March 29, 2006
— Ace ...if you can believe that.
The thickness of the cortex the outer layer of the brain that controls high-level functions such as memory started off thinner than that of the other groups, but rapidly gained depth until it was thicker than normal during the early teens. All three groups converged, with the children having cortexes of roughly equal thickness by age 19. The strongest effect was seen in the prefrontal cortex, which controls planning and reasoning.
Let me see if I have this straight: The part of the brain most closely associated with higher-level functions is -- let me read this again, it's all too astounding -- thicker in those with higher IQ's.
"My first impression was 'wow, this is amazing," says Jeremy Gray, a psychologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Are only the stupid studying intelligence?
Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought it's been known for years that the thickness and number of "folds" in the cortex (folds give you more surface area, and thus more cotex tisssue) were greater in the intelligent.
Posted by: Russell Wardlow at March 29, 2006 12:26 PM (T9evn)
"Check out the big brain on Brett!",
he should have said,
"Check out the thickness of the cortex on Brett!"
Now Pulp Fiction makes a lot more sense.
Posted by: Jay at March 29, 2006 12:37 PM (N1TpN)
Posted by: kjones at March 29, 2006 01:25 PM (jt654)
Posted by: Perfesser at March 29, 2006 01:38 PM (UrASZ)
Posted by: Perfesser at March 29, 2006 01:40 PM (UrASZ)
Because if it did, then it would not be possible for all people to be equal, and of course that's the goal of all right-thinking (i.e. left-thinking) people.
If you accept that there might be physical differences that correlate to intelligence, then you might have to begin to consider the possibility that those things could in part be a function of genes rather than of the kind and amount of social spending that the patriarchy can be forced into.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 29, 2006 01:46 PM (+rSRq)
The point of the article is not the absolute thickness of the cortex tissue but the change in thickness over time. The brainy group had thinner layers to begin with, then thicker in early teen, then same after 19.
So your post saying " The part of the brain most closely associated with higher-level functions is -- let me read this again, it's all too astounding -- thicker in those with higher IQ's." is a misinterpretation of the results. The tickness is actually less when younger, then the same when older. It's only thicker in early teen years (which may account for the impenetrability of a sophmores brain, lol!)
Also, the article notes that the brainy group was determined from initial IQ tests. In never actually says that those that were originally brainy continued to be brainy (although that is implied)
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 29, 2006 01:46 PM (Lpswv)
Posted by: Purple Avenger at March 29, 2006 02:10 PM (WjdPM)
1) Nature vs Nature arguments do NOT claim that intelligence is soley the product of environment. There are disputes over how much a part genetics vs environment play. Unfortunately resolving these arguments with test data is problematic, because doing extreme testing on humans is moral questionable.
2) Left thinking people believe in science AND moral responsibility.
3) It's not that genetically inheritable intelligence isn't acceptable, it's that acting (in public policy) as if high intelligence is inheritable could lead to morally questionable "ubermenschen" policies. For example, public higher schooling for "test in only" smart kids , so we don't waste tax dollars on the underperformers, systemically relegates the underperformer to a unskilled (lower wage) job. That's not very fair, when those with a slightly higher income can afford tutors or test prep help. You'd create an class stratified society, with blue collar kids staying blue collar ad infinitum, pretty quickly this way.
I'll not comment on the racist connotations, but this debate is infinitely more complex (both in data collection/analysis and moral/philisophical implications) than your brief synopsis indicates. Try talking with an ethicist about your theory and see where you get, eh?
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 29, 2006 02:13 PM (Lpswv)
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 29, 2006 02:18 PM (Lpswv)
Did you just do what I think you just did Larry?
Oh man, Larry, you're in for it now. Stephen Den Beste will cut you man! He'll CUT YOU!
Run while you still can, and don't look back!
Posted by: If he comes around, claim I didn't tell you anything! at March 29, 2006 02:43 PM (6OXJz)
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
I think that means they intended that we be treated as equal. But, maybe I got it wrong.
Posted by: at March 29, 2006 02:59 PM (Lpswv)
Hey, there's a thought. What say we make it the law?
Posted by: Phinn at March 29, 2006 03:04 PM (TYNA0)
Why is the pencil necked geek smarter than the bully with the double digit hat size?
