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Brain mapping connections and IQ

No sooner do I return from my own intelligence conference, about which more later, than I note, courtesy of another scholar, a fascinating new paper showing that 40% of the variance in IQ can be accounted for by a new measure of brain networks. This is strong stuff, so with a spinning head I tried to make sense of the new work.

Morphometric Similarity Networks Detect Microscale Cortical Organisation and Predict Inter-Individual Cognitive Variation, Jakob Seidlitz et al
Email:

[email protected] or [email protected]
http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/135855
doi: bioRxiv preprint first posted online May. 9, 2017;

http://biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2017/05/11/135855.full.pdf

Macroscopic cortical networks are important for cognitive function, but it remains challenging to construct anatomically plausible individual structural connectomes from human neuroimaging. We introduce a new technique for cortical network mapping, based on inter-regional similarity of multiple morphometric parameters measured using multimodal MRI. In three cohorts (two human, one macaque), we find that the resulting morphometric similarity networks (MSNs) have a complex topological organisation comprising modules and high-degree hubs. Human MSN modules recapitulate known cortical cytoarchitectonic divisions, and greater inter-regional morphometric similarity was associated with stronger inter-regional co-expression of genes enriched for neuronal terms. Comparing macaque MSNs to tract-tracing data confirmed that morphometric similarity was related to axonal connectivity. Finally, variation in the degree of human MSN nodes accounted for about 40% of between-subject variability in IQ. Morphometric similarity mapping provides a novel, robust and biologically plausible approach to understanding how human cortical networks underpin individual differences in psychological functions.

Unpicking this abstract takes some time. Morphometric similarity networks need to be mapped out, and then the resultant nodes calculated and correlated with the IQ measures.

How does one get the “feel” of a paper? I am reassured by the first paragraphs being cautionary in tone. Those of us whose understanding of scanning is restricted to being in the prone position, fighting claustrophobia, are prone to accepting the pictures we are shown at the end of the process as the cartographic truth. For many clinical purposes these are good enough, and two orders of magnitude better than anything available 20 years ago. We live in good times. However, when going deeper into the matter of which signal goes from which part of the brain to the other, forming any picture involves using approximations. Signals cannot be detected for long distances, and although even better scanners are in the pipeline, the bottleneck is interpretative power, not just detection. Even the prettiest pictures contain assumptions.

The mapping technique they used is innovative and fascinating. The full details are in their paper, but they integrated three approaches:

First, there is histological evidence from non-human primates that axo-synaptic connectivity is stronger between micro-structurally similar cortical regions than between cyto-architectonically distinct areas.

Second, there is encouraging evidence that conventional MRI sequences can serve as proxy markers of cortical microstructure. Cortical MRI metrics –such as magnetization transfer (MT), a marker of myelination -show spatial gradients in humans which align closely with known histological gradients in non-human primates

Third, there is emerging evidence that structural properties of the human cortex are more precisely estimated by the combined analysis of more than one MRI morphometric index at each region e.g. cortical thickness and sulcal depth, cortical thickness and myelination or cortical thickness and grey matter volume. On this basis, we predicted that morphometric similarity mapping with multiple MRI morphometric indices could provide a new way of estimating the linked patterns of inter-regional histological similarity and anatomical connectivity within an individual human brain.

Although the techniques and the results are exciting, further cautionary words are required. The mapping was done individually on the MRIs of 296 healthy young people, so this gives us the predictive measure to be tested. This involved measuring 10 shape variables in 308 cortical regions. They moved from the sample of discovery to the sample of testing, which was 124 other people. They also tested the accuracy of their mapping by looking at genes closely related to brain architecture, and found a mild but positive correlation between such genes and their mapping measure. They confirmed that the genes most involved in brain shape and signalling were far more likely to be involved than control genes taken at random, and that the random deletion of the most important genes had a disproportionate effect on the correlation. It seems likely that the mapping measure is somewhat related to genetic measures. The authors also applied their measures to the MRIs of 31 juvenile macaque monkeys and found:

Taken together, these findings indicate that the morphometric similarity of two cortical regions is directly related to the strength of monosynaptic axonal connectivity between them.

Then they were in a position to compare their mapping measure with IQ.

We predicted that IQ should be positively associated with integrative topological features that promote efficient information transfer across the whole network. High degree hub nodes are crucial to the global efficiency of the connectome and preferentially impacted by clinical brain disorders associated with cognitive impairment

They went back to their original sample, given here as 292 individuals, in order to test their hypothesis. That is, they went back to their original sample of discovery, which of course increases the possibility that the prediction fits only that sample, or that it fits that sample much better than it would fit any other sample. This is a limitation.
The IQ measures are good, though brief. MRI tests are expensive, and intelligence testing is far cheaper. The Wechsler Vocabulary and Matrix Reasoning test are a very good choice if you are in a hurry, but having done all this work it would have been much better to have a few more intellectual measures. For example, Coding takes 2 minutes, is a proper ratio scale measure, and is likely to depend on speed of connection between brain areas. An opportunity missed. Perhaps it was just part of the collaborative data set, but why not spend a little more time assessing intelligence, the best predictor of human outcomes?

