Fluid intelligence: a study identifies the map in the brain

Fluid intelligence: a study identifies the map in the brain.


Scholars define it as fluid intelligence, that is, the engine that makes us carry out all our daily activities. A team of British researchers has finally mapped the “house” of fluid intelligence. The results of the study mapped the brain parts of fluid intelligence. That part of human cognition predicts academic and professional success, social mobility, health and longevity. It also affects skills such as memory. Experts have done a mapping of the lesion deficit to obtain the zones of fluid intelligence


The new study is based on an analysis of 227 patients who had either had a brain tumor or a stroke in specific parts of the brain. So was the most established test of fluid intelligence: the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices (Apm). A sort of mathematical network that links the relationships between the regions of the brain. The researchers thus proved that impaired performance was largely present in patients with right frontal lesions. Such damages are found in brain tumors, strokes, but also in traumatic brain injuries and dementia.  

Our approach of combining a novel lesion deficit mapping with a detailed investigation of Apm performance in a large patient sample provides crucial insights into the neural basis of fluid intelligence. Greater attention to injury studies is essential to uncovering the relationship between the brain and cognition, which often determines how neurological disorders are treated.

Lisa Cipolotti of the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, lead author of the study



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