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A neural basis for general intelligence.
DUNCAN, J., Seitz, R.J., KOLODNY, J., BOR, D., Herzog, H., AHMED, A., NEWELL, F., & EMSLIE, H
Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 26, 201.12
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Universal positive correlations between different cognitive tests motivate the concept of general intelligence or Spearman's g. Here the neural basis for g is investigated using positron emission tomography (PET). Spatial, verbal and speeded-response tasks with high g involvement are compared with matched low-g control tasks. In contrast to the common view that g reflects the average efficiency of major cognitive systems, high-g tasks do not show diffuse recruitment of multiple brain regions. Instead these tasks are associated with selective recruitment of the lateral frontal cortex in one or both hemispheres. Despite very different task content in the three high-low g contrasts, lateral frontal recruitment is strikingly similar in each case. Many previous experiments show these same frontal regions to be recruited by a broad range of different cognitive demands. In large part, g may reflect the efficiency of a specific frontal system important in the control of diverse forms of behavior.