Paul Thompson's Research Publications

Neurobiology of Intelligence: Science and Ethics

Jeremy Gray1 and Paul Thompson2

1Yale University, and
2University of California, Los Angeles

Review Paper, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 5:1-13, June 2004, published online, May 19 2004.

Full Article (.pdf 0.7MB)

Reply to Correspondence Arising from the Publication (.pdf 47KB)


Human mental abilities, such as intelligence, are complex and profoundly important, both in a practical sense and for what they imply about the human condition. Understanding these abilities in mechanistic terms has the potential to facilitate their enhancement. There is strong evidence that the lateral prefrontal cortex supports intelligent behaviour. Variations in intelligence and brain structure are heritable, but are also impacted by factors such as education, and prenatal and family environments. The empirical convergence of cognitive, social, psychometric, genetic, and neuroimaging studies of intelligence is scientifically exciting, but raises important ethical questions. If these are not addressed, further empirical advances might be compromised.

Related Publications

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  • Contact Information

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    Paul Thompson, Ph.D.
    Associate 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.

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