Posted by: seattle slough at March 29, 2006 03:07 PM (H5l9d)
And yes, size of brain is not neccessarily an indicator of intelligence, your brain actually grows over time as you study and learn more from what I understand. In other words, this may be caused BY the high IQ and not the other way around.
Scientists do not know how we think. They can measure various reactions and electrical impulses as we think, but cannot explain how it works or where thoughts come from.
Posted by: Canelone at March 29, 2006 03:56 PM (1Vbso)
Why is the Incredible Hulk's head bigger than Bruce Banner's?
Posted by: Nicholas Kronos at March 29, 2006 04:45 PM (BPhem)
Posted by: spurwing plover at March 29, 2006 04:48 PM (uPdgJ)
Einstein has the densest brain on record...most brains weigh about 3 lbs.
Day class on the brain nothing else to do that day....lots of interesting tidbits.
So you want a dense hydrated brain, apparently you also need lots of water to stimulate what's inside
Also before big test or meeting pat yourself on the shoulder (literally) first on the right (of course, lol) and then on the left in order to activate both sides of the brain.
Posted by: BF at March 29, 2006 06:06 PM (HEjoD)
Man, that's way less than I thought . . . the last time I was burying a head in the garden, it was at least 25 pounds. Wait - forget I said that.
Posted by: adolfo velasquez at March 29, 2006 06:14 PM (gfEuu)
That's spelled with a K.
Posted by: at March 29, 2006 06:44 PM (1Vbso)
Wow, you're quite the idiot, aren't you?
If you honestly think the founding fathers believed that people were equal in their God (or Nature)-given talents, and were not merely referring to all people's political and moral rights, then there's no need to measure your cortex's thickness, because it's already obvious that you're a retard.
Note also, that there's a significant body of scholarship that that particular passage resulted from a drafting error, and should have read, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, in that they are endowed by their Creator...", which much more accurately captures the common-sense meaning with which this passage has been interpreted.
Posted by: Russell Wardlow at March 29, 2006 06:50 PM (oIBDN)
Posted by: Canelone at March 29, 2006 07:14 PM (1Vbso)
Posted by: Josh at March 29, 2006 07:15 PM (2Wfxa)
No, no, no! You got the meaning of it completely flipped around.
The children got the axe if they passed the IQ test, not if they failed. The policy was to kill off children who were too smart for their own good, because the government wanted to maintain a population of mollified adults.
Posted by: Watcher at March 29, 2006 07:37 PM (R9F0p)
Posted by: rob jr at March 29, 2006 11:46 PM (dbigk)
We have some of this already, with gov't scholarships (for merit scholars) and testing into public higher ed. institutions (due to limited space/underfunding). A system that seems to work as it encourages kids to study hard and use whatever brains they have to it's best potential if they desire to suceed. I believe that taking any further than this though would start us down the slope.
Can anyone synopsize the public policy recommendations of The Bell Curve authors? Not sure I understand what they thought should be done based on the conclusions of thier research.
Posted by: LArry the Urnbanite at March 30, 2006 06:21 AM (Lpswv)
Oh, this is good. If you don't agree with what someone is saying, smear him as a racist. Way to go, Larry, for someone who prides himself on his "moderate" you're sounding more and more like a moonbat.
Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2006 06:40 AM (H027d)
Posted by: Canelone at March 30, 2006 06:54 AM (1Vbso)
Posted by: Larry the urbanite at March 30, 2006 06:59 AM (Lpswv)
And it is precisely these kind of petulant, know-nothing outbursts that poison the debate. Nobody here, or in the original article, has proposed any public policy recommendations based on this new study. But you're reacting as everyone you disagree with is just itching to put low-IQ people in concentration camps.
So by all means, let's not do any scientific research that may yield results that you're not comfortable with. Just like the fuss over whether there are any inherent, biological differences between the genders, it is better to let politics decide these issues rather than, you know, actual science. The feminists who oppose further investigation into this area argue that such research is bad because might yield results that are harmful to women's rights. So never mind if it's actually true or not.
There is nothing weaker than an argument based on "but it might lead to..."
Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2006 07:00 AM (H027d)
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 07:14 AM (Lpswv)
There is nothing weaker than an argument based on "but it might lead to..."
