Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The neural noise efficiency hypothesis: Processing efficiency, Gf, Gc and Gv model support

I just skimmed a brief and interesting article that adds to the continually expanding research that suggests that processing efficiency (Gsm-MW or working memory; Gs-processing speed) is highly related to fluid reasoning/intelligence (Gf), possibly in a causal manner. [Click here and here for definitions of the CHC abilities]

The research by Martinez and Colom (2009), in an adult sample of 265 (caution - generalization to children and adolescents needs independent study; esp. given the developmental cascade hypothesis), used the unique approach of statistically removing the Gf variance from their respective Gc (crystallized intelligence or comprehension knowledge) and Gv (visual-spatial ability) factor measures, and then finding that processing efficiency (Gs and Gsm-working memory) only predicted Gf and NOT Gc or Gv. This would also support the Gs-->Working Memory-->Gf model that has been previously tested, including by yours truley.

The authors interpret their findings as support for the "neural noise hypothesis regarding the biological base of cognitive functions such as working memory." The neural noise hypothesis is grounded in Jensen's neural osciillation model of intelligence. The authors concluded that "participants with higher levels of fluid intelligence show cognitive patterns reflecting less neural noise-oscillations and more processing efficiency and working memory capacity." Stated differently, the lower the "noisy" transmission among groups of neurons in the brain the greater the efficiency of efficient neural processing ...which results in better fluid intelligence (Gf), which in turn, via the "investment hypothesis", results in the development of other human abilities (Gc, Gv, etc.)

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