Friday, March 20, 2009
Smart People Think Faster
My mind is racing!
It turns out the smarter a person is, the faster their brain works. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, looked at intelligence (participants took an IQ test) and then used a technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) that can measure the cells that carry nerve impulses from one part of the brain to another. The smarter the person, the more the pathways connecting brain cells lit up on the scan. Smarter people = faster nerve inpuse travel.
The lead researcher Dr. Paul Thompson, professor of neurology at UCLA School of Medicine said, "When you say someone is quick-thinking, it's genuinely true. The impulses are going faster and they are just more efficient at processing information, and then making a decision based on it."
By looking at twins, both identical (sharing the same genes) and non-identical (sharing only some genes), they were able to ascertain the genetic factors that play a role in brain speed. The genetic component of intelligence has a lot to do with the white matter tracks that connect different parts of the brain.
Thompson hopes his research can spot problems such as Alzheimer's disease, which slows down the brain. He also pointed out that although there is a genetic component to brain speed and intelligence, the more you "work" the brain, the faster it gets.
Excuse me while I go work on some crossword puzzles or learn a new language. My brain needs a work out.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 4:18 PM