How can intelligence be improved?
Dr. Mohanad A Ali Assistant professor Neurophysiology Ninavah College of Medicine University of Mosul
8/8/2013 9:14:26 AM
Prior to 1990s broad stream with no consensus, numerous definitions of and hypotheses of human intelligence have been advocated. According to my understanding of the physiological bases of intelligence, it represents the ability to deal with new or trying problems by applying knowledge and logical resoning to manipulate one's environment to find an accurate answeror or to think abstractly.This definition might provide an indispensable guide to human intelligence by putting well informed and balanced account of intelligence.
The most descriptive and reliable hypothesis "in my opinion" is (THE BIOLOGICAL-ENVIRONMENTAL HYPOTHESIS).This hypothesis focuses on the most important factors affecting intelligence (the biological and environmental factors).According to this hypothesis intelligence is due to a shared activity of a better developed areas in the brain making use of the knowledge acquired from the environment that can lead to a better life and bright future. The primary goal of this text is to show the importance of improving intelligence that can have widespread effects, including increasing cognitive skills required for thinking and problem solving as well as in determining sucess in life. Improving intelligence requires longe-term efforts and early begining, but when they should be started?
As I have mentioned in a previous comment on this site, the begining should be as early as the 25 week of gestation to conserve the newly formed and growing brain cells of the temporal lobe including most importantly the Wernicke's area.The earlier the begining, the higher the intellectual potential.Followed after birth by visual and somatic experiences, to which the new born has to be exposed, this will improve the occipital and parietal lobes respectively.Later in life the problems and games that can increase attention and to use logical reasoning will improve the working memory, thinking skills, and various cognitive capabilities.Higher development of all of these factors as well as the effects of and knowledge of the environment all together should have enormous promise in improving performance and no doubt will lead to a smarter person.
I agree with professor Haier's suggestion "the most precise and promissing methodology available to study intelligence is through MRI".This method can show how much and how well the relevant areas of the brain are improving?And how does the brains of the well trained people rank against the others. Looking into the biological constituents and physiological bases of intelligence will provied incredible opportunities to maximize intellectual potential in all mankind.
Is it helpfull to study intelligence on cadaver brains ?
Mohanad A. Ali
7/20/2013 12:43:05 PM
If we have agreed, firstly, that intelligence is one of the many functions of a living human brain produced as a result of the interaction and co-work of many widespread areas of the brain.Secondly, we all have no doubt that cadavers are exposed to fixative materials like formalin that definitly lead to shrikage of the cells and tissues including those of the brain.Having this knowledge in mind one can predict that the size of the brain cells, neuronal pools, as well as the thickness of the cerebral cortex will be much less in cadavers than in living brains.Therefore, cadavers are not a suitable material to study intelligence unless taking into consideration to study the relevant areas of intelligence.
Moreover, the number of neurones in the human brain is almost fixed by the age of one year or so.People are not unique in this criterion.The number can be different in different subjects most likely in the number of columns but not in the number of cells per column, especially so in the parietal,frontal,temporal occipital,lobes as well as the cerebral cortex.This difference is sellective depending on the educational status regarding intelligence " that must be improved in all populations through a program which should be distributed worldwide".
We should also know that brain cells continue dividing and increasing in number even after birth for several months up to a year or so.The newly added cells will eventually degenerate ( as many as 50% of them ) unless being used ( use it or lose it ) .Using these cells give them a chance to develop connections with the surrounding or target cells and establish themselves and not degenerate.
How are the newly formed cells used?
Brain celle can be used and set into function even before birth during intrauterine life as early as 25 weeks of gestation. At this time the auditory system is almost completely developed, and the fetus can be exposed to different sounds including speech, music, meaningful sounds to make the auditory system functioning and to a lesser extent the Wernicke's area so that conserving the cells of these areas.In a similar way the visual cortex, the frontal, parietal, and cerebral cortical cells can be maintained.
This is possibly the mechanism of having different number of brain cells " in the areas that are related to intelligence " so that one can be smarter than the other.
Assistant professor neurophysiology Dr. Mohanad A. Ali
7/13/2013 6:44:07 PM
Incidentally I came across the impressing and informative article puplished on the DANA FOUNDATION by prof. Haier and Jung describing their beleif and understanding of human intelligence.
The subject of intelligenve is full of challenge, simply because of lack of trustfull methods to study human intelligence.Nevertheless, we should have tried our best to make highlights on the subject in support with the other's efforts so that it can be discussed intelligently.
Herein I want to express my gratitude to prof. Haier and Jung as well as to everybody whoever and whereever who can help to highlight the mystry of human intelligence that will lead to a better understanding and insight of the subject.
Our goal of such a big challenge is to able to improve intelligence that helps in the well being of mankind allover the world.
In order to be able to discuss intelligence " in my openian " we have to start with the definition of intelligence..
1-How can we define intelligence?
from the neurophysiological point of view human intelligence is considered as a function (output) of many areas of the brain working in cosert with each other to produce what characterizes human beings and that is "intelligence".
These areas include most importantly the Wernicke's area, the parietal lobe, the frontal lobe, the cerebral cortex, as well as the thalamus.The integrative function of all of these areas together can improve human ability to solve social, mathematical, and phylosophical problems,prognosticate and plan for the future what we call as intelligence.
2-What brain structures are involved in intelligence?
Many neuronal pools that are widespread in the brain, participate in the production of intelligence.They are interconnected by a rich network of nerve fibers to ensure rapidity and fidality of transmission of information.these areas are thrown into the frontal lobe, cerebral cortex, parietal lobe, and the thalamus.
3- Brain activities that represent the skeletone of intelligence.
i.Learning is the first step to be taken on the gateway to, and it represents the corner stone of intelligence.
ii.Understanding and comprehension which is the function of the most important area of the entire brain regarding language based intelligence.
iii.Memory the human brain has got a naturaql tendency to store most of the incoming information, especially information that attracts the minds attention to be reused at a future time as an element of intelligence.
iv.With time the human brain will build-up a very wide data base (memories) that represents the backbone of intelligence.
v.The working memory: the frontal lobe has a the ability to keep tracks for many bits of information at the same time and to call for them instantaneously as they are required, which is so essential for the thinking process and elaboration of thoughts.
vi.The thalamus which is responsible for the search of memories and read-out them.
Therefore, from the preceeding discussion it becomes clear that it is not enough to talk about parieto-frontal integrative function, and we must not be little the role of the other araes mentioned formarly.
4-The role of genes in intelligence.
From the aforementioned discussion it quite clear that intelligence is a function of the brain which is unique in all people of all races, meanwhile, all people are equally provided with the intelligence elements.Therefore, all people are potentially intelligent.Now if we consider the human brain as a sophisticated computer, the output of this computer depends entierly on the user, whether a biginer or professional user.Therefore, one can only barly speak of any role of genes in intelligence.
5-Environmental effects on intelligence.
No doubt that the enivironment is considered as another rout of gaining knowledge and information.It represents a media to grow an important element of intelligence "knowledge" so poorly educated environments (depending on the opportunity and economic status mainly)might regress intelligence, whereas highly educated environments will improve intelligence.