We assessed the relationship between individual differences in IQ and individual differences in nodal degree of each of 308 regions in each of 292 individual MSNs using the multivariate method of partial least squares (PLS) regression, as in Whitaker and Vértes et al. (2016) and Vértes et al. (2016). This dimensionality reduction technique seeks to find the latent variables or PLS components which maximise the correlation between a set of collinear predictor variables and a set of response variables.

By this maximization technique they were able to account for 40% of the variance in IQ in a sample from which they had already derived the brain connectivity measures. As discussed, this may be inflating the strength of the observed correlation, particularly if the maximization technique is working powerfully (that is, fits itself as well as possible to this unique data set).

Breaking with tradition somewhat, the paper does not discuss limitations. I think that the paper is exciting and innovative, and may well be right. However, I have got used to modern genetics papers, which commonly find an excellent match between genetic and behavioural measures in sample sizes of 100,000+ only to find that the match crashes down when tested on a new sample of 25,000+. It may seem churlish to apply those standards to a neuro-psychology paper which depends on expensive MRI measures, but all is not lost. Many researchers have been looking at the link between brain scans and intelligence.

https://www.unz.com/jthompson/intelligent-brains/

The authors could test their findings against the databases of Rich Haier and Rex Jung and their P-FIT hypothesis. They could also test their approach on the Human Connectome project, which has 1206 MRIs and a fuller battery of intellectual tests. As you might expect, I would like this finding to be proved right. Testing it might be able to be done very quickly, and a prompt confirmation would have a big impact on the well-established field of brain scanning and intelligence.

Disclaimer: My attention was drawn to this paper by Charles Murray. On that basis, you may wish to discount everything I have said, and consign me to the utter depths of perdition.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Brain Scans, Brighter Brains, IQ 
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  1. by Charles Murray. On that basis, you may wish to discount everything I have said, and consign me to the utter depths of perdition.

    Tongue-in-cheek aside, I suggest that the seas into which we sail will be characterized in part by conflicting silos of knowledge; by this I mean that people harboring different beliefs will openly trust only a defined subset of sources to inform their weltanschauung.

    In the past there was “one set” of trusted sources (and they all posited first and foremost the dogma of the One Narrative.) Going forward this is fracturing, and truly if “so and so” says it, then by definition one camp will say, “I believe it” and another camp will say, “oh, then it’s BS.”

    I call this the CNN Effect.

    • Replies: @DevOps Dad
  2. dearieme says:

    Prediction: in the not too distant future there will be right-on women, who would never admit publicly that there is any merit in the notion of IQ, who will have scans done on their babies in the womb, and will abort those that show too little intellectual promise.

    Unless, of course, genetic testing of the aforesaid babes proves to be more effective.

  3. Yudi says:

    “Disclaimer: My attention was drawn to this paper by Charles Murray. On that basis, you may wish to discount everything I have said, and consign me to the utter depths of perdition.”

    All IQ researchers were already consigned there decades ago.

    Thank you for discussing this paper!

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  4. Whoooa there, hoss!! I don’t believe this here “Seidlitz” guy (sounds suspiciously Israeli) was authorized by Steve Sailer to publish this obviously invalid word salad “research”.

  5. @Yudi

    All IQ researchers were already consigned there decades ago.

    Not in HBD-land — that sunny paradise of prehistoric Nordic genius and nobility of spirit.

    “IQ research” = “Climate science”

  6. res says:

    One thought about the standard established by genetics papers. The problem with genetics is that the false discovery rate is so high given the number of possible explanatory variables (SNPs, etc.). I’m not sure we need to strive to meet that standard everywhere. Especially given your comment about the cost of MRI. Of course, no argument that replication is important.

    On reading the excerpts above I was concerned about restriction of range, but it looks like that is not an issue here: “measured in the same 292 participants (mean total IQ = 111, SD = 12, range = 76-137)”

    Worth noting the % variance explained by PLS1 and PLS2 individually: “We focus our attention on the first two PLS components (PLS1 and PLS2), which consistently explained about 25% and 15% of the variance in IQ, respectively (Figure 5).”

    I noticed they measured “magnetization transfer (MT), a marker of myelination.” Any idea if/how much MT played into the IQ variation they saw? I was unable to extract that from the paper.

    P.S. In an earlier comment: https://www.unz.com/jthompson/womens-brains/#comment-1849012
    I described a particular form of scatterplot, but was unsure if my verbal description was effective. The scatterplots reproduced above from Figure 5 are similar to what I meant.

  7. IQ is about jewish intelligence or how intelligence can be understood via jewish perspective, i mean, cold, pragmatic, calculated, mechanic, amoral ”intelligence”…

  8. @Santoculto

    Dude, you have to stop with the obsession with the Jews. They trip over their dicks as often as everyone.

    • Agree: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @Santoculto
  9. @Peripatetic commenter

    ”as everyone”

    Something it’s not possible to be…

    I would like never be obsessed with stupid things, but it’s difficult…

  10. @dc.sunsets

    The leveraging of dogmatic beliefs by the astute can result in financial rewards.

