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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora