News / Science & Technology

Motion Filtering Ability Correlated to High IQ

A simple experiment in determining the direction black and white bars drifted in brief video clips proved to be a predictor of IQ.
A simple experiment in determining the direction black and white bars drifted in brief video clips proved to be a predictor of IQ.

Related Articles

Video Telescopes Spot Colliding Galaxies

The galaxies, called HXMM01, are about 11 billion light years from Earth

Study Identifies Risks of Human Spread of H7N9 Bird Flu

Study suggest that international measures to contain the H7N9 influenza, in the event of severe outbreak, will need to be targeted in Asia
VOA News
New research indicates there is a strong link between the brain’s ability to ignore useless information and intelligence.

Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York state say they can predict a person’s intelligence quotient, or IQ, using some simple visual tests.

Test subjects were asked to watch brief video clips of black and white bars moving across a computer screen within three different sized circles. They were asked to identify in which direction the bars drifted.

The exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visually distracting background motions. The study, researchers said, shows that individuals whose brains are better at automatically suppressing background motion perform better on standard measures of intelligence such as a written IQ test, which subjects were also given.

According to the study, subjects with higher IQ scores were able to perceive the direction of movement when observing the smallest image. The findings support previous research that people with higher IQs are able to make perceptual judgments more quickly and have faster reflexes.

However, the higher a person's IQ, the slower they were at detecting movement when presented with the larger images.

"From previous research, we expected that all participants would be worse at detecting the movement of large images, but high IQ individuals were much, much worse," says Michael Melnick, a doctoral candidate in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester.

The key discovery, researchers said, is how closely this natural filtering ability is linked to a person’s IQ score.

Researchers say there was a 64 percent correlation between motion or distraction suppression and IQ scores. Other research exploring the relationship between intelligence and color discrimination, sensitivity to pitch and reaction times only have shown a 20 to 40 percent correlation, scientists said.

"In our first experiment, the effect for motion was so strong," said Duje Tadin, a senior author on the study and an assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. "I really thought this was a fluke."

The test represents the first non-verbal and culturally unbiased way to assess IQ, researchers said.

"Because intelligence is such a broad construct, you can't really track it back to one part of the brain," said Tadin. "But since this task is so simple and so closely linked to IQ, it may give us clues about what makes a brain more efficient, and, consequently, more intelligent."

According to the study, the relationship between IQ and motion suppression points to the fundamental cognitive processes that underlie intelligence. The brain’s ability to filter important information from the bombardment of sensory information is an indication of the brain’s efficiency and therefore intelligence.

"Rapid processing is of little utility unless it is restricted to the most relevant information," the authors conclude.

"We know from prior research which parts of the brain are involved in visual suppression of background motion. This new link to intelligence provides a good target for looking at what is different about the neural processing, what's different about the neurochemistry, what's different about the neurotransmitters of people with different IQs," says Tadin.

The unexpected link between IQ and motion filtering was reported online in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 23.

Here's a sample of the kind of test given:

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
May 27, 2013 6:46 AM
We can see what we want and we are blind to what we do not want.The decision wheter the objects are favorable or not for the subjects is possibly made at a moment by some way like intuition. This is only my two cents that those who are critical to their own tastes may have high IQ at least in the limited field of their own special concern.

by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama Cafe, TKO
May 24, 2013 8:13 PM
There is no correlation between the results of IQ test and the ability of study and work.
Most important thing is "grid" to do something.

By the way, I'm very happy with beautiful girls sitting next to me.

by: bill from: ohio
May 24, 2013 3:26 PM
i went thru the test a few times and it got much easier each time, does that mean my IQ is going up ?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More