Team studies the social origins of intelligence in the brain

By studying the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds during the war, scientists are tackling—and beginning to answer—longstanding questions about how the brain works.

The researchers found that brain regions that contribute to optimal social functioning also are vital to general intelligence and to . This finding bolsters the view that general intelligence emerges from the emotional and social context of one's life.

"We are trying to understand the nature of general intelligence and to what extent our intellectual abilities are grounded in social cognitive abilities," said Aron Barbey, a University of Illinois professor of neuroscience, of psychology, and of speech and hearing science. Barbey (bar-BAY), an affiliate of the Beckman Institute and of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the U. of I., led the new study with an international team of collaborators.

Studies in social psychology indicate that human intellectual functions originate from the social context of everyday life, Barbey said.

"We depend at an early stage of our development on social relationships—those who love us care for us when we would otherwise be helpless," he said.

Social interdependence continues into adulthood and remains important throughout the lifespan, Barbey said.

"Our friends and family tell us when we could make bad mistakes and sometimes rescue us when we do," he said. "And so the idea is that the ability to establish social relationships and to navigate the social world is not secondary to a more general cognitive capacity for intellectual function, but that it may be the other way around. Intelligence may originate from the central role of relationships in human life and therefore may be tied to social and emotional capacities."

The study involved 144 Vietnam veterans injured by shrapnel or bullets that penetrated the skull, damaging distinct brain tissues while leaving neighboring tissues intact. Using CT scans, the scientists painstakingly mapped the affected brain regions of each participant, then pooled the data to build a collective map of the brain.

The researchers used a battery of carefully designed tests to assess participants' intellectual, emotional and social capabilities. They then looked for patterns that tied damage to specific to deficits in the participants' ability to navigate the intellectual, emotional or social realms. Social problem solving in this analysis primarily involved conflict resolution with friends, family and peers at work.

As in their earlier studies of general intelligence and emotional intelligence, the researchers found that regions of the frontal cortex (at the front of the brain), the parietal cortex (further back near the top of the head) and the temporal lobes (on the sides of the head behind the ears) are all implicated in social problem solving. The regions that contributed to social functioning in the parietal and were located only in the brain's left hemisphere, while both left and right frontal lobes were involved.

The brain networks found to be important to social adeptness were not identical to those that contribute to general intelligence or emotional intelligence, but there was significant overlap, Barbey said.

"The evidence suggests that there's an integrated information-processing architecture in the brain, that social problem solving depends upon mechanisms that are engaged for and emotional intelligence," he said. "This is consistent with the idea that intelligence depends to a large extent on social and emotional abilities, and we should think about intelligence in an integrated fashion rather than making a clear distinction between cognition and emotion and social processing. This makes sense because our lives are fundamentally social—we direct most of our efforts to understanding others and resolving social conflict. And our study suggests that the architecture of intelligence in the may be fundamentally social, too."

The findings are reported in the journal Brain.

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Researchers map emotional intelligence in the brain

More information: Brain. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awu207
Journal information: Brain

Citation: Team studies the social origins of intelligence in the brain (2014, July 29) retrieved 18 October 2019 from
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Aug 04, 2014
... the architecture of intelligence in the brain may be fundamentally social, too.

All experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect links nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations from ecological variation to human brain development and cognition via conserved molecular mechanisms.

Others need only start with what is known about how the neuronal systems of nematodes are controlled during their development into different species. See: http://linkinghub...12015000

The alternative is to continue touting ideas about mutation-initiated natural selection that somehow might have led to the evolution of biodiversity manifested in the human brain.

Evolutionary theorists and human ethologists (JR Feierman) may think in terms of mutations but serious scientists do not. See: "Starvation-Induced Transgenerational Inheritance of Small RNAs in C. elegans" http://www.cell.c...)00806-X

Aug 04, 2014
Evolutionary theorists and human ethologists (JR Feierman) may think in terms of mutations but serious scientists do not. See: "Starvation-Induced Transgenerational Inheritance of Small RNAs in C. elegans" http://www.cell.c...)00806-X0

How about you contact Rechavi et al. yourself and see what they think instead of making the assumption and making yourself look like a fool as you did with Fink, Chelo, and Bredy.

