Network neuroscience theory – the best predictor of intelligence

human brain networks

Intelligence is the flexibility to accumulate, perceive and apply data and expertise so as to adapt to new conditions and clear up issues. It’s a complicated trait that’s influenced by each genetic and environmental components and may present itself in quite a lot of methods, equivalent to in reasoning, problem-solving, creativity and studying.

Researchers have been working for a few years to grasp the connection between mind construction, practical connectivity, and intelligence. A latest examine supplies essentially the most complete understanding but of how completely different areas of the mind and neural networks contribute to an individual’s capability to unravel issues in quite a lot of contexts, a trait generally known as normal intelligence.

The researchers just lately printed their findings within the journal Mapping the human mind.

The analysis was led by Aaron Barbie, professor of psychology, bioengineering, and neuroscience on the College of Michigan College of Illinois Urbana-Champaignand first writer Evan Anderson, a researcher at Ball Aerospace and Applied sciences Corp. who works on the Air Drive Analysis Laboratory, used “neural network-based predictive modeling” expertise to guage 5 theories about how the mind drives intelligence.

Aaron Barbie

College professor Aaron Barbey, pictured, and co-author Evan Anderson, discovered that taking into consideration options of your complete mind — relatively than specializing in particular person areas or networks — permits for essentially the most correct predictions of intelligence. Credit score: Fred Zwicky

“To know the exceptional cognitive skills that underlie intelligence, neuroscientists look to their organic underpinnings within the mind,” Barbie stated. “Latest theories try to clarify how our capability to unravel issues is enabled by the construction of knowledge processing within the mind.”

Evan Anderson

Lead examine writer Evan Anderson. credit score: l. Brian Stauffer

Anderson stated {that a} organic understanding of those cognitive skills requires “a characterization of how particular person variations in intelligence and problem-solving capability relate to the underlying construction and neural mechanisms of mind networks.”

Traditionally, theories of intelligence have targeted on native mind areas such because the prefrontal cortex, which performs a key function in cognitive processes equivalent to planning, problem-solving, and decision-making. Latest theories emphasize particular mind networks, whereas others study how completely different networks overlap and work together with each other, Barbie stated. He and Anderson check these well-established theories in opposition to their very own “community neuroscience principle,” which posits that intelligence arises from the worldwide construction of the mind, together with its sturdy and weak connections.

“Sturdy connections contain extremely information-processing hubs which are created as we be taught in regards to the world and change into adept at fixing acquainted issues,” Anderson stated. “Weak connections have fewer neural connections however permit for flexibility and flexibility in problem-solving.” Collectively, these connections present “the mandatory community structure to unravel the varied issues we face in life.”

To check their concepts, the workforce recruited a demographically numerous group of 297 undergraduate college students and first requested every participant to endure a complete set of checks designed to measure problem-solving expertise and flexibility in numerous contexts. Barbie stated that these numerous related checks are routinely used to measure normal intelligence.

The researchers then mixed resting-state fMRI scans for every participant.

“One of many actually attention-grabbing traits of the human mind is the way it embodies a wealthy constellation of energetic networks even once we are at relaxation,” Barbie stated. “These networks create the organic infrastructure of the thoughts and are considered intrinsic properties of the mind.”

These embrace the fronto-parietal community, which allows cognitive management and goal-directed decision-making; the dorsal consideration community which aids in visible and spatial consciousness; and the salient community, which directs consideration to essentially the most related stimuli. Barbie stated earlier research have proven that the exercise of those and different networks when an individual is awake however not engaged in a activity or taking note of exterior occasions “reliably predicts our cognitive expertise and skills.”

By means of cognitive checks and fMRI knowledge, the researchers had been in a position to consider which theories finest predicted how individuals would carry out on intelligence checks.

“We are able to examine systematically how nicely a principle predicts normal intelligence based mostly on the connectivity of mind areas or networks that the speculation entails,” Anderson stated. “This method allowed us to instantly evaluate the proof for the neuroscience predictions made by present theories.”

The researchers discovered that taking into consideration the options of the entire mind produces essentially the most correct predictions of an individual’s capability to unravel issues and their capability to adapt. This was true even when calculating the variety of mind areas included within the evaluation.

Different theories had been additionally predictive of intelligence, the researchers stated, however the community neuroscience principle outperformed that restricted to native mind areas or networks in quite a lot of respects.

Barbie stated the findings reveal that “world info processing” within the mind is central to how a person overcomes cognitive challenges.

“Quite than arising from a selected area or community, intelligence seems to emerge from the worldwide structure of the mind and displays the effectivity and adaptability of community perform on the system stage,” he stated.

Reference: “Investigating Cognitive Neuroscience Theories of Human Intelligence: A Neural Community-Based mostly Predictive Modeling Strategy” by Evan D. Anderson and Aaron Okay. Barbie, Dec. 20, 2022, Accessible right here. Mapping the human mind.
DOI: 10.1002/hour per minute 26,164

The examine was funded by the Workplace of the Director of Nationwide Intelligence, the Intelligence Superior Analysis Initiatives Exercise, and the Division of Protection, the Protection Superior Analysis Initiatives Exercise.

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