Biological Model for Intelligence Revealed


September 11, 2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Researchers at the Mind Institute/Mind Research Network (MRN) in Albuquerque, NM, and the University of California at Irvine have devised a testable model of human intelligence comprised of specific gray-matter processing centers and white-matter connections.

In a paper published in the current issue ofBehavioral & Brain Sciences, the Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory, or P-FIT, asserts that there is striking consensus, from some 37 existing neuroimaging studies, outlining a distributed network within the brain that underlies intelligence.

This distributed network integrates specific areas in the brain – including the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes – that “inform” human intelligence. The “intelligence network” remained consistent throughout the array of studies under review, which assessed brain structure, neurochemistry, white matter microstructure and/or functional activations.

“This is the first testable, physical model of where in the human brain intelligence resides, and what neural factors might result in improved cognitive performance,” says Mind Research Network Investigator and UNM Assistant Professor of Neurology and Psychology, Dr. Rex Jung, lead author of the paper. “Intelligence is not located in one place in the brain, nor is it everywhere in the brain. It spans a very discreet but identifiable network.”

Jung and co-author Dr. Richard Haier, Professor of Psychology at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine, have a combined 30 years of research experience on human intelligence. Haier alone has been studying the brain as it relates to intelligence and higher cognitive functioning for more than 20 years.

Citing dozens of previous intelligence research papers and rich neuroimaging data that include Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (sMRI), Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), the investigators conclude that there is significant consistency in brain structure and function related to human intelligence.

“We believe that the P-FIT Theory will be an important, testable model designed to advance the study of human intelligence,” Jung adds. “On the other side of the ‘intelligence coin’ is research designed to address the broad cognitive problems associated with diseases such as schizophrenia and dementia. Understanding the biological manifestations of ‘normal’ intelligence provides a basis for better understanding, and perhaps treating, the cognitive manifestations of a wide range of neurological and psychiatric brain disorders.”

The Mind Institute/Mind Research Network is a core of preeminent neuroscience researchers from the U.S. and abroad advancing today’s diagnoses and tomorrow’s treatments for mental illness. The MRN houses fixed and mobile MRI capabilities, as well as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) technologies, making it one of the most sophisticated imaging centers in the world.

For more information on the Mind Institute/Mind Research Network,

Related Stories

NAMI New Mexico Annual 5k Walk

NAMI New Mexico Annual 5k Walk

The Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is gearing up to sup­port the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) through its annual 5k walk on Saturday, May 11 at Balloon Fiesta Field. In years past, SRMC staff, their friends and family have come together to raise money and awareness to help aid in the fight to overcome the obstacles of mental illness.
Center for Healthcare Equity in Kidney Disease Kickoff Event

Center for Healthcare Equity in Kidney Disease Kickoff Event

On Thursday, April 25 CHEK-D will hold a recognition and kickoff event, with a talk and presentation by Dr. Richard Larson, Vice Chancellor for Research, and Dr. Larissa Myaskovsky, CHEK-D Director, from 9 – 10 a.m. in Domenici North Wing room 2710.
UNM Distinguished Diversity Scholar Luncheon and Talk

UNM Distinguished Diversity Scholar Luncheon and Talk

UNM HSC is honored to continue our partnership with Professor Alford. We would like to invite everyone to join us as she presents the UNM Distinguished Diversity Scholar luncheon talk: Enhancing Wellness By Honoring Our Humanity on Friday, April 26.