Brain Imaging Can Predict How Intelligent You Are, Study Finds

Gerry Everding, Medical Xpress, August 1, 2012

When it comes to intelligence, what factors distinguish the brains of exceptionally smart humans from those of average humans?

As science has long suspected, overall brain size matters somewhat, accounting for about 6.7 percent of individual variation in intelligence. More recent research has pinpointed the brain’s prefrontal cortex, a region just behind the forehead, as a critical hub for high-level mental processing, with activity levels there predicting another 5 percent of variation in individual intelligence.

Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that another 10 percent of individual differences in intelligence can be explained by the strength of neural pathways connecting the left prefrontal cortex to the rest of the brain.

Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the findings establish “global brain connectivity” as a new approach for understanding human intelligence.

“Our research shows that connectivity with a particular part of the prefrontal cortex can predict how intelligent someone is,” suggests lead author Michael W. Cole, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in cognitive neuroscience at Washington University. The study is the first to provide compelling evidence that neural connections between the left prefrontal cortex and the rest of the brain make a unique and powerful contribution to the cognitive processing underlying human intelligence, says Cole, whose research focuses on discovering the cognitive and neural mechanisms that make human behavior uniquely flexible and intelligent.

“This study suggests that part of what it means to be intelligent is having a prefrontal cortex that does its job well; and part of what that means is that it can effectively communicate with the rest of the brain,” says study co-author Todd Braver, PhD, professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and of neuroscience and radiology in the School of Medicine. {snip}


While other regions of the brain make their own special contribution to cognitive processing, it is the left prefrontal cortex that helps coordinate these processes and maintain focus on the task at hand, in much the same way that the conductor of a symphony monitors and tweaks the real-time performance of an orchestra.


Although much remains to be learned about how these neural connections contribute to fluid intelligence, new models of brain function suggested by this research could have important implications for the future understanding — and perhaps augmentation — of human intelligence.


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  • Try correlating this brain imaging data on the inconvenient basis of race (with separate categories
    for black and mixed race), then it’ll be burning torches and pitch forks time.

    With all funding for this research to miraculously disappear,
    after various esteemed experts refute this research as scientific heresy and
    recommend that the researchers be burned as witches.

  • I’ve never agreed with the blanket statements that Asians are more intelligent than Whites. Never. Would you change places with an Asian? I would not. Would they trade places with you?– In a heartbeat.
    Debate over.

    • Ulick

      I have a friend who lives in Thailand.  He’s a white guy married to a Thai woman, and they had twins last year.  He’s a smart guy and we’ve discussed science, history and other matters over e-mail for years.   So he recently told me that he’s ticked because all of his Thai wife’s friends and family keep commenting about how light their children are and how awesome that is.  I think he wanted me to agree that their emphasis on lighter is generally better is ridiculous, but I told him I agreed with those wise Thai people.  He was taken aback.  Put off by my position on skin color, he then made a sarcastic remark that I must then think lowly of black people (standard moral preening).  So I answered honestly, and then he was really taken aback.

  • SoCal LoCal

    The last lines should give us all pause. Augmenting inteeligence is in the offing as an eventuality. Whites should never consider creating supermen out of non-white stock. The results would be super predators out to target us–particularly, but not solely, in the case of blacks.

    • Sherman_McCoy

      A mind is a terrible thing to waste . . .

      . . . on a bantu.

    • I caught that line too–it gave me a real thrill. The good kind, too. The more we know about making the brain better, stronger, faster–that’s the kind of future that makes me hopeful again.

      Supercharging the brains of people with no impulse control is a chilling idea; it makes me think of those movies about tinkering with the brains of sharks

  • Gwynn Ap Nudd

    Some say that psychopathology can also be detected by brain scans. If so, that could be a culture changer. After all, they are 5% of the population and cause immense harm and suffering at all levels. Mandatory screening for public office would be a godsend. It would filer down to popular culture – peole screening potential spouses, job applicants, etc.