    From our inspection of her genome, we predict with 99% confidence that nineteen year old Susan cannot carry a times table in her head and a Arithmetic refresher course today will be forgotten by tomorrow’s 10:00 am test.

    Our lab results give us high confidence that Tommy hasn’t the abstraction ability to solve a Quadratic equation.

    What do you wager? Five gets you ten …

  11. @Santoculto

    Rubbish. Why utter such nonsense? Jews had almost nothing to do with the development of IQ testing …Binet, Terman, Spearman, Cattell, Burt, Eysenck, Jensen… just a few names that come to mind that you ought to be familiar with before thinking your opinion is worth voicing: Jensen’s mother was Jewish I believe (and Eysenck’s stepfather): that’s about it.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
    , @Ivan
    , @CanSpeccy
  12. @Wizard of Oz

    I’m saying the way IQ tests has been developed, separated from emotional skills and not that it has been developed directly by Jews. It’s not but it tend work very well with Jews and non Jews who desire or believe intelligence is just cognition and morality is a illusion or a prison.

    And as intelligence whatever how people conceptualize it have higher value than other psychological construct for example kindness or responsibility. A lot of people look to demoralized intelligence as a way to justify their own lack of moral discernment and practices.

    • Replies: @hyperbola
  13. All, without exception, all of these “Brain studies” amount to nothing more than gigantic futility exercizes, and this due to the fact that the human mind, complete with memory and ego, the human mind is NOT located within the “Brain” but rather outside of the body, and within the electrical field surrounding it, the body.

    “Brain researchers” psychiatrists, psychologists, whatever, they have not the vaguest clue as to what they are delving into , and the end conclusions then result in even more damage to humankind, such as evidenced in the rediculous court rulings/verdicts which have been precipitated by “Psychiatric expertise”.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, Airboren qualified US Army vet and pro jazz artist.

  14. hyperbola says:
    @Santoculto

    It has become the same kind of pseudo-science gimmick that is used to “enforce” other forms of compliance to a racist sect.

    Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, and the War on the West
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/12/24/sigmund-freud-psychoanalysis-and-the-war-on-the-west/
    “We are bringing them the plague.”—Sigmund Freud, on his way to America in 1909[1]

    … Freud was on a Jewish mission. Jewish professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz of New York University writes that “one of Freud’s most powerful motives in life was…to inflict vengeance on Christianity.”[10] Other Jewish scholars such as Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter noted the same thing, adding that “though it is sometimes forgotten today, Freud’s work was profoundly subversive to the cultural underpinnings of European Christian society…There is evidence that some of the impetus for the creation of psychoanalysis lay in his hostility to Christianity.”[11]

    Jewish scholar Peter Gay of Princeton was even more specific, adding that Freud ….

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  15. hyperbola says:

    “Explaining” 40% of IQ is statistical garbage. It implies that the “results” of this study are useless. We should stop funding pseudo-science based on religious fantasies.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  16. Agent76 says:

    SIGMUND FREUD began his researches into the workings of the human mind in 1881

    After a century during which Europe and America saw the reform of the insane asylum and an ever-increasing interest in “abnormal” psychological states, especially the issue of “nervous diseases” (which was the first phenomenon that Freud studied, examining the nervous system of fish while gaining his medical degree at the University of Vienna from 1873 to 1881).

    http://www.purdue.edu/guidetotheory/psychoanalysis/freud.html

  17. Ivan says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    To add to what you wrote, prominent Jewish biologists and psychologists such as SJ Gould, Richard Lewontin, Howard Gardner and Daniel Goleman were at the forefront of emphasising that IQ is a very narrow measure of human ability. Santoculto is wrong about this. Jews are people of such high ability, that they are found on all sides of the argument.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Santoculto
  18. @hyperbola

    One of his his, Freud’s, main focuses was on upper class : “Hysterical women”, so figure it out.

    Psychology and Psychiatry are a scourge of mankind, and just observing the pierced, bluehaired nutcase psych students going in and out of the psych departments of the unversities in Germany is a lesson in itself.
    Then these psychotics graduate and begin to met out their destructive “treatment/therapy, and they compose bizarre expertizes for courts of law which then hand down insane rulings accordingly .

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified uS Army vet and pro jazz artist.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  19. SportsFan says:
    @Authenticjazzman

    The proof is readily obtained – just excise that useless 3-lb chunk of fat inside your skull and tell us about your experience afterwards. All you need is a saw and a scraper.

    You must’ve hit that “electric field surrounding the body” really hard on those parachute jumps.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  20. SportsFan says:

    ” Those of us whose understanding of scanning is restricted to being in the prone position…”

    You are in the supine position during MR brain scans, not prone.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  21. @SportsFan

    Thank you. My egregious error.

