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Evolution and IQ Linkfest II

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Why Grit Is More Important Than IQ When You’re Trying To Become Successful (Psychologist Angela Duckworth states that what matter for future life success isn’t IQ, SAT scores, or even graduating from a top college. What matters most for life success is a blend of perseverance and passion that she calls ‘grit’, in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and PerseveranceAccording to Duckworth, grittiness is passion, and being passionate about something will make you successful is persevering in the face of adversity; i.e., something not working out in your favor and you continue to go at it. She thought of two equations: talent x effort=skill, skill x effort=achievement. Talent is how quickly skills improve when effort is invested, whereas achievement occurs when you take the skills you acquired and put them to use. I’ll buy the book and read it and see what else she says.)

How Skill Expertise Shapes the Brain Functional Architecture: An fMRI Study of Visuo-Spatial and Motor Processing in Professional Racing-Car and Naïve Drivers (Brain functional architecture sustaining visuo-motor processing in racecar drivers “undergoes both ‘quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’ modifications that are evident even when the brain is engaged in relatively simple, non-demanding tasks.” Pretty much, get good at something, like really good, and your brain will change in size and mass.)

Acquiring ‘‘the Knowledge’’ of London’s Layout Drives Structural Brain Changes (Specific and enduring structural brain changes in adults “can be induced by biologically relevant behaviors engaging higher cognitive functions such as spatial memory.” Yet more evidence that becoming an ‘expert’ in something leads to substantial brain changes—which are permanent.)

Autism genes conserved during human evolution to make us smarter, say scientists (We were selected to be autistes since it was beneficial in our ancestral past. Autism is also associated with intellectual achievement.)

A model for brain life history evolution (As adult brain mass increases, so does skill, assumming the costs of maintaining brain mass and memories stay constant. This could be a cause for our larger brains. We know that our brains consume 20 ro 25 percent of our daily kcal, so in our evolutionary past, those who couldn’t amass the kcal to power the ever-growing brain would have died. González-Forero says that as we became proficient with tools, then our brain size began to increase. I have cited a few studies saying that over the past month.)

Lessons from Making Brain Soup (Learn about Herculano-Houzel and Lent’s 2005 Isotropic Fractionator—a machine that allows single cells in ‘brain soup’ to be counted as to get an accurate estimate of neurons.)

Numbers of neurons as biological correlates of cognitive capability (Body mass is a poor predictor of neurons, number of brain stem neurons estimates the capacity for processing bodily signals, mass of the cortex is a poor predictor of neuronal amount, the bird pallium packs more neurons than primate cortices of similar mass and finally the number of neurons in the cortex or pallium correlate directly with intelligence. Herculano-Houzel is blazing a new path in the field of neuroscience, with a novel way of looking at the brain showing that our brains are only scaled-up primate brains in terms of its neuronal composition.)

Creative People Have Better-Connected Brains, Scans Reveal (Highly creative people have more connections on the right and left sides of their brains, suggesting that creativity is biological in nature.)

Genetics Play a Role in Social Anxiety Disorder, Study Finds (Like most disorders, genetics plays a role. Whether it’s small or large, more often than not, genetics will always have at least a bit to say.)

Peer-review activists push psychology journals towards open data (An APA editor will not step down for stating that he won’t publish papers in which the authors don’t let their dataset become public. This is a great move. Why publish something that may possibly be garbage?)

We Look Like Our Names: The Manifestation of Name Stereotypes in Facial Appearance. (This is an interesting one, and one I’ve wondered my whole life since people have told me that ‘I don’t physically look’ how my name is. The researchers state that “facial appearance represents social expectations of how a person with a specific name should look.” Social tags influence one’s facial appearance.)

Greater insight into basic biology of pain will reveal non-addictive remedies (We need to better understand pain physiology, drug development and the individual response to pain in order to develop non-addictive drugs.)

Researchers Discover How Animals Measure Annual Time to Reproduce (The pituitary gland mediates when some mammals start reproducing. The length of the day is noticed in most animals by the pineal gland in the brain.

Does Cannabis Use Lower Your IQ? (No it does not. Recent longitudinal studies show that smoking marijuana does not lead to cognitive decline.

Reader’s Corner: Do we really understand animal intelligence? “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?” (We do not understand animal intelligence and we are not smart enough to know how smart animals are. We have an anthropocentric view of evolution, and thusly, we attempt to put our cognitive traits onto other animals when they are adapted for other areas. Herculano-Houzel’s research will begin to detangle this.)

Can Animals Acquire Language? (Evidence says no. However, I’m sure a few readers have heard of Koko the gorilla. She’s able to do sign language and has an estimated IQ of 75 to 95 on the Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale (pg. 99))

Dogs, toddlers show similarities in social intelligence (There is a g factor for dogs. The authors state that the similarities between child and dog intelligence could come down to ‘survival of the friendliest’. I’ll write about this soon.)

How Humans Became Intelligent (Cognitive neuroscientist and philosopher Daniel Dennet sees human consciousness as memetics and genetics. That is, we learn from others and what we are able to learn from others comes down to our genes. I will buy this book as well.)


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