Ability to process information as a baby continues into adulthood

August 7, 2009

Infants who excel at processing new information at 6- and 12-months-old, typically excel in intelligence and academic achievements as young adults in their 20's, according to a study directed by Case Western Reserve University Psychologist Joseph Fagan.

Fagan's "The prediction, from infancy, of adult and achievement," published in the journal , is receiving accolades. Mensa International, Limited,-- the international organization of 100,000 people who score at the 98 percentile on IQ tests—and their Mensa Education & Research Foundation, recently recognized Fagan's work with the 2009 Award for Excellence in Research.

The research honored by the Mensa groups examined the question of whether the more intelligent infant becomes the more intelligent and more highly achieving adult.

"Yes" is the answer Fagan and his research team found.

Intelligence involves processing new information and then making associations with other information an individual encounters throughout life. These processes work together to allow an individual to grow in knowledge, says Fagan.

Over 20 years ago, Fagan developed the Fagan Test of Infant Intelligence. The test measures the response infants have to pictures of novel objects.

The infant test works by pairing two pictures together for a set period of time. A researcher watches the length of time an infant looks at the pictures. Then one of these pictures is paired with a new image and again the time the infant focuses on the new and old images is recorded. Infants generally spend about 60 percent of the time looking at new images.

In the research project for the award-winning paper, Fagan and his co-investigators Cynthia Holland from Cuyahoga Community College and undergraduate student Karyn Wheeler revisited 61 young , who had taken the Fagan Test as babies in their first year of life. They also looked at their first IQ tests at the age of 3 and compared them with their scores at 21 years old.

They discovered an association with intelligence between this early ability to process information and IQ during their young adult years. These infants with ability to process new information at an early age showed higher levels of academic achievement later in life.

The researchers say that attention to novelty "tells us that intelligence is continuous from infancy to adulthood" and "underscore the importance of information processing as a means for studying intelligence."

They added that this knowledge may help researchers also understand how genetics and environment can influence intelligence.

Source: Case Western Reserve University (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.