  22. SportsFan says:

    “They could also test their approach on the Human Connectome project, which has 1206 MRIs and a fuller battery of intellectual tests. ”

    Probably not, at least not nearly as well. The whole idea of the current study is to use a whole bunch of MR parameters jointly to estimate nodal connectivity. This required a multi-parametric mapping imaging sequence which was not yet available at the time when the HCP project (which I was part of) data were acquired. The HCP battery of scans was basically a short (15 min or so) “piggyback” sequence of structural, functional, and diffusion scans that were optimized for acquisition efficiency (speed), and was meant to be tacked on to the main studies of researchers willing to contribute to the project by doing a little extra scanning (and getting some of the costs picked up).

    What this means is that some of the measures that were used in the present study to estimate the nodal degree of morphometric similarity are not available in the HCP data, or are of lesser quality. If they could’ve used the HCP data, they would have, because acquiring nearly 300 subjects worth data across several sites cost a ton of money and time.

    Also, this study was done on adolescents and young adults (15-22 yo); the HCP age range was much wider. Aging brains show structural degradation and function differently, and thus can introduce unwanted variability in a study like this.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  23. @Ivan

    Thanks
    Good point (s) and weighty facts.

  24. @hyperbola

    I am not sure about ‘”statisical garbage” and would be loath o use such terms after years of decay in my knowledge and use of sophisticated mathematical staiistics. Trying to give meaning to the “explains 40 per cent” by sheer logic my first pass is to say that once you remove the cause of 40 per cent of IQ then you have to assume that set of causes (we are talking about causation aren’t we?) is replaced by pure randomness. Or is it that it is replaced by the remaining 60 per cent of causal factors determining the whole proportionally. Or…??? What might a concrete example be?

  25. @SportsFan

    Thanks. I did not know how the MRI data on the Human Connectome project compared with this approach as regards the quality and type of scanning profile, so your input is very helpful. A pity it is not properly comparable, because they have reasonably good mental ability testing. The lead author of this paper tells me that Haier and Jung have already been in contact with him, so they might be able to get better scans by working together.

  26. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    I wonder if the paper by Seidlitz et al., in its present form and with its present claims, will pass peer review by a well-edited journal. In particular, will the claim by these authors that measured structure explains 40% of the variance in IQ have to be modified or abandoned. In this connection, Kevin Mitchell, over at bioRxiv comments:

    the claim that global descriptors of the networks so derived can explain 40% of the variance in IQ seems premature. That correlation was obtained by interrogating several hundred parameters in a single data-set, using a method known to be prone to over-fitting. To determine whether these signals actually correlate with IQ requires application to a replication sample.

    If the indicated test proves the method invalid as a measure of IQ, what if anything, is the significance of the study?

  27. @Authenticjazzman

    Psychology and Psychiatry are a scourge of mankind, and just observing the pierced, bluehaired nutcase psych students going in and out of the psych departments of the unversities in Germany is a lesson in itself.

    Intelligence law: never generalize when it’s not to be.

    • Replies: @Agent76
  28. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    As a matter of historical fact, Hans Juergen Eysenck was of Jewish extraction according to Wikipedia. I haven’t checked the bios of the other psychos you mention.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  29. Agent76 says:
    @Santoculto

    Santoculto, you are spot on target! THE HIDDEN ENEMY INSIDE PSYCHIATRY’S COVERT AGENDA

    Today, with militaries of the world awash in psychiatry and psychiatric drugs, 23 soldiers and veterans are committing suicide every day. Psychiatrists say we need more psychiatry.

    http://www.cchr.org/videos/the-hidden-enemy.html

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  30. utu says:

    This involved measuring 10 shape variables in 308 cortical regions.

    This is equivalent to 308*10=3080 variables to predict one variable IQ. If one were to generate 3080+1 different series of 296 random numbers (matrix of 3081×296) would it possible to get a significant correlation between one of the variables with the linear combination of the remaining 3080. (One 296 long column of the matrix correlates with the linear combination of the remaining 3080 columns.) Very easy! Why is it so? Because N+297>>M=3080.

  31. Jim W says:

    I haven’t read the paper, but you didn’t mention if they used cross-validation. If there are a large number of features snd using PLS, you should use cross-val to estimate performance, and better yet double-cross-val to select the number of latent variables in PLS.

  32. utu says:

    40% correlation of some complex physical brain features with IQ, if confirmed, is certainly very interesting accomplishment. I doubt that phrenology ever could dream of 40% correlation.

    But should we be surprised? It is the brain, the wet computer which has no software but only hardware, that does the IQ test. Any learning experience in principle could be traced to some physical change in this wet computer. Learning to ride a bicycle or solving a Rubic cube will cause some physical change in a brain. What we learn may have actual mass and volume. I am pointing this out so people do not jump too easily to a conclusion (as many did in Steve Sailer thread on the same topic) that this research in some way supports nature over nurture.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Wizard of Oz
  33. @CanSpeccy

    I thought it was because his mother married a Jew, his stepfather, that they left Germany

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  34. utu says:

    Relationship between Morphometric Similarity Networks and IQ (MSN—>IQ) was established to within 40% correlation. MSN of macaque monkeys were quantified.

    The next step is to determine from the relationship established on humans the IQ of the monkeys. Finally we can measure IQ of subjects who are unable to take IQ tests. Monkey can benefit as well. It will improve their career choices: should I go to zoo or circus or testing lab?

