Developmental Psychology

Developing Intelligence

Category archives for Developmental Psychology

In an update to their groundbreaking earlier demonstration that high-IQ children initially show a thinner cortex, and later show an initially thicker one than their average-IQ peers, Shaw et al. have now documented those trajectories of cortical thickening which are invariant to socio-economic status and IQ, but vary between regions of the brain. These videos…

If you said 1/1000, you’ve given the answer provided more often by second graders than by undergraduates. And you’re also right.

My friend Geoff once said that “all cognition is social.” Smugly, I reminded myself that the conclusions of cognitive psychologists are drawn on evidence where social cues are kept constant. But even in the absence of confounding social cues, perhaps the underlying cognitive processes themselves are caused by social factors. A great example of this…

Visual perception is constantly challenged by visual occlusion: objects in our environment constantly obscure one another, and seem to “disappear” when in fact they are nonetheless present. Young infants begin to demonstrate a basic understanding of “object permanence” at some point during the first six months of life. On more complex tasks, understanding of object…

Parietal cortex is critical for the maintenance of object information over delays. This is true both in tests of working memory (e.g., 1, 2 and 3) as well as simple visual manipulations involving the occlusion of visible objects. A great example is this study by Olson et al., who demonstrated that neurons in human intraparietal…

To enhance any system, one first needs to identify its capacity-limiting factor(s). Human cognition is a highly complex and multiply constrained system, consisting of both independent and interdependent capacity-limitations. These “bottlenecks” in cognition are reviewed below as a coherent framework for understanding the plethora of cognitive training paradigms which are currently associated with enhancements of…

How would an ideal behavioral method for cognitive enhancement actually affect the brain? Perhaps cognitive enhancement would be accompanied by more activity in the prefrontal cortex, indicating more successful engagement of control – or perhaps by less, indicating more efficient processing? Perhaps it would be accompanied by a transition from prefrontal activation to parietal activation,…

Kevin at IQ’s Corner has blogged about a new paper in PNAS showing that “working memory” training can improve measures of fluid intelligence – a capacity long thought to be relatively insensitive to experience, and intricately tied to the most complex human cognitions like reasoning, planning, and abstraction in novel contexts. Jaeggi et al., posit…

Children can be notoriously constrained to the present, but a fascinating article in JEP:HPP by Vallesi & Shallice shows exactly how strong that constraint can be: in a study with 4-11 year-olds, they show that only children older than about 5 years will take advantage of additional time provided for them to prepare for a…

New research from Wharton and the Carlson School shows that a methodologically-appealing measure of impulsivity – hyperbolic discounting rate – may actually reflect a systematic “skew” in the way people perceive time. Previous work has shown that people tend to decreasingly discount the usefulness or appeal of a reward with increasing delays; that is, a…