Human intelligence is not only difficult to measure, it is even difficult to define. Most researchers will tell you that our mind is a combination of our knowledge, skills and abilities to understand and reason, and they will also point out that our cognitive skills are accumulated throughout life, and not given in a certain amount at birth. However, the basis of our intelligence is still a combination of several factors. For example, is it natural for you to be as smart as your parents? Genetics is certainly an important aspect, but still it is only part of the whole. Other factors, such as what we eat, where we live, can also affect our intelligence.
How strongly does our intelligence depend on genes? For over a century, researchers have studied how our genetic heritage affects intelligence. As a result, they concluded that our genes have an impact on intelligence and IQ, with the percentage of influence ranging from 40 to 80 percent.
In addition, the structure of our brain and its functionality (both biological factors) contribute to the level of human intelligence. Using images of the brain, neurophysiologists have identified differences in its structure, in particular in the parieto-frontal lobes, which, as it turned out, positively or negatively (depending on the brain) affect human intelligence. Well-functioning frontal lobes contribute to better brain function, it processes information better and works more efficiently, all of which indicate a higher IQ level in a person.
4. Nutrition in the first years of life
As it turns out, you are actually what you eat, as well as what your mom ate during her pregnancy. Prenatal nutrition and nutrition in the first years of life are associated with the development of the brain structure, with human behavior and, of course, with his intellect. The more nutrients in food (this is especially important for men) in the first weeks of a person's life, the larger the size of the brain sail, the part of our brain that is responsible for learning and memory. The effect also extends to children whose prenatal diet was high in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid. When the diet of pregnant and lactating women is full of precisely this type of fatty acids, it was noticed that their children were significantly ahead of their peers in development at the age of 4-7 years.
How much nurture and nature affect human intelligence is a long-studied and debated topic. The term “nature” refers to how genetics and inheritance affect intelligence, while “nurture” describes how certain environmental factors influence it. These factors include everything from the parenting style of our family and the home environment, to the level of education and life experience.
Researchers have often studied twins who were separated at birth in order to understand the further role nature and nurture played in the development of human intelligence. They suggest that if intelligence is a purely biological concept, then twins should have an equal IQ level at birth, however, this is not always the case. While you may be genetically predisposed to be of average intelligence from birth, a quality education and life experience can enable you to transform your average IQ into a great brain throughout your life.
2. Birth order
This issue has been studied for over a hundred years, but experts have not come to an unambiguous conclusion. For many years, it was believed that firstborns and older children were much smarter than their younger siblings. Moreover, it should be noted that in most cases it is the first-borns who become cosmonauts, presidents and Nobel laureates. Why? Families with one child may have more time and financial resources to adequately raise their offspring. Recent studies, however, have shown that birth order does not mean that a child will be intellectually developed; birth order can only determine its potential for learning, understanding and reasoning, and as a result, determine IQ, that is, IQ. On average, on tests of intelligence, a firstborn scored three points higher than his younger siblings.
We can be genetically predisposed to a certain size of the brain, its structure, etc., that is, to a certain level of intelligence, which is biologically destined for us, but how much we will correspond to these inclinations depends only on us. The lifestyle we lead also has an impact on intelligence. Environmental factors such as diet, toxins that attack us both in the womb and throughout our life, and even the neighborhood we walk in all affect how strongly genes manifest themselves in our lives.
Cigarette smoke can be used as an example. Its effect on a child both in utero and during smoking in adulthood has an undeniable effect on the IQ, which becomes 7 points lower for this reason alone, compared to the results of those people who do not smoke and have not experienced anything like it. while in the womb. That is, these environmental factors affect our level of intelligence throughout our life.