    • Replies: @anonymous too
  35. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    Wikipedia says Eysenck’s maternal grandmother, by whom he was raised, was a Jew. But maybe they got that wrong.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  36. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    Learning to ride a bicycle or solving a Rubic cube will cause some physical change in a brain.

    Which is consistent with the observation of neurogenesis in the hippocampus and other regions of the adult human brain.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @utu
  37. @CanSpeccy

    That she was Jewish enough for the Nazis, despite being Lutheran is suggested by her having died in a concentration camp, according to Wikipedia.

  38. @utu

    No software? Isn’t teaching/learning mathematics or grammar the loading of software?

    • Replies: @utu
  39. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Thank you for the reference:

    New neurons are continuously generated in specific regions in the adult brain. Studies in rodents have demonstrated that adult-born neurons have specific functional features and mediate neural plasticity. Data on the extent and dynamics of adult neurogenesis in adult humans are starting to emerge, and there are clear similarities and differences compared to other mammals

  40. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289536/

    Is There A Link Between Adult Neurogenesis and Learning?
    During the past several years, evidence has accumulated suggesting a relationship between newly born cells in the hippocampus and various types of learning and memory. However, most of the evidence is correlational and some of it does not agree. This review discusses both sides of this issue, considering the effects of learning on the production of new neurons in the dentate gyrus and the question of whether newly born cells participate in learning and memory.

    But it is not only (or not always) new neurons that are a part of learning process.

    Perhaps an even more important consideration, and one that is impossible to discount, is the fact that many of the factors known to affect neurogenesis also alter other aspects of brain structure and function, such as dendritic architecture, synapse number, and synaptic plasticity. Since these types of changes are also likely to be involved in hippocampal-dependent learning

    Learning sometime is very painful. You actually can sweat. And then you have an aha moment in which you get from the state of unknowing to knowing. This when something physical ha changed in your brain. New connections were created, network got rearranged…

  41. @Authenticjazzman

    So why does brain damage affect personality?

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  42. Otherwise in my opinion real learning is enjoyable. It’s something you already have a facility to deal. To develop and reach full blown potential of your “facilities” tend to happen in quasi intuitively magical way. You learn/ expand your dispositions even without know you are learning.

    But I don’t believe we can develop a potential on something we don’t born with. All features we have potential to develop is already ‘inherited”. You can start from nowhere.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  43. utu says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Software is completely wrong analogy. Should never be used when thinking about brain. Learning mathematics is like developing a new neural network for pattern recognition. Akin to the network that does pattern recognition of trees and shrubs and is able to tell a tree from a shrub but much more complex. But once it is in place you can solve some mathematical problems with equal easiness like deciding whether the object is a tree or a shrub. One can do it almost on an auto pilot.

  44. @utu

    Software is completely wrong analogy. Should never be used when thinking about brain. Learning mathematics is like developing a new neural network for pattern recognition.

    “Software” is not a “completely wrong” analogy, and may be useful when “thinking about the brain”.

    Learning mathematics is NOT like “developing a new neural network for pattern recognition”. The brain already has pattern recognition. It is more like modifying the existing neural network. Changes in the brain produced by learning are not “new neural networks”; they are physical changes at some locations. The entire network does not change.

    • Replies: @utu
  45. @utu

    Some monkeys like Bonzo and Bingo starred in movies. There was also Cheetah who starred with Tarzan and Jane. Monkeys would definitely need psychiatric help what with their endless frustration but that may be observed mostly in caged zoo monkeys- seems they just screech, play with themselves, pull nits out of scalp hair, and throw things including feces- definitely need psychiatric help.

  46. utu says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    ” It is more like modifying the existing neural network.” “The entire network does not change.”

    The part of the modified network is a new network. Your arguments are about semantics.

    The brain already has pattern recognition.

    Initially to recognize a tit and then the face of the owner of the tit. But for a long time not for telling dog and cat apart.

    Software never is a good analogy. Give me an example to the contrary.

  47. @utu

    “Give me the example of contrary”

    Do it yourself firstly. It’s you who need explain or elaborates your points because is you who did this statement. Seems your subsequent explanation below this statement in the true don’t explain satisfactorily why you believe software is a bad analogy for brain. Indeed maybe I agree with you and believe instead software is the hardware which better explain brain functioning. Software sound free will or epigenetics, supposed human capacity to change consciously or directionally its own brain/mind to reach given and random goal as if our “choices” were randomly selected or in other words “infinitely” selectable. Also give us concrete examples to illustrate your point of views if you want.

  48. @utu

    I hear what you say but remain to be convinced. Software is always physically embedded or recorded but I would emphasise its being the bearer of rules which govern various processes (in which respect firmware might be classified with software). For example, as every rule and process has a physical embodiment, the distinguishing feature of software could be that it is a set of rules which can be changed. When someone says “I kept on getting the wrong answer to my calculations because I was using an incorrect formula which I have now fixed” the right analogy seems to me the fixing of a software bug.

