May 23, 2013 — A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose brains are better at automatically suppressing background motion perform better on standard measures of intelligence. The test is the first purely sensory assessment to be strongly correlated with IQ and may provide a non-verbal and culturally unbiased tool for scientists seeking to understand neural processes associated with general intelligence.
"Because intelligence is such a broad construct, you can't really track it back to one part of the brain," says Duje Tadin, a senior author on the study and an assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. "But since this task is so simple and so closely linked to IQ, it may give us clues about what makes a brain more efficient, and, consequently, more intelligent."
Ok... I understand where they're going with this but the real quesiton to ask is why is an IQ test so important? Well, for many it's the ability to quantify intelligence. Understandably, being able to measure something makes it appear to be far more attainable.
On the flip side, do we really need to be able to measure something like intelligence? I think we can all agree we have stupid moments from time to time, just as we have smart moments. Perhaps we should shift focus from seeking to quantify intelligence, to simply understanding it.
I think the key to creating an educated world is understanding we can't know everything. But is that problem caused by the brain being unable to store that amount of information, or is it caused by the fact that we will always be learning new things about the cosmos?
It's an interesting thought, to recognize that information is just as infinite as the cosmos. It almost makes the idea of needing a quantification of intelligence a moot point.