Friday, November 17, 2017

CHC theory evolution: Processing speed-Gs

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Can brain training reduce dementia risk? Despite new research, the jury is still out



Can brain training reduce dementia risk? Despite new research, the jury is still out

From The Guardian, a Flipboard magazine by The Guardian

There are good reasons to be cautious about a new study claiming computer-based training can reduce the risk of…

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Dementia breakthrough? Brain-training game 'significantly reduces risk'



Dementia breakthrough? Brain-training game 'significantly reduces risk'

From Brain, a Flipboard magazine by tommysclee

A recent study has been hailed as a "breakthrough" in dementia prevention, after finding that a brain-training exercise can…

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty: Current Issues and Controversies: Marc J. Tassé Ph.D., John H. Blume JD MAR: 9781440840142: Amazon.com: Books




Providing key information for students or professionals in the fields of criminology, education, psychology, law, and law enforcement, this book documents the legal and clinical aspects of the issues related to intellectual disability and the death penalty.


• Provides a comprehensive review of the legal and clinical aspects of the death penalty and intellectual disability

• Offers a detailed discussion of the Supreme court decision in Atkins v. Virginia as well as a review of court decisions since that 2002 ruling

• Details the diagnostic issues related to determination of intellectual disability, such as the assessment of intellectual functioning, adaptive behavior, and age of onset

• Shares best practices in clinical assessment and important forensic matters that must be considered





Differentiation of cognitive abilities in the WAIS-IV at the item level - ScienceDirect


Abstract

It is known that studying the differentiation of cognitive abilities is associated with many methodological challenges. In the recent years, methods have been developed to address these challenges. However, these methods require that the item scores of an intelligence test are combined into a composite score which may affect the power to detect the differentiation effect or even produce spurious results. Therefore, in this study, an item level approach is presented that can be used to simultaneously test for ability differentiation, age differentiation, and age differentiation-dedifferentiation. The new method is investigated in two small simulation studies, and applied to the standardization data of the Hungarian WAIS-IV. Results indicate that the ability differentiation effect is consistently present in the items of the WAIS-IV while there is no consistent age differentiation and/or age differentiation-dedifferentiation effect.





Differentiation of cognitive abilities and the Medical College Admission Test - ScienceDirect

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886917306608

Monday, November 13, 2017

Memory complaints and cognitive decline: Data from the GuidAge study



Memory complaints and cognitive decline: Data from the GuidAge study

From THE SCIENCE OF My LIFE, a Flipboard magazine by duskdiver

A memory complaint, also called Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD), is a subjective disorder that appears to be relatively common,…

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******************************************************
Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
******************************************************

Neurons are seen exploding across the brain "like fireworks" in the most detailed map ever made



Neurons are seen exploding across the brain "like fireworks" in the most detailed map ever made

From Brain Philosophy, a Flipboard magazine by Sandra Clark

Beyond teaching us more about the structure of the brain, these maps could help unlock some of the…

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Brain imaging reveals brain stem alterations in children with autism



Brain imaging reveals brain stem alterations in children with autism

From Brain/Vision, a Flipboard magazine by CinemaoftheMind

Children with autism show different patterns of connectivity than controls do in brain stem regions associated with balance.…

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tactile abilities (Gh) in the CHC taxonomy overview. Plus new study with possible support for tactile working memory

Interesting new study that provides some support for a possible tactile working memory (Gwm) ability in the CHC taxonomy. Much more research needed before one could consider adding it to CHC taxonomy. Click on image to enlarge.





Article link.

Abstract

The human prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been shown to be important for metacognition, the capacity to monitor and control one's own cognitive processes. Here we dissected the neural architecture of somatosensory metacognition using navigated single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to modulate tactile working memory (WM) processing. We asked subjects to perform tactile WM tasks and to give a confidence rating for their performance after each trial. We circumvented the challenge of interindividual variability in functional brain anatomy by applying TMS to two PFC areas that, according to tractography, were neurally connected with the primary somatosensory cortex (S1): one area in the superior frontal gyrus (SFG), another in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG). These two PFC locations and a control cortical area were stimulated during both spatial and temporal tactile WM tasks. We found that tractography-guided TMS of the SFG area selectively enhanced metacognitive accuracy of tactile temporal, but not spatial WM. Stimulation of the MFG area that was also neurally connected with the S1 had no such effect on metacognitive accuracy of either the temporal or spatial tactile WM. Our findings provide causal evidence that the PFC contains distinct neuroanatomical substrates for introspective accuracy of tactile WM.


Key words: metacognition, TMS, tractography, working memory

——————————

Below is a section (submitted draft copy) of our (Joel Schneider and I) forthcoming CHC update chapter. In Gh we currently did not see enough support for a tactile working memory factor, although we have speculated that such memory may exist (see italic font sections).

