Brain Imaging Studies of Intelligence: Do We Finally Know Where Intelligence Is in the Brain?

Richard J. Haier1, Paul M. Thompson2, Vivek Prabhakaran3, Jeremy R. Gray4, Aljoscha Neubauer5, Con Stough6, Rex E. Jung7

1University of California School of Medicine, Irvine
2UCLA School of Medicine
3Johns Hopkins University
4Yale University
5University Graz, Austria
6Swinburne University, Australia
7University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque

Proc. International Society for Intelligence Research (ISIR2003), Haier Symposium, UC Irvine, CA, Dec. 4-6 2003.

Individual differences in intellectual ability and cognitive function are well studied and a genetic component for the general intelligence factor (g) is well established. The neurobiological basis of g has yet to be determined but a number of brain imaging studies have investigated "where" g may be in the brain. This symposium is the first time most of the researchers in this area appear together to present recent findings which support a surprising consistency and clarity of results across different imaging methods and experimental designs. Taken together, the data support the view that g is related to a small number of specific areas distributed throughout the brain and not just in frontal lobes. Dr. Richard Haier will show specific PET and structural MRI correlates of g. Dr. Jeremy Gray will discuss a large sample fMRI study of individual differences in g. Dr. Vivek Prabhakaran will discuss fMRI data collected during a g task. Dr. Paul Thompson will discuss the heritability of regional brain structure and how it correlates with g. Dr. Con Stough will discuss EEG topographic mapping studies of brain areas working during g tasks. Dr. Aljoscha Neubauer will discuss EP mapping studies of high and low g tasks. Dr. Rex Jung will present data on the newest MRI spectroscopy technique and discuss how it can reveal neuro-chemical aspects of g. The debate about the neuroanatomy of g may be near an end and the next generation of imaging studies will begin to address "how" g may work.

Information on other research projects can be found here and here. Contact Information:

Paul Thompson thompson@loni.ucla.edu
Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, UCLA School of Medicine
Phone: 310-206-2101
Fax: 310-206-5518


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    Contact Information

  • Mail:

    Paul Thompson, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    UCLA Lab of Neuro-Imaging and Brain Mapping Division
    Dept. Neurology and Brain Research Institute
    4238 Reed Neurology, UCLA Medical Center
    710 Westwood Plaza
    Westwood, Los Angeles CA 90095-1769, USA.

  • E-mail: thompson@loni.ucla.edu
  • Tel: (310)206-2101
  • Fax: (310)206-5518


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