People with high IQs really DO see the world differently: Researchers find they process sensory information differently
- Experts found that a high IQ brain was better able to block out larger or more irrelevant images when focussing on a small moving object
- But surprisingly, when tested with larger objects, people with a high IQ were slower to see what was right in front of them
- Scientists say this explains why some brains are more efficient than others
Scientists discovered that the brains of people with high IQ are automatically more selective when it comes to perceiving moving objects, meaning that they are more likely to suppress larger and less relevant background motion.
‘It is not that people with high IQ are simply better at visual perception,’ said Duje Tadin of the University of Rochester. ‘Instead, their visual perception is more discriminating.'
Scientists discovered that the brains of people with high IQ are more selective when perceiving objects in motion, meaning that they are more likely to ignore larger and less relevant background motion
'They excel at seeing small, moving objects but struggle in perceiving large, background-like motions.’
The discovery was made by asking people to watch videos showing moving bars on a computer screen.
Their task was to state whether the bars were moving to the left or to the right.
That ability to block out distraction helps to explain what makes some brains more efficient than others
The researchers measured how long the video had to run before the individual could correctly perceive the motion.
The results show that individuals with high IQ can pick up on the movement of small objects faster than low-IQ individuals can.
'That wasn't unexpected, Tadin says.
The surprise came when tests with larger objects showed just the opposite: individuals with high IQ were slower to see what was right there in front of them.
‘There is something about the brains of high-IQ individuals that prevents them from quickly seeing large, background-like motions,’ Tadin added.
In other words, it isn't a conscious strategy but rather something automatic and fundamentally different about the way these people's brains work.
The ability to block out distraction is very useful in a world filled with more information than we can possibly take in.
It helps to explain what makes some brains more efficient than others. An efficient brain 'has to be picky' Tadin said.
The findings were reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.
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