Schneider, W. J., & McGrew, K. S. (in press). The Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Cognitive Abilities. In D. P. Flanagan & Erin M .McDonough (Eds.), Contemporary intellectual assessment: Theories, tests and issues (4thed.,) New York: Guilford PressHere is link to current 3rd edition.

SUBMITTED DRAFT: DO NOTE QUOTE

Tactile abilities (Gh):  Tactile abilities (Gh) can be defined as the ability to detect and process meaningful information in haptic (touch) sensations. It includes perceiving, discriminating and manipulating touch stimuli.

Gh refers not to sensitivity of touch, but to the cognition one performs with tactile sensations. Because this ability is not yet well defined and understood, it is hard to describe authoritatively. We speculate that it will include such things as tactile visualization (object identification via palpation), localization (where has one been touched), memory (remembering where one has been touched), texture knowledge (naming surfaces and fabrics by touch), and many others. Tests of Gh have long been used in neuropsychological batteries because of their ability to detect brain injury, especially to the somatosensory cortex. Attempts to developed haptic-based assessment batteries have also been developed for individuals who are blind or have severe visual disabilities (e.g., the Blind Learning Aptitude Test).

Much to the disdain of new parents, our initial explorations of the world as infants is filled with touching, grabbing, and sucking almost any object within immediate reach. The human sense of touch, be it with our hands or mouth, provides perceptual information regarding our immediate environment and serves as a primary foundation for the development of many concepts. The importance of touch permeates our discussion of learning as “we often talk about ‘grasping’ an idea, ‘getting a handle on’ a problem, or being ‘touched’ by a reading” (Minogue & Jones, 2006, p. 317). Driven by recent technological developments in robotics, 3D printers (making it possible to develop precise 3D stimuli), prosthetic limbs and hands, touch screen mobile devices and haptic feedback displays, technology to aid the visually impaired, the teleoperation of remote sensing or manipulation devices (telesurgery; operating remote drones), virtual reality based training and simulation (e.g., training of surgeons), etc., there has been increasing interest and research into tactile or haptic abilities (Kappers & Bergmann Tiest, 2013).

Circumscribing the emerging research on haptic perception is beyond the scope of this chapter. Haptic perceptual characteristics include such material properties as roughness, compliance, viscosity, friction, temperature, density and weight, and spatial properties, such as shape, curvature, length, volume and orientation, as well as quantitative properties such as numerosity (Kappers & Bergmann Tiest, 2013). A complete understanding of haptic perception requires understanding the peripheral sensory receptors (in the skin, muscles, tendons and joints), research that has identified two channels of haptic perception (“what” and “where”), and other issues such as vision-touch interactions, affective touch, and neural plasticity (Lederman & Klatzky, 2009). Furthermore, consumer psychologists have learned that some individuals have a “need for touch” (Peck & Childers, 2003) when evaluating products to counter common visual misperceptions (some scientists refer to touch as the “reality sense”; Nuszbaum, Voss, Klauer, & Betsch, 2010). The implications of touch for cognition are recognized by many educators who advocate the use of “hands-on” instruction (see Minogue & Jones, 2006, for emerging educational applications of haptic sensations).

Narrow Abilities within Tactile Abilities (Gh)

Despite the recent increase and variety of haptic perception research and applications, the limited structural evidence research does not allow us to articulate a more nuanced version of the fundamental factors of haptic abilities than outlined in our 2012 chapter —there are yet no well-supported cognitive ability factors within Gh. Although Stankov, Seizova-Cajic and Roberts (2001) identified a narrow tactile sensitivity (TS) factor, this is a sensory ability (refers to the ability to make fine discriminations in haptic sensations) and not a cognitive ability. For example, if two caliper points are placed on the skin simultaneously, we perceive them as a single point if they are close together. Some people can make finer discriminations than others. The very narrow TS factor was found to be minimally related to higher-level broad CHC abilities (Gf, Gv, Ga; Stankov et al., 2001). Two new (or previously overlooked) Gh structural evidence studies summarized below were either inconclusive or are based on samples to small to suggest revisions to the Gh domain.

In a factor study of the tactile measures from the Dean-Woodcock Sensory Motor Battery and CHC measures with a conormed cognitive battery of measures representative of the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model of intelligence, Decker (2010) found that the Palm Writing and Object Identification tests did not form a distinct Gh factor and either loaded on a processing speed (Gs) factor or were factorially complex (Gs and Gv). Ballesteros, Bardisa, Millar and Reales (2005) investigated the psychometric characteristics, including factor analysis, of a psychological test battery designed to measure the perceptual and cognitive abilities of children with visual handicaps. The 20-test battery materials consist of raised-dot, raised-surface shapes and displays, and familiar and novel 3-D objects that required active touch. In a small sample, exploratory factor analysis identified six factors—spatial comprehension, short-term memory, object identification, shape identification efficient exploration, material and texture discrimination. Given the small sample size and the lack of other CHC ability indicators, the Ballesteros et al. (2005) study can only be considered suggestive and a first step in the exploration of the structural nature of Gh.