OM: Like the gov'ts almost complete refusal to allow or fund research into the health effects, social policy implications or possible medical uses of marijuana? Check it out, it's not just a lefty viewpoint.
For the record: I never said we should limit scientific research. I was pointing out that the use of the results of such research for social policy reasons has moral implications, and thus, needs to be carefully scrutinized, discussed, etc. ( in response to SDB's comment that " function of genes rather than of the kind and amount of social spending that the patriarchy can be forced into. SDB's thrust was that the results were "surprising" due to non-scientific factors)
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 07:31 AM (Lpswv)
Fine, but the problem is, when you do what you have done here, that is, immediately start complaining about what you think are the public policy implications of some new research, this is exactly what you sound like: an ideologue who thinks that certain uncomfortable should be avoided.
This was exactly what we got with the spittle-flecked raging over The Bell Curve some years ago. I didn't read the book, but I understood that the authors didn't made any kind of policy recommendations based on what they thought their research uncovered (although I could be wrong about this), but the angry argument of many of its critics boiled down to "this book is wrong because it's racist" as opposed to "this book is wrong because the science is wrong", which is what I think it should have been. At least, I am more inclined to listen to the latter rather than the former.
Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2006 07:34 AM (H027d)
I agree that politics has poisoned this debate as well. I'm no fan of certain aspects of the "War on Drugs." For the record though, I have a doctor friend who insists that the researchs says that there is simply no need for medical marijuana as there are other drugs that can do the same things better and safer. I did not question him closely about this, though, so I don't know how he would support his assertion, which I don't necessarily think represents the "settled" scientific opinion on the matter.
Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2006 07:40 AM (H027d)
I bet you would. Too bad you're not.
Posted by: truly gutless at March 30, 2006 07:40 AM (/0Qyy)
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 08:03 AM (Lpswv)
Did you know Marijuana is classified as the same sort of drug as heroin or LSD? Kind of silly, no?
Also, note the last para of the article
"This call for marijuana research is not a closet campaign for drug legalization--easing research barriers would not require that marijuana be reclassified, nor would it have any bearing on individual states' decisions to approve limited use of medical marijuana. As a 1995 editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association said, "We are not asking readers for immediate agreement with our affirmation that marijuana is medically useful, but we hope they will do more to encourage open and legal exploration of its potential." After almost a decade of little progress, we reiterate that sentiment. "
Waste of time and money, this pointless obstructionism. We should spend the money on border patrols and port security.
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 08:11 AM (Lpswv)
Are only the stupid studying intelligence?
From a scientific perspective, yes. From an Enron perspective, no. You see, these people are very intelligent when it comes to figuring out how they can manipulate the public system to pay them 6 figure salaries their entire lives to invent silly studies about grey goo.
Posted by: alessandra at March 30, 2006 08:29 AM (n/PLG)
Posted by: The Founding Cortexes at March 30, 2006 08:34 AM (n/PLG)
Your premise appears to be that conservative think tanks are by definition racist.
Posted by: geoff at March 30, 2006 08:37 AM (nH1Ad)
Oh, please. "Conservatives funded it, so it may be racist." Is this another one of your "moderate" statements?
Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2006 08:48 AM (H027d)
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 08:59 AM (Lpswv)
Good news! An official meeting at ACE has determined that, indeed, you are never sure about anything---(it gets better)---------AND you never will............
Posted by: Colonel Jerry USMC(ret.) at March 30, 2006 09:06 AM (BJYNn)
Posted by: w at March 30, 2006 09:11 AM (dbigk)
Just read the Wikipedia entry on the Pioneer Fund - they seem like a stellar example of scientists abused by politics.
Posted by: geoff at March 30, 2006 09:27 AM (nH1Ad)
By the way: My comment about "I hope never to be..." was paraphrasing what someone said upon seeing a concetration camp in Germany. " I hope never to be as sure about anything as these peole were." Not sure who said it.
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 09:49 AM (Lpswv)
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 09:54 AM (Lpswv)
I'm not sure, either, but it looks like a classic example of confusion trying to pass itself off as humility.
Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2006 09:54 AM (H027d)
Posted by: MC at March 30, 2006 09:55 AM (ztNrs)
Whatever. Larry will steer us through these troubled times with his moral compass.
