Science Daily reports on a recent study using magnetic imaging found that about 6.7% of variation in individual intelligence can be predicted by the overall size of the brain, another 5% can be predicted by the size of the lateral prefrontal cortex and another 10% can be predicted by the strength of the connection between the left lateral prefrontal cortex and the rest of the brain. From the story:
“This study suggests that part of what it means to be intelligent is having a lateral prefrontal cortex that does its job well; and part of what that means is that it can effectively communicate with the rest of the brain,” says study co-author Todd Braver, PhD, professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and of neuroscience and radiology in the School of Medicine. Braver is a co-director of the Cognitive Control and Psychopathology Lab at Washington University, in which the research was conducted.
One possible explanation of the findings, the research team suggests, is that the lateral prefrontal region is a “flexible hub” that uses its extensive brain-wide connectivity to monitor and influence other brain regions in a goal-directed manner.
(via Ryan Yonck)