Assessment Recommendations for Gh

Most practical and clinical applications of Gh tests actually use sensory acuity tests. There are currently no available tests of higher-order Gh processes that are clearly distinct from Gv or Gs. The Halstead-–Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery and the Dean-Woodock–Woodcock Neuropsychological Battery include several Gh tests.

Comments and Unresolved Issues Related to Gh

1. How is Gh to be distinguished from Gv and Gf? Two well-designed studies (Roberts, Stankov, Pallier, & Dolph, 1997; Stankov et al., 2001) found it difficult to distinguish between complex tests assumed to measure Gh and well-defined markers of Gv and Gf. Why might this be so? If the test involves identifying common objects (coins, keys, books, etc.) by handling them while blindfolded, the examinee is essentially using the hands instead of the eyes to visualize an object in the “minds eyes.”

2. What about “dynamic touch”? Do abilities from the Gh and kinesthetic (Gk) domains combine to reflect individual differences in dynamic touch (Stankov et al., 2001; Turvey, 1996)?

3. Like the presence of imagery in vision and auditory abilities, does some form of haptic imagery ability exist? What role would it play in Gh abilities?



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Friday, November 10, 2017

Research Byte: Is General Intelligence Little More Than the Speed of Higher-Order Processing?

Although a small sample, this is still and interesting study. The results are consistent with the continued nexus of the g, Gf, Gwm, attentional control and speed of higher order processing (especially P300 in ERP’s), white matter tract integrity and the PFIT model of intelligence as well as the recent process overlap theory (POT) of g.

Click on images to enlarge









Article link.

Anna-Lena Schubert, Dirk Hagemann, and Gidon T. Frischkorn Heidelberg University

ABSTRACT

Individual differences in the speed of information processing have been hypothesized to give rise to individual differences in general intelligence. Consistent with this hypothesis, reaction times (RTs) and latencies of event-related potential have been shown to be moderately associated with intelligence. These associations have been explained either in terms of individual differences in some brain-wide property such as myelination, the speed of neural oscillations, or white-matter tract integrity, or in terms of individual differences in specific processes such as the signal-to-noise ratio in evidence accumulation, executive control, or the cholinergic system. Here we show in a sample of 122 participants, who completed a battery of RT tasks at 2 laboratory sessions while an EEG was recorded, that more intelligent individuals have a higher speed of higher-order information processing that explains about 80% of the variance in general intelligence. Our results do not support the notion that individuals with higher levels of general intelligence show advantages in some brain-wide property. Instead, they suggest that more intelligent individuals benefit from a more efficient transmission of information from frontal attention and working memory processes to temporal-parietal processes of memory storage.

Keywords: ERP latencies, event-related potentials, intelligence, processing speed, reaction times



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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Childhood Music Training Induces Change in Micro and Macroscopic Brain Structure: Results from a Longitudinal Study | Cerebral Cortex



Childhood Music Training Induces Change in Micro and Macroscopic Brain Structure: Results from a Longitudinal Study | Cerebral Cortex

From Neuro, a Flipboard magazine by Jack

Several studies comparing adult musicians and nonmusicians have…

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Research Byte: What Causes the Anti-Flynn Effect? A Data Synthesis and Analysis of Predictors




Woodley of Menie, M. A., Peñaherrera-Aguirre, M., Fernandes, H. B. F., & Figueredo, A.-J. (2017). What Causes the Anti-Flynn Effect? A Data Synthesis and Analysis of Predictors. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. Advance online publication.

Article link.


Abstract

Anti-Flynn effects (i.e., secular declines in IQ) have been noted in a few countries. Much speculation exists about the causes of these trends; however, little progress has been made toward comprehensively testing these. A synthetic literature search yielded a total of 66 observations of secular IQ decline from 13 countries, with a combined sample size of 302,234 and study midyears spanning 87 years, from 1920.5 to 2007.5. Multilevel modeling (MLM) was used to examine the effect of study midyear, and (after controlling for this and other factors) hierarchical general linear modeling (GLM) was used to examine the following sequence of predictors: domain “g-ness” (a rank-order measure of g saturation) Index of Biological State (IBS; a measure of relaxed/reversed selection operating on g), per capita immigration, and the 2-way interactions IBS × g-ness and Immigration × g-ness. The MLM revealed that the anti-Flynn effect has strengthened in more recent years. Net of this, the GLM found that g-ness was a positive predictor; that is, less aggregately g-loaded measures exhibited bigger IQ declines; IBS was not a significant predictor; however immigration predicted the decline, indicating that high levels of immigration promote the anti-Flynn effect. Among the interactions there was a negative effect of the Immigration × g-ness interaction, indicating that immigration promotes IQ decline the most when the measure is higher in g-ness. The model accounted for 37.1% of the variance among the observations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)