    • Replies: @utu
  49. @Ivan

    All this scientists argued against IQ specially to promote “egalitarian” /zionist agenda.

    • Replies: @Ivan
  50. @utu

    The part of the modified network is a new network. Your arguments are about semantics.

    The “semantics” problem is on your end. Furthermore, the “modified network” is NOT a “new network”. It is a modified network. The degree to which it is modified may be minor, or may be extensive. But “new” it is not, any more than a sharpened blade is a new blade.

    Give me an example to the contrary.

    Sure thing: You are talking out your ass. Now, you give ME an “argument to the contrary”, popinjay.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Santoculto
  51. utu says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Perhaps this might be useful

    No hardware/software distinction can be made with respect to the brain or mind
    For years it was tempting to imagine that the brain was the hardware on which a “mind program” or “mind software” is executing. This gave rise to a variety of abstract program-like models of cognition, in which the details of how the brain actually executed those programs was considered irrelevant, in the same way that a Java program can accomplish the same function as a C++ program.

    Unfortunately, this appealing hardware/software distinction obscures an important fact: the mind emerges directly from the brain, and changes in the mind are always accompanied by changes in the brain. Any abstract information processing account of cognition will always need to specify how neuronal architecture can implement those processes – otherwise, cognitive modeling is grossly underconstrained. Some blame this misunderstanding for the infamous failure of “symbolic AI.”
    http://scienceblogs.com/developingintelligence/2007/03/27/why-the-brain-is-not-like-a-co/

    The empty brain: Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer
    Our shoddy thinking about the brain has deep historical roots, but the invention of computers in the 1940s got us especially confused. For more than half a century now, psychologists, linguists, neuroscientists and other experts on human behaviour have been asserting that the human brain works like a computer.

    We don’t store words or the rules that tell us how to manipulate them. We don’t create representations of visual stimuli, store them in a short-term memory buffer, and then transfer the representation into a long-term memory device. We don’t retrieve information or images or words from memory registers. Computers do all of these things, but organisms do not.
    https://aeon.co/essays/your-brain-does-not-process-information-and-it-is-not-a-computer

    2014 : WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT?
    The Grand Analogy

    Today computationalists and cognitive scientists—those researchers who see digital computing as a model for human thought and the mind—are nearly unanimous in believing the Grand Analogy and teaching it to their students. And whether you accept it or not, the analogy is milestone of modern intellectual history. It partly explains why a solid majority of contemporary computationalists and cognitive scientists believe that eventually, you will be able to give your laptop a (real not simulated) mind by downloading and executing the right software app. Whereupon if you tell the machine, “imagine a rose,” it will conjure one up in its mind, just as you do. Tell it to “recall an embarrassing moment” and it will recall something and feel embarrassed, just as you might. In this view, embarrassed computers are just around the corner.

    But no such software will ever exist, and the analogy is false and has slowed our progress in grasping the actual phenomenology of mind. We have barely begun to understand the mind from inside. But what’s wrong with this suggestive, provocative analogy? My first reason is old; the other three are new.
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25335

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @utu
  52. utu says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    “Software” is not a “completely wrong” analogy, and may be useful when “thinking about the brain”.

    You have any example to justify your statement that software analogy would be useful?

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  53. @utu

    Thanks. Interesting. I certainly can’t say that applying the software analogy to the brain is useful but i am inclined not to throw it away when I read, in your second quoted passage “We don’t store words or the rules that tell us how to manipulate them” because it is surely wrong. How can se know and use words, and do so grammatically and ligically, unless we have stored them and the rules? Does Allah intervene nano second by nano second to keep the show on the road?

    • Replies: @utu
  54. dux.ie [AKA "saxo"] says:
    @Authenticjazzman

    You metallic saxophone must have short-circuited your external electrical field mind.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  55. utu says:
    @utu

    This paper offers good illustration why software is inadequate analogy. Also this is argument for nurture, i.e., anatomical changes in brain are result of learning experience. Also known as the ass-brain postulate. Better sitzfleisch better brain.

    Neuroplasticity as a function of second language learning: Anatomical changes in the human brain Ping Li, Jennifer Legault and Kaitlyn A. Litcofsky

    Many previous studies have identified anatomical changes as a function of non-linguistic experiences or acquisition of new skills, including attention, musical expertise, mathematical learning, spatial memory, and visuomotor learning.

    The studies discussed above revealed significant anatomical changes in terms of increased GM density, increased CT, or enhanced WM tract connectivity, not as a result of lifelong experience with two languages but as a function of short-term learning or training on aspects of a new language. Thus, shorter learning can indeed modify brain structures.

    Their results indicated that at the end of the study abroad experience, the learnershad increased GM density in the left IFG and the left anterior temporal lobe (ATL), two areas that are implicated to serve lexical access and semantic integration.The structural changes in these regions also positively correlated with the students’ performance on L2 vocabulary tasks.

    Carreiras et al. (2009) showed that adults who acquired literacy late in life (at a meanage of 32 years), as compared with age-matched illiterate adults, had significantly more WM in the selenium of the CC,and increased GMvolume in anumber of regions implicated for reading skills. Furthermore, these authors found a close correspondence between WM and functional connectivity patterns, indicating that reading, even when acquired late in adulthood, can enhance inter-hemispheric connections especially in the left and right angular gyri.

