intelligence exist.

For some, the concept that our brains the simple, three-pound chunks of matter we carry around in our skulls could determine who we are is a distressing one. The idea of having an ethereal, eternal soul is a much more comforting thought, and somehow, it feels more reasonable to assert than that a complex experience as consciousness could arise from something as mundane as an organ.

Tracking down intelligence in the brain

In the early 20th century, a psychologist named Charles Spearman discovered an interesting and intuitive correlation. Students who performed well in one subject tended to perform well in other, completely unrelated subjects. There was never a negative correlation between performance a student gifted in reading also tended to perform well at math, though maybe less spectacularly. This suggested a hidden factor driving success in all these disparate domains.

How well does P-FIT fit?
The case is still open

The Seat Of Consciousness: High Intellectual Functions Occur In The Cerebrum

The cerebrum is the largest brain structure and part of the forebrain . Its prominent outer portion, the cerebral cortex, not only processes sensory and motor information but enables consciousness, our ability to consider ourselves and the outside world. It is what most people think of when they hear the term grey matter. The cortex tissue consists mainly of neuron cell bodies, and its folds and fissures give the cerebrum its trademark rumpled surface. The cerebral cortex has a left and a right hemisphere. Each hemisphere can be divided into four lobes: the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe, and parietal lobe. The lobes are functional segments. They specialize in various areas of thought and memory, of planning and decision making, and of speech and sense perception.

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The Color System Of The Eye

Cone cells contain a pigment through which light must pass beforereaching the receptor. There are three pigments: One passes violet,with a wavelength of 430 nm one passes blue-green, with a wavelengthof 530 nm and the last pigment passes yellowish-green, with awavelength of 560 nm. In fact, these optical filters have filterskirts, meaning they pass light of other wavelengths, but with reducedsensitivity. Any monochromatic light actuallyactivates cone cells of multiple pigments, but at differentsensitivities. This also explains why we can see light with wavelengthsshorter than 430 nm, and longer than 560 nm.

No conecells, however, can truly perceive red. The closest we really get isyellowish-green. What we call red is really an opticalillusion, supplied by the brain by means of extrapolation. Oursensitivity to red is dramatically reduced compared to other colors,and our visual acuity in the red end of the spectrum is extremely bad.Everyone knows not to focus a projector using a redtest pattern. This is why the red gun in color-video equipment needsthe least resolution to be satisfactory .

Folk wisdom has many sayings about believing what you hear andbelieving what you see. The visual sense is just as prone to illusionas the auditory pathway, and equally filled with mystery andmisunderstanding. Maybe belief should rest not on the particularsensory pathway but rather on our understanding of the ways and meansthrough which we view the world.

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Trauma Its Effects On The Brain And Coping Skills

Coping with trauma has multiple physical, emotional, and psychological effects, and can have severe effects on the brain as well. The three main parts affected by trauma are the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex.

The amygdala is a part of the brain that mainly regulates the fight, flight, or freeze response. This response typically occurs during traumatic events we either fight back, flee from the situation, or freeze in place. When we experience triggers and/or threatening situations, a part of the brain called the thalamus releases stress hormones, which stimulates the amygdala. When the amygdala is stimulated, a split second decision is made . This means that the cortex, where judgment and critical thinking take place, does not have control over the situation. During these situations, we tend to experience an increase in heart rate, quicker breathing, shaking, sweating, and other physiological symptoms. In some situations, it can take hours to return to normal functioning.

On the bright side, there are multiple ways to cope with how trauma affects the brain.

Knowing how trauma affects the brain as well as how it affects you individually can help you figure out coping skills that work for you. Healing is not linear and you might not feel great every day, but having coping skills at your disposal can make a difference.

You are strong. You can get through this.

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Which Part Of The Brain Deals With Thinking: The Cerebellum

Parts of the Brain and What They Do

Although it isnt directly involved in thinking, the cerebellum plays an important role in this process. This part of the brain takes up to 10% of its total volume, yet contains more than half of all the neurons in the brain.

Known as unconscious, the cerebellum is in charge of balance and coordination.

Scientists have discovered that the unconscious cerebellum interacts with the conscious cerebrum to perform functions. The cerebellum carries out planned muscle movements such as running and jumping. Thats why sometimes scientists call it the thinking cerebellum.

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An Analysis Of The Contours Of More Than 600 Kids Brains Points To Links Between Cerebral Surface Area And Heritability In Regions Of The Brain Important In Cognition


Over the course of human evolution, our brains expanded massively. One of the areas that ballooned over the past few million years is the cerebral cortex, the wrinkly outer layer of the brain. It processes sensory information, coordinates our motion, and is in charge of our higher order functions, such as language processing and problem solving.