    Of course, it could never be implemented until Blacks are dealt with since it also is “racist”….

  • JohnEngelman

    I predict that in the foreseeable future scientists will be able to predict IQ by a tissue sample for DNA testing. That will end the debate on The Bell Curve, but it may intensify efforts to suppress the truth. 

    • dd

      The debate on the Bell Curve will never end.  Liberals will never admit that blacks have lower IQs due to genes regardless the evidence.  The earth is flat.  The earth is flat.    
      The earth is flat.  The earth is flat. (and the earth is at the center of the solar system).
      Took the Catholic church 500 years to change their minds on that one.  

      • Better inform yourself. The CC  never taught that earth was flat. They followed Ptolemy & Eratosthenes.

        • dd

          I meant the part about the earth at the center of the solar system.  Sorry for the confusion.

      • haroldcrews

        I agree with your broader point that liberals will never agree that IQ has a genetic basis or in the implications regarding race and IQ.  This intransigence will cause there to be increasingly fewer liberals on race.   But it is a modern myth that educated people in the Middle Ages thought the Earth is flat.  It began in the mid part of the 19th century.  All even somewhat educated people in Europe knew that the Earth is spherical and even its approximate circumference.  Just a small point but I get tired of people repeating it.

        •  Eratosthenes almost spot on figured the Earth’s circumference.  Early Renaissance-era Europeans knew the world was a sphere, but thought its circumference was about 14,000 miles only.  This is why Columbus sailed westward from Spain, because he thought the distance over sea to India was much shorter than it was, and of course he didn’t know about the huge land mass in between.

          • The__Bobster

            That and the fact that he served as a cartographer and misinterpreted a Viking map he came across.

        • whiteuncleruckus

          im not an expert on the middle ages but they could have seen that the moon and the sun are round. im sure they could have reasonablly deduced that the earth is also round. also if the earth was flat you could see from one end to the other. obviously since you cant, it probably occured to them the earth isnt flat.

      • whiteuncleruckus

        people who present evidence even suggesting blacks may have lower IQs are immediatley called racists, as if that is some sort of persuasive agruement. Just like the round earth/sun centered people were called witches.

      • JohnEngelman

        As time goes on liberals will have a more difficult time suppressing the truth. 

  • Church_of_Jed

    This is not good news for us.

    Science can prove all the Race Reality you want, and the Social Justice Progressives will still use the evidence at “more shocking proof of just how harmful slavery, segregation, and discrimination really were and prove that we must to more to fight against White privilege and for TOTAL EQUALITY to help overcome the shameful and racist legacy that stunted our brains.”

    Diversity always wins, no matter what “evidence” you have, because your evidence is their “proof” that you owe more and more and more and more and “Affirmative Action will never end!”

    • haroldcrews

      Since it will undermine the dogma of racial egalitarianism how is it not good news for us?  Sure it won’t convince everyone but more evidence of race difference are more people convinced.  It makes us stronger and them weaker.

      • Church_of_Jed

        Because we’ll be blamed for the differences, because we all started out Equal, then the evil White man enslaved their noble, dignified, black brothers, and forced slower evolution upon them through slavery and Jim Crow torture.

        Anything science proves that lowers the blacks in the annals of science will boomerang back on us as our fault.

    • The Worlds Scapegoat

       What about the tax slavery against whites?

      Has it effected us?

      I want reparations.

      • LaSantaHermandad

        I’m still waiting for reparations from Hungary for all the raping and murder of my Italian ancestors by Attila and his hordes.
        I found a self-hating lawyer in Budapest who’s willing to take my case. He’s Hungary’s answer to Ron Kooby.

        • whiteuncleruckus

          holy crap you just remined me of something. ron kuby and his friend william kuntsler are two of the worst race traitors if ever seen. they are in the tim wise category of traitors.

