Developing Intelligence

Archives for December, 2007

Originally posted on 12/16 2006: The term “executive function” is frequently used but infrequently defined. In attempting to experimentally define executive functions in terms of their relationship to age, reasoning and perceptual speed, Timothy Salthouse reviewed the variety of verbal definitions given to construct of “executive function.” Although these differ in terminology and emphasis, they…

If you encounter a difficult situation, you may be extra careful afterwards, even in a different or unrelated situation. This intuitive statement has recently been confirmed in a laboratory task, and extended to show that such carry-over “conflict adaptation” effects may affect the speed with which you approach subsequent tasks very differently from how it…

Is there a basic “computational unit” of the neocortex? In contrast to subcortical regions, neocortical architecture seems fairly regular and matrix-like – leading to it’s other name, “isocortex.” While there are many contenders for the title of the “canonical circuit” or “cortical algorithm”, few would dispute that cortical columns are a fundamental organizational principle of…

How does memory help to accomplish moment-to-moment goal-directed action? Classic accounts, such as Baddeley’s working memory model, suggest that there are separate storage and processing (“executive”) mechanisms, whereas newer accounts (proposed by a variety of researchers) propose that storage and processing are intertwined in the form of maintained goal or context representations. According to these…

Does IQ Reflect Temporal Acuity?

Your IQ can be reliably predicted by simple reaction time tasks – perhaps even more reliably than with much more complex cognitive tasks. This surprising psychometric fact has led to the belief in human “processing speed.” In the same way that a computer with a faster microprocessor might carry out more computations, with potentially less…