Posted by: MC at March 30, 2006 09:59 AM (ztNrs)
I also enjoyed alessandra's straw man.
Posted by: kevlarchick at March 30, 2006 10:09 AM (C58DT)
U. S. Marines are: CRUEL BUT FAIR! (...you can be sure of it....)
Posted by: Colonel Jerry USMC(ret.) at March 30, 2006 10:19 AM (BJYNn)
And kevlarchick: The WHOLE argument is about slippery slopes, and not of the fallacious kind.
But what do you know, you're just a woman. (There, that's ad hominem and hasty generalization for you. And, just a joke by the way. )
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 11:35 AM (Lpswv)
Posted by: Canelone at March 30, 2006 11:43 AM (1Vbso)
Thanks for your insightful contribution to the discussion of issues and keeping it impersonal.
Posted by: Larry the Urbanite at March 30, 2006 12:31 PM (Lpswv)
Posted by: geoff at March 30, 2006 12:48 PM (nH1Ad)
As I reflect on American history it seems to me, except for lull periods in between some crisis or another, we have always had divisions. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. We tend to think of ourselves as rugged individualists (and there`s some truth to that), but in fact, American`s strong suit is the ablility to compromise.
For example, it may appear that president Bush is a great divider, but I submit that Abraham Lincoln was considered that, in spades! Presidents come and go but it is still the people`s game.
The problem that troubles me today is that rather than having a traditional debate we are polarizing into one side that stands by their best judgement and explains the logic as much as can be done, but the other side shouts their opinion(s) and they are many and various but does not offer an alternative that can even be recognized as same.
It just seems a lot of utopian cliches and it has no place to get a grip............Closest analogy I can come up with is the old Copperheads. They hated Lincoln so much they were willing to allow a divided nation.
That seems to be the same motive now with George Bush. It is depressing for we are in real danger now...............................
Posted by: Colonel Jerry USMC(ret.) at March 30, 2006 12:57 PM (BJYNn)
You weren't happy with abortions and homosexuality and open borders. No. You have to have partial-birth abortion, gay marriage, and voting rights for illegals foreign invaders.
Posted by: Bart at March 30, 2006 01:03 PM (v8Av6)
Another one is the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act, which Dems quickly abandoned and pretended that it was the evil Bush's plot to bankrupt states with "unfunded mandates." Somehow forgetting that it's not a mandate, compliance is just a requirement to get federal funding.
The Social Security debacle was another clear case of the Dems acting against the country's interest to score political points.
Posted by: geoff at March 30, 2006 01:13 PM (nH1Ad)
Posted by: Dave in Texas at March 30, 2006 01:19 PM (pzen5)
But implying that conservatives are, ipso facto, racists is "only fair", eh Larry?
What sanctimonious drivel.
Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2006 01:31 PM (gWvet)
The only question is not who's causing division, but whether the division is reasonable, proper, and for a good cause. The fact the left won't even bother to consider this is telling in it's self.
Posted by: Canelone at March 30, 2006 08:25 PM (1Vbso)
Would that it were so , Col. My take on the problem is the hubris of "might makes right" (in the political arena, not an actual war). A well funded Republican party that requires absolute allegiance from all it's members (upon pain of defunding for failure to comply; extortion is such an ugly word, but...) has removed any chance of a non-party line vote. Thus, no matter how strongly an individual or even several individual R congresscritters may feel about any particular piece of legislation or resolution, he may never vote his conscience! Thus, the country is largely being run by a small group of people, and those people are NOT the moderates, but the extremists.
Shorter version: Opposing parties in the white house and congress or in senate and house have previously let the moderates and compromise rule the day. All one party has tended toward extremism.
Fortunately, the American public has seen the light, and come '06 this should change.
Posted by: Larry the urbanite at March 31, 2006 07:44 AM (Lpswv)
When liberals tell you "you never disagree with Bush" what they mean is disagree with him on what THEY believe you should.
Posted by: Dave in Texas at March 31, 2006 07:50 AM (pzen5)
And it's superior for moderates to rule instead of either party... why exactly?
Posted by: at March 31, 2006 08:41 PM (1Vbso)
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