Aug 04, 2014
How about you look at the Rechavi lab's site:

http://www.odedre...out.aspx 'Our principle aim in the lab is to attack scientific dogmas. Mainly, we aim to use powerful genetic tools to discover novel biological principles by which RNA affects formation and inheritance of complex traits."

Their principle aim is to attack the pseudoscientific nonsense touted by Jay R. Feierman and others like you on the ISHE's human ethology yahoo group:

That fact attests to what Fink and my other co-authors of our award-winning review hope others don't learn about Chelo's works, and Bredy's nutrient-dependent ecological adaptations: http://www.pnas.o...abstract

Like other "bird watchers" and "butterfly collectors," the human ethologists (i.e., fools) participating in the ISHE's group want to believe in evolutionary theory so they can avoid learning anything about biological facts.

Aug 04, 2014
From Jay R. Feierman, moderator of the ISHE's human ethology group

[MODERATOR NOTE: I don't believe that Jim Kohl has addressed the very specific question asked of him by anon [anonymous_9001), which is whether he (Jim Kohl) believes that RNA splicing makes new genes. A simple agree or don't agree is needed to make the interactions in this thread worth posting.

" [MODERATOR NOTE: I'm not going to post more from Kohl until he answers the very direct and simple question posed to him by anon, which is whether he (Kohl) believes that RNA splicing can change DNA.]"

"...alternative splicing may be the critical source of evolutionary changes differentiating primates and humans from other creatures such as worms and flies with a similar number of genes." http://jonlieffmd...volution

I detailed the links across species and provided examples from model organisms in http://www.ncbi.n...3960065/

Others pretend there are questions.

Aug 04, 2014
"...alternative splicing may be the critical source of evolutionary changes differentiating primates and humans from other creatures such as worms and flies with a similar number of genes." http://jonlieffmd...volution

That doesn't state splicing makes changes to the genome. Do you even bother reading and comprehending the things you post? That states that expression changes also contribute to species differentiation, not that splicing causes genetic changes.

Aug 04, 2014
My model is one in which the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes links the epigenetic effects of ecological variation in the nutrient supply to the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction via amino acid substitutions that differentiate all the cell types of all individuals of all species.

See for examples: http://www.ncbi.n...3960065/

All the pseudoscientific nonsense touted by theorists could be eliminated with experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect that links ecological variation to ecological adaptations via conserved molecular mechanisms that clearly lead to biophysically-constrained increasing organismal complexity.

Until experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect is supplied, we will have only the pseudoscientific nonsense to compare to established facts. For example: Mutation-Driven Evolution is pseudoscientific nonsense.

Aug 04, 2014
Mutation-Driven Evolution

Conclusion: "...genomic conservation and constraint-breaking mutation is the ultimate source of all biological innovations and the enormous amount of biodiversity in this world.

Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model http://www.ncbi.n...3960065/

Conclusion: "Minimally, this model can be compared to any other factual representations of epigenesis and epistasis for determination of the best scientific 'fit'."

Aug 06, 2014
Says JVK - James V Kohl, purveyor of sex paraphernalia, thus great peddler of Sin and the destruction of Christian morality.

In any case your product, "scent of Eros" is snake oil and cannot possibly work. As Rob van den Hurk (a pheromone specialist) noted, pheromones work "in concentrations of nanograms to picograms. When administered in higher concentrations, pheromones often result in no or a repulsive behavioral effect. "

This kind of concentration is not achievable in a consumer product. A user is also likely to over-apply. So At best your "Scent of Eros" scam has no effect, and in many cases it will be demonstrably repulsive to women.

So for you to pretend science supports your self-serving commercial aims is beyond the pale.

Aug 06, 2014
The anonymous "animah" has posted this same comment on several different discussion threads. The intent is to limit discussion to the invented theories about evolution. No attempt is made to address the facts included in my published works with details about cell type differentiation.

Obviously, there are many people too afraid that the facts will eliminate evolutionary theory from any further consideration whatsoever. But that's what happens when people begin to look at what they accepted because they were taught to believe in, and accepted it as if it ever was anything more than pseudoscientific nonsense.

It never was, and evolutionary theory never will be more than the invention of population geneticists and their idiot minions.

See: Replace the Modern Synthesis (Neo-Darwinism): An Interview With Denis Noble

"[W]hat Haldane, Fisher, Sewell Wright, Hardy, Weinberg et al. did was invent...."

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