  56. Ivan says:
    @Santoculto

    I would go some way with the egalitarian assessment in the case of Gould and Lewontin, but not Gardner. They were egalitarians but it would be hard to link them to a zionist agenda.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  57. @Daniel Chieh

    Medicos in France have recently encountered a man who is equipped with ca 20% of standard brain mass, and he has been living a quite normal, however humble life for fifty some years.
    Almost all of the supposedly absolutely necessary centers are missing, and of course they have been scrambling to find an explanation for this stranger than strange case.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet and pro jazz artist.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  58. @Ivan

    They are hidden in the zionist narrative. Even if Gardner is not a closeted zionist [ i doubt] he is working for zionist agenda, divide and conquer white people, spreading egalitarian version of intelligence research [”everyone have a asleep genius”], as well so many white illibs and unrightists.

    ”Its’ theory, if he was the first who thought intelligence have different and or specialized facets [i doubt, he seems worked it more], it’s not wrong at all, indeed, he nailed the qualitative aspects of [human] intelligence.

    The zionist agenda is not just take a ”promissed land” but also dominate the world usurping western civilization from their original creators, just like some parasites do in natural world with their host-prey.

    Gardner theory is a way to say ”because there are different types of intelligence, so people are diversely equal in cognitive terms” and we know, self-evidently, that it’s not exactly like that.

    IQ has proved racial differences since its earlier studies, so Gardner theory is perfect to be used, instead as a qualitative complement, as a [egalitarian] rival against IQ, ”unequal” theory of intelligence.

  59. @SportsFan

    “electric field surrounding the body”

    So-called perypheric nervous system, but i liked his definition, =)

    ”surrounding the body”

    Christmas tree.

  60. @utu

    You have any example to justify your statement that software analogy would be useful?

    That would depend. Few people know what “software” means, and how it works. Although “software” is typically described as “instructions”, that is not an accurate representation. Software is an integral part of an operational system, not an overlaying controller.

    I find your semantic burbling to be an effort to assert superiority of comprehension and definition, something similar to the technique of speaking imperially to disguise ignorance. Use of words like “justify”, in place of “explain” or “describe” stand out. You demand that explanation fit your understanding, rather than expanding that understanding by asking question that elicit information and explanation.

    • Replies: @utu
  61. utu says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “How can se know and use words…unless we have stored them and the rules?”

    Good question. This is all about contextual multilevel associations. There are no lists. There are no “explicit” rules. They identified brain regions where the magic is happening:

    https://gianfrancoconti.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/words-in-the-mind-how-lexis-is-stored-and-organized-in-our-brains-and-the-implications-for-the-mfl-classroom/
    When a lexical item is stored in LTM, the brain does not place it in just any random place along our neural networks. Insight form research on the slip-of-the-tongue phenomenon and aphasia indicates that the neural connections between the lexical items in our mental lexicon are determined by specific associative mechanisms which involve the physical aspect of a word as well as the metalinguistic, semantic, sociolinguistic and emotional domain.

    When we need to translate a given ‘thought’ (or ‘proposition’, as psycholinguists call it) into words, the brain fires electrical impulses which travel at very high speed through LTM’s neural pathways in search of the words that match that thought. During this process, every single word associated with that thought receives activation.

    There are different level of association: Physical associations, Semantic Association and Linguistic context.

    Where Words are Stored: The Brain’s Meaning Map
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/where-words-are-stored-the-brain-s-meaning-map/

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  62. utu says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    That would depend. Few people know what “software” means, and how it works. Although “software” is typically described as “instructions”, that is not an accurate representation. Software is an integral part of an operational system, not an overlaying controller.

    This does not look like an example I asked for. It looks like obfuscation. Note I did not say “you are obfuscating” because now I know you perceive declarative sentences as a form of microaggression. That apparently can get you ticked off.

    I find your semantic burbling to be an effort to assert superiority of comprehension and definition

    Is it possible you are projecting? And we are back to semantics. Semantic microaggression?

  63. Agent76 says:

    MAY 12, 2017 This 12-Year-Old Surpasses Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking In IQ Test

    Most of us get elated at getting full marks in class and keep boasting of it for years. But here is a girl who hasn’t stepped into her teens yet but has made India and UK proud by achieving a rare score at Mensa’s IQ test. Let’s know more this girl.

    http://www.sooziq.com/72544/this-12-year-old-surpasses-albert-einstein-stephen-hawking-in-iq-test/#ixzz4gsY0QnNh

    Mensa Workout

    You have half an hour to answer 30 questions. Answers to the questions and discussion of the answers are provided at the time you submit your answers. While there is a 30-minute time limit to take the test, the amount of time you actually take in no way affects your final score. This is due to the differences in transmission times on the internet, and server loads.

    https://www.mensa.org/workout

  64. @Authenticjazzman

    I thought that was a long time ago. At any rate, though, I’m still curious as to your thoughts on how brain damage is capable of affecting personality.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  65. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    When we need to translate a given ‘thought’ (or ‘proposition’, as psycholinguists call it) into words, the brain fires electrical impulses which travel at very high speed through LTM’s neural pathways in search of the words that match that thought. During this process, every single word associated with that thought receives activation.

