September 25, 2008

Fluid Intelligence and the Prefrontal Cortex

The Positive Manifold: Reactive Control in Fluid Intelligence?
by Chris Chatham

What neural mechanisms underlie "fluid intelligence," the ability to reason and solve novel problems? This is the question addressed in a recent paper by Gray et al. in Nature Neuroscience. The authors begin by suggesting that fluid intelligence is related to both attentional control and active maintenance of information in the face of ongoing processing (i.e., working memory).

Each of these concepts, in turn, has been associated with the functioning of the lateral prefrontal cortex - a region that has been massively expanded in humans compared to even our closest evolutionary relatives.

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