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Monday, November 06, 2017

12 Finalists named to take part in the Brainnovations Pitch Contest (December 6th, 2017)



12 Finalists named to take part in the Brainnovations Pitch Contest (December 6th, 2017)

Proud and excited to announce the 12 groundbreaking startups that will get to pitch their idea and solutions at…

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Sunday, November 05, 2017

Wig (2017, in press)-Segregated Systems of Human Brain Networks


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Article link.

This is an excellent and thought provoking brain network review that addresses the push-pull between optimal (and necessary) brain network segregation and more transient and fluid integration “on demand” to meet new task demands. Excellent summary.








ABSTRACT

The organization of the brain network enables its function. Evaluation of this
organization has revealed that large-scale brain networks consist of multiple segregated subnetworks of interacting brain areas. Descriptions of resting state network architecture have provided clues for understanding the functional significance of these segregated subnetworks, many of which corre-
spond to distinct brain systems. The present report synthesizes accumulating evidence to reveal how maintaining segregated brain systems renders the human brain network functionally specialized, adaptable to task demands, and largely resilient following focal brain damage. The organizational properties that support system segregation are harmonious with the properties that promote integration across the network, but confer unique and importantfeatures to the brain network that are central to its function and behavior.

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Saturday, November 04, 2017

Mathematical (Gq) giftedness: Review of cognitive, conative and neural variables

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Article link.




ABSTRACT

Most mathematical cognition research has focused on understanding normal adult function and child development as well as mildly and moderately impaired mathematical skill, often labeled developmental dyscalculia and/or mathematical learning disability. In contrast, much less research is available on cognitive and neural correlates of gifted/excellent mathematical knowledge in adults and children. In order to facilitate further inquiry into this area, here we review 40 available studies, which examine the cognitive and neural basis of gifted mathematics. Studies associated a large number of cognitive factors with gifted mathematics, with spatial processing and working memory being the most frequently identified contributors. However, the current literature suffers
from low statistical power, which most probably contributes to variability across findings. Other major shortcomings include failing to establish domain and stimulus specificity of findings, suggesting causation without sufficient evidence and the frequent use of invalid backward inference in neuro-imaging studies. Future studies must increase statistical power and neuro-imaging studies must rely on supporting behavioral data when interpreting findings. Studies should investigate the factors shown to correlate with math giftedness in a more specific manner and determine exactly how individual factors may contribute to gifted math ability.


SELECTIVE SUMMARY CONCLUSION STATEMENTS

In line with the heterogeneous nature of mathematical disabilities (e.g., Rubinsten and Henik, 2009; Fias et al., 2013), mathematical giftedness also seems to correlate with numerous factors—(see Appendix A for which factors were found in each study). These factors roughly fall into social, motivational, and cognitive domains. Specifically, in the social and motivational domains, motivation, high drive, and interest to learn mathematics, practice time, lack of involvement in social interpersonal, or religious issues, authoritarian attitudes, and high socio-economic status have all been related to high levels of mathematical achievement. Speculatively, it is interesting to ask whether some of these factors may be related to the so-called Spontaneous Focusing on Numerosity (SFON) concept which appears early in life and means that some children have a high tendency to pay attention to numerical information (Hannula and Lehtinen, 2005). To clarify this question, longitudinal studies could investigate whether high SFON at an early age is associated with high levels of mathematical expertise in later life. Better assessment of individual variability is also important, for example, Albert Einstein (who was a gifted even if sometimes “lazy” mathematician; see e.g., Isaacson, 2008) was famously anti-authoritarian.

In terms of cognitive variables, we found that spatial processing, working memory, motivation/practice time, reasoning, general IQ, speed of information processing, short-term memory, efficient switching from working memory to episodic memory, pattern recognition, inhibition, fluid intelligence, associative memory, and motor functions were all associated with mathematical giftedness. As a caveat it is important to point out that mere “significance counting” (i.e., just considering studies with statistical significant results regarding a concept) can be very misleading especially in the typically underpowered context of psychology and neuro-imaging research (see e.g., Szucs and Ioannidis, 2017). However, considering the patchy research, this is the best we can do at the moment. In addition, even if meta-analyses were possible, these also typically only take into account published research, so they usually (highly) overestimate effect sizes especially from small scale studies (see Szucs and Ioannidis, 2017).


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