  • I believe that such scans will be possible in near future. But- for religious or spiritual people, they don’t mean much. For them, human essential self is immaterial & immortal (for Greeks- Nous or Inner Man/eso anthropos or Daimon; for Christians like Eckhart- Imago Dei or Inner Mans or scintilla animae or spark; for Hindus- Atman; for Chinese- Original nature/Hsien or Heaven; for Islamic Sufis- Ruh or spirit; for Jewish Kabbalists- Neshamah; for Buddhists- Buddha nature or Buddhata; ..). So – I don’t think that religious people will be much disturbed even if scans or genetic testing give unanimous rsults re IQ.

    What’s IQ compared to one’s immortal soul ?

    • Vil

      What’s IQ compared to a someone’s personality? Compared to how they deal with other humans?
      A person’s integrity is far more important. At least that’s my opinion.

      • Of course, this is for our life here. In mature Greek context, it’s psyche (soul), which possesses immortal divine part nous (intellect) or pneuma (spirit). Cf. Socrates, Plato etc.- not Aristotle, who didn’t believe in personal immortality.

        In Christian narrative, you got soul (anima), consisting of vegetative, animal and human parts. Highest, human part, has two poles of intellect: rational and supra-rational/divine.

        In both cases personality is a volitional, emotional, ethical…crystallization of soul. I’ve found the best spiritual psychology in Assagioli:

        Of course, materialists may dump that as simply a fraud.

    • Kurt Plummer

      Create a society designed around 125 IQ baselines and the _entire experience_ of life will be radically different than the institutionalized daycare that an average 85-90 IQ civilization enjoys.

      If your soul comes to earth to get it’s fill of what life is about, don’t you want it to be about -something- that has meaning to our way of perceiving existence?

      Isn’t that the way that our people became what they were?  Diversity doesn’t help the white ‘sensation seeking’ adventurism which drives creativity as the expression of freedom.  Becaues it makes us care givers to those whose horizons are very narrow.

      • It’s not about creation of societies, but work with the given “material”.  The point is: even if it were proven that populations or individuals lag behind others’ in IQ, it won’t-if they’re religious- be a depressing news to them. Because they believe that God/gods have made this on purpose, so there is no point in despairing over divine providence (which is, by default, good).

        That’s the answer to those who claim that lower IQ people would be deeply frustrated if science discovers they’re doomed to second-hand status due to their cognitive (dis)ability. Not necessarily so for religious people. Because, for them, it’s “heart” that ultimately matters & this, physical life in 4-dimensional universe is just a part of the greater story.

  • ABM

    Markedly higher than Europeans? Complete BS. More like 2-5 points higher IQ. How come almost 90% of the world’s geniuses have been whites with some Jews?

  • The Worlds Scapegoat

     Several years ago a jewish University in Israel released their finding that penis size is inversely proportional to intelligence.  Their study claimed that the smaller your penis the more intelligent you were. They claimed that jews were the smartest, then Asians, then Whites, then Middle Eastern people, then Mexicans, and blacks were the dumbest. I think the jews just wanted and excuse for having a small penis.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    Science be rayciss!


      Facts iz rayciss!

  • It’s at the heart of IQ wars: what’s IQ ? IMO, a significant, but not the determining factor of one’s life. It seems that there is a tendency to equate high IQ with great creative genius. We all know this is not true- no Alexander, Caesar, Archimedes, Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Shakespeare, Newton, Gauss, Euler, Maxwell, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Dostoevsky, Darwin, Tolstoy, Einstein, Proust …among Asians.

    So, IQ is a very good stuff, but a bit overrated.

    • David Ashton

      Of course high IQ is not the same “thing” as “creative genius”, but the great western achievers you rightly list here were probably above average on the IQ scale!
      I remain sceptical about how population-representative are the Mongolid IQ samples cited by Lynn and Rushton.  Of course, it helps to deter the robotic “you Nazis” reaction if we say the Chinese are “cleverer” than Europeans (possible) and the Jews (Ashkenazim, at any rate) are “cleverer” than “Aryans” (almost certain).