    Conversely, one imagines, when we need to translate a given word into a ‘thought’ the brain fires electrical impulses which travel at very high speed through LTM’s neural pathways in search of the thoughts that match that word.

    That would imply that our understanding of words is not based on definitions but on all past experience of the use of that word. The implication is that all, or at least much, of an individual’s lifetime conscious experience is retained, if not in deliberately accessible memory, in potentially accessible memory.

    This is not such an astounding contention if one takes account of the fact that there are something like 100,000 modifiable synapses in the human brain for every second of life-long consciousness.

    That language use creates the need for for such a large data depository may explain the great enlargement of the human brain relative to that of other apes. It would also explain (1) the need, in humans, for a dozen or so years of childhood, it taking that much experience to gain a the high verbal competence upon which the biological success of humans largely depends, and (2) the universal tendency for memory to decline with age, which is to be expected as LTM resources become exhausted as experience accumulates.

  66. @dux.ie

    ” You (your) metallic saxophone must have short-circuited your external electrical field mind”

    HA HA HA HA H A HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    So original, so very eloquent, so witty and poetic.

    Damn this is magnificent.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet and pro jazz musician.

  67. @Daniel Chieh

    “How brain damage is capable of affecting personality” :

    Because we believe it to be so, and our beliefs create our reality.

    This concept of brain damage affecting personality is a mass belief system such as is everything else within human experience.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet and pro jazz musician.

    PS : Each and every single human being is creating the whole of their own personal reality, the whole of their universe, meaning the sun, moon stars mountains, oceans etc.
    This indicates that there are ca seven billion overlapping universes within our space arrangement, each one of them created by each singular person.

  68. utu says:
    @Authenticjazzman

    Each and every single human being is creating the whole of their own personal reality, the whole of their universe, meaning the sun, moon stars mountains, oceans etc.

    This indicates that there are ca seven billion overlapping universes within our space arrangement, each one of them created by each singular person.

    Why do they all seem to obey the same traffic rules or is it only in my universe? Do they turn left on red in your universe?

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  69. @utu

    ” Why do they seem to obey the same traffic rules or is it only in my universe?”

    The key to this question is : “Overlapping”. All of the personal, individual universes in this dimension are “overlapping” each other, and the creators, you, me, thereof are agreeing moment by moment, seeing as there is only this one moment, and time does not exist, they, you, me, are agreeing that their individual unverses shall very closely resemble each other, although there indeed detectable differences.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet and pro jazz artist.

  70. Creindeuspai#

    My universe is first world sorrounding by third world universe-periphery.

    commoneurs…

    overfapping… jeeeziz

  71. anon • Disclaimer says:

    makes sense imo – if you believe a large part of IQ is simply brain health i.e. genes that make some necessary biological sub-mechanism more efficient.

  72. anon • Disclaimer says:

    software vs hardware

    the analogy i currently think is closest to reality is Tommy Flowers’ “Colossus” computer which was programmed by switches and valves.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_computer

    i picture brain development and learning as collections of cells being formed into sub-routines with each cell the equivalent of a Colussus-like valve.

    programming with meat (or fat in this case)

  73. @Authenticjazzman

    So how do I use this to become a billionaire?

  74. @James Thompson

    The scanner, however, is in the prone position – so I thought you were originally correct (i.e. “all I know of MRIs are the ones with a prone scanner”) – but since you say you were not correct, I guess that grammatical ambiguity has been resolved. I only had to ask to be let out once during my latest MRI – I was proud of myself that it was just once – it was quite the ordeal. I knew exactly who was supine (me) and who was prone (the scanner). My claustrophobia ( an emotion which I have only experienced once in life, namely during that MRI, even though I have been, at least once, on a small plane in near-the-ground near-fatal turbulence and, at least twice, under well-targeted fire from incoming long-range artillery in flimsy but menacingly constrictive Quanset huts – during which experiences I did not have the least frisson of ‘claustrophobia’ ) was completely my fault for not sufficiently reaching an understanding beforehand that, hey, it is just a scanner. I think those MRI ordeals would be psychologically much much easier if the scanning were from below, so one could think that both oneself and the unlikeable scanner were in the supine (I almost wrote prone- an easy mistake to make) position. But what do I know? I would rather fly to Mars or Deimos or even Phobos and back again in a tin can without anybody knowing about it than go through another MRI.

  75. @Authenticjazzman

    Brain damage can also occur with little change to IQ—a lot have IQs in the normal range.

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/05/17/traumatic-brain-injury-and-iq/

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  76. @RaceRealist88

    Contradictory thinking is a type of ”brain damage”*

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  77. @Santoculto

    Do you know what brain damage (ie TBI) is?

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  78. @RaceRealist88

    I don’t know if i know.. tell me you

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