Scientists are scrutinizing the structure of the cortex for clues about its development throughout our lives and our evolution as a species and to understand where heredity intersects with intelligence. A new study of hundreds of developing brains reveals a trifecta of overlap in regions of the cortical surface that develop from childhood to adulthood, expanded during evolution, and are connected to genetics. The scientists also found genetically mediated links between IQ test scores and surface area in regions related to intelligence, they report today in the Journal of Neuroscience.

I think its a very, very strong work, says Rachel Brouwer, a neuroscientist at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands who was not part of the study. The authors pick up which regions of the brain where variability is most explained by genes, but by looking for connections with evolutionary expansion and neurodevelopment, it is an attempt to link to what it actually means in a broader picture, she says.

Psychology In Everyday Life: Why Are Some People Left

Across cultures and ethnic groups, about 90% of people are mainly right-handed, whereas only 10% are primarily left-handed . This fact is puzzling, in part because the number of left-handers is so low, and in part because other animals, including our closest primate relatives, do not show any type of handedness. The existence of right-handers and left-handers provides an interesting example of the relationship among evolution, biology, and social factors and how the same phenomenon can be understood at different levels of analysis .

At least some handedness is determined by genetics. Ultrasound scans show that nine out of 10 fetuses suck the thumb of their right hand, suggesting that the preference is determined before birth , and the mechanism of transmission has been linked to a gene on the X chromosome . It has also been observed that left-handed people are likely to have fewer children, and this may be in part because the mothers of left-handers are more prone to miscarriages and other prenatal problems .

But culture also plays a role. In the past, left-handed children were forced to write with their right hands in many countries, and this practice continues, particularly in collectivistic cultures, such as India and Japan, where left-handedness is viewed negatively as compared with individualistic societies, such as Canada and the United States. For example, India has about half as many left-handers as the United States .

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Ventricles And Cerebrospinal Fluid

Deep in the brain are four open areas with passageways between them. They also open into the central spinal canal and the area beneath arachnoid layer of the meninges.

The ventricles manufacture cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, a watery fluid that circulates in and around the ventricles and the spinal cord, and between the meninges. CSF surrounds and cushions the spinal cord and brain, washes out waste and impurities, and delivers nutrients.

Which Part Of The Brain Deals With Emotions

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Now, you know what parts of the brain deal with thinking and memory. Lets have a quick look at the part that is responsible for emotions.

All positive and negative emotions, and spontaneous feelings think excitement and sadness, are being processed in the limbic system.

The limbic system control your emotions and interacts with other parts of the brain.

In the same time, another part of the brain called amygdala handles emotional reactions such as love, hate, and sexual desire.

With centuries of research, the human brain remains the biggest mystery in the world. It is the most complex part of the body that controls movement, sight, and thinking.

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Brain Injury And Speech

What happens if one or more of these parts is injured, damaged, or abnormal?

If you have a problem speaking or understanding speech, its a condition called aphasia. If you have trouble putting together the correct muscle movements necessary to produce speech, its a condition called .

Both aphasia and apraxia are most often caused by a stroke or trauma to the brain, usually when the left side of the brain is affected. Other less common causes are brain tumors and infections.

Symptoms of aphasia or apraxia depend on where the damage occurs in the brain and the severity of the damage. These symptoms include:

The Limbic System Or Emotional Center

The list of structures that make up the limbic system are not agreed upon.

Four of the main regions of the limbic systems include:

  • The amygdala
  • Regions of the limbic cortex
  • The septal area

These structures relay between the limbic system and the hypothalamus, thalamus, and cerebral cortex. The hippocampus is important in memory and learning. While the limbic system itself is central in the control of emotional responses.

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How Does The Brain Work

The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.

Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .

Which Part Of The Brain Is Responsible For Thinking And Memory

Brain Revolution

The majority of thinking-related processes happen in the frontal lobe. These include decision-making, problem-solving, and planning.

The frontal lobe also helps the development of cognition, language processing, and intelligence.

The temporal lobe controls other processes related to language understanding, perception, and recognition. It is also in charge of learning and memory.