  • IstvanIN

     Why should my race be eradicated because Orientals might be smarter?  Please explain.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    I don’t know if you would call the librettists of musical productions and lyricists of popular music poets or not, but Hammerstein and Billy Joel are two of my phrase-turning heroes.

  • “Perhaps you will elaborate somewhat?”

    Why, I would be delighted to elaborate. We Whites went to the moon. The Aztecs, upon seeing our White ancestors long ago–mistook them for gods. Sure, an asian can pick up a violin and play European classical music in a technically perfect way, but so what? And jews??? You’re going to bring up the superior intellect of jews???? With a straight face my brother? What are they superior at? Ponzi schemes? Have you noticed that whenever one of the chosen people make it in this country, they change their names? Oh, John Stewart, that plucky Irishman! They envy us. The whole world envies us. Our intelligence is not like theirs. We are a creative and noble people. We are unique. Our genes are the Earth’s greatest natural resource and only hope for a better future. Henry Ford, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Lindbergh, Neil Armstrong, George Washington, Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and on and on and on– those are the names history remembers. Not Quac Pham or Shlomo Hymen.
    They mistook us for gods, and we mistook them for animals. Such is life.

    • .

      I would suggest you make your points without denigrating others. It doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong. What matters is that being obnoxious is counter-productive. If you catch my drift.

      As for Jews, they’re white whether you like them or not. And many are very bright.

      • Have you ever heard the phrase, “brown pride?” Mexicans use that from time to time, and I always scratch my head. “Proud of what, exactly?” I want to reply. They reproduce effectively, are they proud of that? Bacterium do that. Have you ever heard of a jewish supremicist? I never have. Jewish intelligence is more like craftiness and slyness in my opinion based upon observation. Asian intelligence is robotic, and lifeless. Imagine a world populated only by asians- would you want to live there? A mexican world? A black world wouldn’t even last a century. We are the civilization builders- builders of the civilzations that matter. We are the dreamers. We make life worth living, we make life exciting. We do three impossible things before breakfast, that is, when we are left to ourselves. But we aren’t left to ourselves, are we? We can’t even gather together into groups. Whenever 2 or more of us are in a room, we are in danger of being infected by leeches, or worse-arrested as being a hate group.
         White supremacy: There is a reason you can get fired for mentioning those words together. There is a reason why those words, together are forbidden. They happen to be true. We actually ARE supreme on this Earth. That’s Earth’s dirty little secret. It’s not my opinion, it just happens to be the verdict of history.

        • No, you underestimate Jews (or people of Jewish ancestry). It’s a complex issue & cannot be addressed just like that.

          1. many creative people Jews claim are not actually Jewish. Do you consider Chester Nimitz a German admiral ?

          2. Jews have adopted Platonic notion of betterment through learning (it’s not a Jewish idea). So, from ca. 1 century A.D. they have set much store by learning (their religious writings etc.), rather than waging war (with one exception in 2. cent.). In this case they’re similar to the Chinese & Confucian system.

          3. testament to their mental hard work is Talmud (a Jerusalem version), which has 20,000 pages in English translation. This is ca. 20 Bibles. Most of the Talmud is boring & obsolete (on astrology and agriculture; also, fables about Jewish religion). But- for 3 centuries Jewish best minds did their best to compose a mammoth commentary. While not creative, it’s good for sharpening the wit & memory.

          4. Jewish true, modern creativity begins with the end of 18th century in Germany. But- it is a German creativity which assimilated Jews adopted & relished in, not vice versa. They were creative in many areas since they didn’t waste energies on military exploits & imperial designs.

          So- it’s unrealistic both to “adore” them and disparage them. There are some short good books on them I’d recommend, especially by Werner Keller and John Raynor & David Goldberg (see amazon). Paul Johnson’s is available in pdf, but it’s too uncritical.

    • You will note that Facebook was  invented by us and solen by the jooze.

