Intelligence is correlated with fewer neural connections, not more, study finds

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May 17 (UPI) — The smartest people may boast more neurons than those of average intelligence, but their brains have fewer neural connections, new research proves.

Neuroscientists in Germany recruited 259 participants, both men and women, to take IQ tests and have their brains imaged. Testing provided a measure of each participant’s intelligence, while neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging revealed the number of dendrites, or neural connections, in each participant’s brain.

The research revealed a strong correlation between the number of dendrites in a person’s cerebral cortex and their intelligence. The smartest participants had fewer neural connections in their cerebral cortex.

Researchers confirmed the correlation in a followup survey using data sourced from the Human Connectome Project, including IQ scores and brain images of 500 individuals.

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