Table of Contents
For years, scientists have tried to answer why the intelligence and memory vary between different people. Delving into the mysterious realms of the human brain, scientists have always tried to unearth the peculiar association between various brain areas and the cognitive human traits like memory and intelligence. However, the scientists have been unable to integrate the structure and functions of human brain in a single study. The questions like why are some people more intelligent than other people, why do some people have more profound memories as compared to others, why does the intelligence quotient fluctuate between individual of comparable age, educational status and gender etc. have frequently gone unanswered.
Recently, a research team led by Aron K. Barbey, professor of neuroscience at the University of Illinois and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology affiliate, did an in-depth study of the structure of human brain in 190 test subjects. They measured the size and shape of the whole of the human brain including individual nerve fiber bundles, white matter tracts, brain volume, thickness of the cortex, flow of blood through the vessels supplying the brain etc. using multiple cognitive tests and neuroanatomical variables.
They also examined the cognitive characters like working memory and executive functions like planning, and organizational skills, simultaneously. They put the associated factors into four different categories using a statistical method called hierarchical independent component analysis (hICA). These four traits were established as the determinants of the differences in brain structure. These differences were said to be influenced by various features like size, shape and even the age. They also studied the brain dissimilarities that were unexplained by the four traits.
When studied together, the researchers were able to establish a particular pattern between the brain anatomy and the cognitive traits. This association has opened new doors in cognitive neuroscience. Each brain, the study says, has its individual “personality” and this personality affects not only the brain anatomy but also the level of intelligence, memory and other cognitive functions.
The study has helped identify the factors that influence the cognitive distinctiveness between individuals. The researchers were also able to determine the main brain area that is imperative for human intelligence as the fronto-parietal cortex. The brain was, therefore, described by the researchers to have distinct “faces” which lead to the cognitive-anatomical variation in healthy young adults.These traits are the determinants of the degree of intelligence and memory of a person.
These 4 distinct brain phenotypes or “personalities” determine the differences in the mental capabilities of different individuals, especially intelligence and memory. They determine how smart you are, how well you are able to retain and recall stuff, how outgoing you are, how much mental strength and integrity you possess, whether you have an anxious personality etc. This study has proved to be a major breakthrough in the field of cognitive neuroscience and has paved the way for further research. The day is not far when scientists will be able to unravel all the secrets of the human mind.