  • whiteuncleruckus

    sorry to jump in here but we nuked them, im sure everyone here remembers that. debate over. oh yeah, we also invented the light bulb, the automobile, airplanes, and walked on the moon.

  • Sloppo

    Hmmm.  For some reason I no longer feel self conscious about the fact that it’s usually hard for me to find a hat that is big enough.  I’m even okay with it if some of my children have that problem.

  • BC1959

    I’m not convinced that actual size is important. Many people have larger heads than others, but the intellectual capacity is immeasurable in every day life. It is in fact, all about what you are personally interested in, ie: science, inventing, writing, reading and mathematical computation etc,  and that is why on average, the Europeans/Caucasian origin peoples, have always been adventurous, and inventive from scratch.

    Asians and others, including the oft mentioned Jewish intellectuals etc, are supposedly intellectually advanced compared to Euro/Causasian types, especially whilst in the learning phase of education. However, none of the above have actually created much from scratch, and when they have, it has always been local to their own geographical regions.

    The artistic, architectural, scientific, medical and general creativity of Europeans, has never been equalled. Thus, the suppression of our existence in terms of tens of thousands of years on earth extra that is now becoming known, is rampant.

    BC1959. (England) 

  • .

  • You don’t understand. For average religious people, faith in personal immortality is crucial. It gives them profound strength in adversities- for instance in Gulag concentration camps or in personal tragedies like loss of dearest ones.
    IQ is great about possible achievement in ordinary life, but when confronted with profound life crisis- it’s irrelevant. Gauss wept like a child in his late 70s, incessantly asking his Christian old friend & schoolmate: “Tell me how to believe, I don’t know how and I’m desperate.”
    Also, I won’t write on cases when people are so exhausted by life itself so death comes as a relief, never mind what comes next.

  • Don’t forget that most European nations have been, ‘Diversified’ and that is lowering the IQ.

  • Kurt Plummer

    The important thing stated here is this-

    But it is true that Asian accomplishments don’t shine as brightly, and have not steered and defined the course of history, to the extent as Western accomplishments have…

    And it should really be broken up into two separate categories of ‘now that we have the tools, anybody can do it’ and ‘what have you done for us lately?’

    Where whites are being cheated lies in the realm of competition.  What is being done to us is similar to what was advocated for Nazi Germany by the Russians and certain among the U.S. top State Department experts: the plowing under of all advanced capabilities as first industry and now R&D is sold off to external sources.

    There is no excuse for this.  Because whatever we sell off as soft capital (again, like Germany with the Aktion Feurland shifting of patents, processes and personnel as well as liquidated cash, overseas) will NOT come back to us when finally, the debt is so large that there is nothign left to offer.

    In this, we _really_ need to look  at  the ulterior motives  of men like Greenspan who is most assuredly ‘not Asian’ in asserting that the U.S. had an excess of overpaid engineers and we should really consider the costs of doing business rather than _the price_ of maintaining a national, industrial, leadership position.

    • Joe Schmoe

      What would you think of a future where all children are artificially born with high IQs and raised in a Western culture? A world where people can actually choose their looks as well. What becomes of race? A non-issue?

  • Kurt Plummer

    Watched a show about recreating Dinosaurs on Discovery Channel awhile back and scientists were -amazed- at how readily discernable were the specific areas of a chicken genome related to specific morphological features.  It was, for instance, possible to turn back on a gene and grow a bird with a tail and teeth.  Simply by knowing where on the total genome to start looking.

    With that as a given (everything in the same kingdom or at least class shares about 50% of it’s DNA and it’s all building-block common enough to be decipherable at a morphological level) the question becomes:  “Okay, we know where the -physical area- of the brain is that is associated with high impact effects on IQ.  Let’s start playing with gene splicing until we can create a tissue base which replicates that area.

