Neurophysiologists have found an answer to the question of why people differ in intelligence and intelligence.
Scientists have been trying for a long time to assess the intelligence of people by the structure of their brains. At first it was thought that the main anatomical factor was the size of the brain. The difference in brain volume actually explains the difference in mental development, but only in 6, 7% of cases. The researchers then focused their attention on the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in all higher cognitive operations. The different activity of the prefrontal cortex in different people explains another 5% of the differences in intelligence.
Experts from the University of Washington managed to find the reason for another 10% of the differences in mental abilities - this is the number of connections between the left part of the prefrontal cortex and the rest of the brain. The researchers made such conclusions on the basis of an experiment based, of course, on fMRI. Scientists have scanned the brains of people while resting or performing some difficult task. The task assigned to the participants in the experiment required from them a high degree of concentration, memorization and response to the stimulus. For example, at one of the stages of the experiment, the volunteers had to notice in the stream of images the similarity of the picture with another, which was shown to them three earlier.
The researchers found that the cognitive abilities of the participants in the experiment and the success of the task were directly dependent on the number of connections between the left prefrontal cerebral cortex and other areas of the brain. Scientists explain that this area of the brain plays the role of a general coordinator: it remembers the task and distributes all its stages and parts to specialized brain structures. The same area controls the quality of performance by individual regions of the brain for the work assigned to them.
Researchers compare the left prefrontal cortex to a construction foreman or orchestra conductor: the better communication between it and the rest of the brain, the more mobile thinking and, therefore, cognitive abilities a person has. A person's mental development can be assessed using fMRI images of these connections.
However, it should be noted that this reason explains only 10% of the differences in cognitive abilities of people. The rest of the percentages still remain unexplained, so that even having lost these percentages, a person may be able to improve their abilities at the expense of other neural scientists as yet unknown.