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Clinical Relevance In Brief:

  • Reduced volume and interconnections of the frontal lobes with other brain regions has been observed in people diagnosed with mental disorders those subjected to repeated stressors suicides those incarcerated criminals sociopaths those affected by lead poisoning and daily cannabis users.
  • Feeling guilt or remorse, and to interpret reality, may be dependent on a well-functioning prefrontal cortex.
  • The size and number of connections in the prefrontal cortex could relate directly to sentience, as the prefrontal cortex in humans occupies a far larger percentage of the brain than any other animal.
  • The left and right halves of the prefrontal cortex appear to become more interconnected in response to consistent aerobic exercise.
  • Practicing mindfulness can enhance prefrontal activation, which is correlated with increased well-being and reduced anxiety.

Frontal Lobe Brain Anatomy. Image decade3d/

A Genetic Approach To Intelligence

Given that intelligence is one of the most heritable traits, it follows that also its neurobiological correlates should be under strong genetic influence. Indeed, both cortical gray and white matter show a gradient of similarity in subjects with increasing genetic affinity . This structural brain similarity is especially strong in frontal and lateral temporal regions, which show most significant heritability . Hence, overall brain volume links to intelligence and to a large extent shares a common genetic origin. How and when during the development is genetic influence exerted by individual genes and what are the genes that determine human intelligence?

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Other Cool Facts About The Brain

  • The brain can’t multitask, according to the Dent Neurologic Institute. Instead, it switches between tasks, which increases errors and makes things take longer.
  • The human brain triples in size during the first year of life and reaches full maturity at about age 25.
  • Humans use all of the brain all of the time, not just 10% of it.
  • The brain is 60% fat, according to Northwestern Medicine.
  • The human brain can generate 23 watts of electrical power enough to fuel a small lightbulb.

Is Working Memory Fixed

Parts of Brain

The amount of resources that the brain allocates to working memory is not fixed but could be the result of balancing resource cost against cognitive performance. If this is confirmed, it may be possible to improve working memory by offering rewards, or by increasing the perceived importance of a task.

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Left Hemisphere Vs Right Hemisphere Stroke

Along with different lobes and structures, the brain is alsodivided into two halves, called hemispheres.

Aside from the different areas of the brain that can beaffected by stroke, its also helpful to look at difference between the twohemispheres.

Generally speaking, the left hemisphere controls languageand logical reasoning while the right hemisphere is believed to control creativityand object recognition. This is why language difficulties after stroke areoften associated with left hemispherestrokes.

Furthermore, each hemisphere controls movement on the opposite side of the body. Usually, a left hemisphere stroke will cause motor impairments on the right side of the body while a right hemisphere stroke will likely impair the left side of the body.

When stroke impacts both hemispheres, its possible tosustain motor impairments on both sides of the body.

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Image Acquisition And Preprocessing

High-resolution 3D-spoiled grass magnetic resonance images were obtained on a 1.5 Tesla scanner as a series of 124 contiguous 1.5-mm coronal brain slices . Image volumes passed through a number of preprocessing steps that included 1) correction of head tilt and alignment by reorienting each volume into the standard position of the ICBM-305 average brain using a 6-parameter rigid-body transformation , 2) removal of nonbrain tissue and the cerebellum, 3) correction of intensity nonuniformity due to magnetic field inhomogeneities , and 4) extracting the cortical surface models for both hemispheres, each comprising of 65 536 surface points .

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Functions Of The Cortex

When the German physicists Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig applied mild electric stimulation to different parts of a dogs cortex, they discovered that they could make different parts of the dogs body move. Furthermore, they discovered an important and unexpected principle of brain activity. They found that stimulating the right side of the brain produced movement in the left side of the dogs body, and vice versa. This finding follows from a general principle about how the brain is structured, called contralateral control, meaning the brain is wired such that in most cases the left hemisphere receives sensations from and controls the right side of the body, and vice versa.

Just as the motor cortex sends out messages to the specific parts of the body, the somatosensory cortex, an area just behind and parallel to the motor cortex at the back of the frontal lobe, receives information from the skins sensory receptors and the movements of different body parts. Again, the more sensitive the body region, the more area is dedicated to it in the sensory cortex. Our sensitive lips, for example, occupy a large area in the sensory cortex, as do our fingers and genitals.

Which Part Of The Brain Deals With Thinking

About the Brain â Headway Thames Valley

With more than 86 billion functional neurons, the brain is the most complex organ in the human body that deals with thinking. It controls everything that your body does and thinks.

It develops the main functions of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and hearing. And also helps primary functions such as breathing, talking, storing memories and thinking.

In other words, the brain is the boss of your body.

Many people wonder, which part of the brain deals with thinking?

We need to understand how our minds work so we can work our minds better.

Jim Kwik

Lets find out the answer to this question!

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