    This knowledge in turn brought to mind another segment of that show or a similar one on genetic engineering where early efforts to grow human like organs using animal hosts (Human ears under the dorsal skin of mice backs) were being rapidly replaced with more advanced techniques to grow more complex organs using gelatin based molds which layered the tissues and then melted away like a lost-wax type casting, letting them suffuse and grow together, properly.  Bypassing some of the worst on/off and recombinancy factors of developmental growth.

    You bring these two things together and what do you have?  The ability to grow entire sections of nominally dead and thus violating no laws tissue from people who have MENSA type high IQs until you break down and correlate the specific gene sequence variants associated with these high IQ relevance brain areas.  Using nothing more than a blood sample.

    NOW, from the gross morphological construct, you look at the specific alleles and work out which haplotypes are more statistically associatable with the tissue types that lead to high aptitudes in certain areas.

    i.e.  You can use a hunt and peck method of direct replication without having to know what the exact developmental synthesis of genomic chemistry is about.  And without creating huge numbers of clones whose early variaitons make some genius’ and some retarded, and cause many more to simply die, in-vitro.

    This is genetics on the quick hop without real understanding but it could very well work because you have the ‘proof’ of success measurable through imaging and pyschometrics battery testing of an elite group of sample subjects.

    Such as China is also now doing by specifically associating high grade genius’ among their schoolchildren populations.

  • Buster

    I have met many ignorant, dirty, worthless whites in my life (I am white)

    But in the World of reality Whites are The Dreamers, Doers, and Creative Race.
    Asians for the most part are decent people, yes most have an undeserved Superiority Complex but they don’t destroy what others have built. They have higher IQs because their culture develops very focused individuals. For the most part they are not the dreamers and inventors but they fill a very important space in society.
    Mexicans that I know are decent hard working people, do they belong here illegally NO
    and a bad Mexican is a very high risk person to deal with.
    blacks on the other hand seem to do little than infiltrate and destroy the works of others. be it malls, neighborhoods, schools and on and on. Their respect of improvement is approximately ZERO.
    Their war cry seems to be WE NEEDS HEP but never lifting a finger to HEP themselves. Would the country be lost to madness if blacks could eliminate white sure it would look at Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, these are prime examples of what they are truly capable of. Without the whiteman America would be just like Kenya and that’s pretty sad.
    Who can name one thing these people have done of value (VERIFIABLE) No One that’s who. 

  • This cannot be answered in a brief comment. Suffice to say that most people in the Western world are atheists & agnostics, and are perfectly satisfied with their lot (virtually all my closest kin). It’s like Pindar’s ode: “My soul, do not after things immortal strive, but the field of the possible exhaust/devote to.”.

    So far, so good.

    But, others- and I’m not talking about conventional religions- are thirsty for infinity. Socrates: “The only true goal of life is to become Godlike.”; Plato: “If there is not the One, there is nothing.”; Hegel: “Man can respect himself only if transcendent Being exists.”; Nietzsche: “But all joy wills Eternity- Wills deep, deep Eternity.”

    I’m not advocating quietism & or passivity. Just- IMO- these troubles with IQ, black rampage, various  political deceptions… are something higher than a collocation of random events. They point to a spiritual crisis, in a Hegelian sense, and can be fought effectively only with combination of scientific & organizational effort and faith in one’s transcendent destiny.

    Social Darwinism is too weak a motivation; as for children and grandchildren-in next 500 years they won’t matter. It’s spiritual vacuum in most of White race that must be fought- Alexander wouldn’t have achieved so much if he hadn’t believed in Homer’s Achilles; Henry the Navigator – in Christ.

  • Pale Rider

    Alex, your ‘ advice to Americans ‘ could not be more insightful. 

    Just imagine what good old white Americans could accomplish if they focused as much attention on politics as they do on sports.

    The leftist media in this once great country, aided and abetted by the usual suspects in academia and government, is now attempting to ‘erase’ the white culture and replace it with so-called multiculturalism.

     I call these people ‘ erasists’, and would encourage others to use this word as well.