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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid