Here's How to Find Out If You Are Actually Smart

First, book a doctor’s appointment

By Evan Bleier

Here's How to Find Out If You Are Actually Smart
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27 July 2016

Most IQ tests — SAT, Mensa, electric-wired cheese — require you to put in a degree of effort.

Now, courtesy of a team of University of Warwick researchers, there’s a way to measure your intelligence that requires you do nothing more than lie flat on your back … in an MRI machine.

After conducting an analysis of resting-state MRI scans of thousands of brains, scientists found that the regions of the brain usually associated with learning and development have high levels of variability, i.e., they change their neural connections with other parts of the brain frequently.

On the other hand, parts of the brain that aren’t often linked with intelligence (visual, auditory and sensory-motor areas) had decreased levels of variability. The analysis also discovered that high levels of neural variability was a positive indicator of a brain’s flexibility and adaptability.

To put it simply, the more variable a brain is, the higher a person’s IQ and creativity usually are.

The results of the study — which were published in a paper titled “Neural, electrophysiological and anatomical basis of brain-network variability and its characteristic changes in mental disorders” — also could have implications for developing AI tech and treating depression.

By the way, if the name of that paper makes sense to you, feel free to skip the MRI. You're smart.

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