Michael A. Woodley of Menie, PhD, Scientist in Residence at the TU Chemnitz, finds for the first time a link between increasing brain size and long-term increase in intelligence quotient
The average mass of the human brain has increased in Germany and the UK during the last century. This has been accompanied by gains in IQ. International scientists led by Michael A. Woodley of Menie, PhD, have now connected the two for the first time. Woodley of Menie is Scientist in Residence at the Technische Universität Chemnitz and Fellow at the Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. David Becker, another scientist from the TU Chemnitz, also was involved, as well as researchers from Canada, Brazil, and New Zealand. Their results have been published in the January 2016 edition of the journal "Learning and Individual Differences", which is published by Elsevier.
Michael A. Woodley of Menie, PhD
Photo: Steve Conrad
The psychologists base their statements on secondary analysis of two datasets which represent several studies and give indications of a long-term increase of brain mass in the UK and Germany. The analysis reveals the following: for Great Britain, over a period of 80 years: among men, the mass of the brain increased by 52 grams, among women by 23 grams. In Germany, over a period of 99 years, the increase was 73.16 grams for men, and 52.27 grams for women. Based on this, the researchers led by Woodley of Menie used a method developed by the American psychologist Arthur R. Jensen to estimate IQ gains stemming from increases in brain mass: for men in the UK the increase is 0.19 IQ points per decade, for women it is 0.08 points. In Germany, the result is an increase in IQ of 0.2 points per decade for men and 0.15 points for women.
Afterwards, the scientists set these figures in relation to the estimates of the so-called Flynn effect. "One of the co-authors on the paper is Prof. Dr James Flynn, who was one of the first to detect consistently increasing IQ over time in different populations. This IQ increase was actually called the Flynn Effect in recognition of his discovery," explains Woodley of Menie. The Flynn Effect states that IQ has been steadily increased by an average of three points per decade in Western countries since the beginning of the 20th century. The current study shows that the Flynn effect can be explained in part by the growth of the brain. In Great Britain, where studies show an overall increase in IQ of 1.1 points per decade from 1932 to 2008, the contribution from increasing brain mass amounts to almost 13 percent. In Germany, where a total increase of 6.1 IQ points was found in the period from 1956 to 2008, the percentage contribution is around three percent.
The research results were published in the journal "Learning and Individual Differences": Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Mateo A. Peñaherrera, Heitor BF Fernandes, David Becker, & James R. Flynn (2016): It’s getting bigger all the time: Estimating the Flynn effect from secular brain mass increases in Britain and Germany. Learning and Individual Differences, 45, 95-100. DOI 10.1016 / j.lindif.2015.11.004
Keyword: Scientist in Residence
The "Scientist in Residence" scholarship was established at the TU Chemnitz in April 2015, allowing the university to invite visiting researchers with a worldwide reputation in order to promote academic exchange and maintain international relations. The focus is on the TU Chemnitz’ core competence "humans and technology". Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Fellow at the Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, is researching and working for two years at the university in Chemnitz within the scholarship program. Born in England with a degree from the Royal Holloway University of London, he is conducting interdisciplinary research into aspects of human intelligence as well as human capital and thereby focuses on how intelligence influences technological and economic progress.
For further information, contact Michael A. Woodley of Menie, PhD, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katharina Thehos | Technische Universität Chemnitz
Easier Diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer
06.03.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance
27.02.2017 | DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences