Cognitive Neuroscience - Intelligence


Raffaella Rumiati

Amount of frontal teaching: 

~16 hours



Lecture 1. Introduction to intelligence

  1. Early definitions of intelligence: single factor vs multiple factors
  2. Construct validity and construct reliability
  3. Scientific definitions of intelligence (Francis Galton, James McKeen Cattell, Alfred Binet, Henry Goddard, Lewis Terman, Robert Yerkes)
  4. The origin of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests
  5. The early tests: Binet and Simon’s scales, Stanford-Binet scale, the Alpha and Beta tests


Lecture 2. Rise and fall of intelligence?

  1. The least fit survives: a misinterpretation of Darwin’s theory
  2. The Flynn effect: general features
  3. Differences in the Flynn effect between verbal and non-verbal tests
  4. The stability of IQ
  5. The development of IQ
  6. The decline of IQ
  7. Cross-sectional studies
  8. Longitudinal studies


Lecture 3. Testing intelligence

  1. Main IQ tests
  2. The Wechsler tests: WAIS and WISC
  3. Deviation IQ
  4. How do we convert test scores above or below this mean into IQ scores?
  5. Content of the Wechsler tests
  6. Raven’s Matrices
  7. Comparing Raven and Wechsler
  8. General intelligence (g): Spearman’s two-factor theory
  9. Factor analytic approach
  10. Thurstone’s primary mental ability
  11. Guttman’s radix model


Lecture 4. Gardner’s multiple intelligences

  1. Criteria to identify these particular intelligences
  2. Intelligences, talents and skills?                                                      
  3. Independence
  4. Against Gardner’s theory
  5. Signs of intelligence
  6. Modularity and localization of function
  7. Social intelligence
  8. Emotional intelligence


Lecture 5. Factors that can influence intelligence

  1. Education
  2. Socio economic effect (SE)
  3. Family background (FB)
  4. Social Class
  5. Sex


Lecture 6. Intelligence and the brain

  1. Brain size
  2. Correlation between head size and IQ
  3. Brain size with MR and CT-Scans
  4. Neuroanatomical Correlates of Intelligence
  5. Global findings of tissue-based intelligence correlates
  6. Regional findings of tissue-based intelligence correlates
  7. Local findings of tissue-based intelligence correlates
  8. Cortical Thickness
  9. Cortical Convolution
  10. A distributed brain network for human intelligence
  11. A Neural Basis for General Intelligence

Lecture 7. Intelligence and neuropsychological deficits

  1. Brief introduction to neuropsychology
  2. Dysexectutive Syndrome
  3. Frontal patients’ deficits
  4. Tests used (Stroop test, Winsconsin Card Sorting Test)
  5. Fractioning of frontal functions
  6. IQ and frontal lobe
  7. Other neuropsychological syndromes with frontal deficits