By Steven Bancarz| What is the mark of an intelligent mind in our day and age? When we think of intelligent people, we may have been conditioned to envision them in a library somewhere studying. We associate intelligence with social reservation and good behaviour. But what if the opposite were true? What if the ones who are most intelligent are engaging in behaviours grandma and grandpa wouldn’t approve of? Times have changed, and people who have a higher intelligence aren’t always interested in studying and following the rules.
This may sound a bit shocking, but a series of studies have come out showing that intelligent people stay up later, do more drugs, and have more sex. The people in our society who have the highest IQs are noctural and enjoy indulging in drugs and sex more often than people with a lower IQ.
Here is a list of the three studies that should completely change the way we think about intelligence and behaviour:
1) Intelligent People Are Night Owls
In a study published in Personality and Individual Differences, researchers proposed the hypothesis that people who are of high intelligence will be drawn to evolutionarily novel behaviours. Novel behaviours (new behaviours) are thought to be evolutionary advantageous because they expand our problem solving ability and provide us with new knowledge we can use to improve our lives. It’s kind of like nature’s way of pushing itself to evolve and create something new.
They found that intelligent people are not only more likely to be liberal and free thinkers, they are also more likely to have different circadian rhythms (sleep cycles).
The study found that people with high childhood and adulthood IQs went to bed about half an hour later each night than people of normal intelligence, and 30 minutes later than people of lower intellectual ability. They also wake up later by about the same margains as well. This was true of both weekends and weekdays.
As the study concludes:
Survey of ethnographies of traditional societies suggests that nocturnal activities were probably rare in the ancestral environment, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to be nocturnal than less intelligent individuals. The analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) confirms the prediction.
The correlation from the study was very clear. The higher the IQ, the later they tend to stay up. And these results were concluded from a sample of over 20,000 people. If you or your children have a habit of staying up late and can’t seem to break it, that could actually be a good thing. Instead of trying to force yourself to go to bed “on time”, use that time to do something creative.
2) Intelligent People Do More Drugs
Intelligent people aren’t just night owls, they also seem to be more into experimenting with drugs. Sounds crazy right? It didn’t make sense at first to me either. Some of the least intelligent people I have ever met smoke and drink way too much. But on average, if you have a higher IQ, you are more likely to experiment with drugs.
A National Child Development study reported on in Psychology Today, people who have high IQs both in childhood and adulthood are much more likely to experiment with psychoactive drugs than people with low IQs. Why? Because psychoactive drugs are evolutionarily novel and different from the general behaviour of our ancestors.
According this study which was published in the UK in 2010:
Net of sex, religion, religiosity, marital status, number of children, education, earnings, depression, satisfaction with life, social class at birth, mother’s education, and father’s education, British children who are more intelligent before the age of 16 are more likely to consume psychoactive drugs at age 42 than less intelligent children.
…there is a clear monotonic association between childhood general intelligence and adult consumption of psychoactive drugs. “Very bright” individuals (with IQs above 125) are roughly three-tenths of a standard deviation more likely to consume psychoactive drugs than “very dull” individuals (with IQs below 75).
Another study published in 2011 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that people who scored high in intelligent tests as children were much more likely to experiment with illegal drugs in their adulthood, especially cannabis. Another study published in 2012 came upon the exact same discovery that intelligent children were more likely to use cannabis, amphetamines, and magic mushrooms later in life.
3) Intelligent People Have More Sex
Additionally, researchers in the UK found that students studying at universities such as Oxford and Cambridge spent more money on sex toys than at other universities. “The correlation probably has something to do with the open-mindedness that comes with intelligence,” says Annalisa Rose, 23, who works at Honey, a high-end sex shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
“I think that the ability to engage in an open sex life comes with the abilities of introspection and logical thought, and those require some level of intelligence. If we’re talking about an open sex life that comes from an emotionally healthy place, sexual morals are mostly made up anyway and intelligent people can rationalize past them…High-achievers aim for excellence in all areas of their life, so it makes sense that achieving sexual happiness is one of their goals.”
This is quite the significant sociological finding. Students studying at the worlds most elite universities also spend the most money on sex toys. It also appears that the more prestigious the university, the more students have sex. These findings which were reported on The Telegraph have sparked speculation that high intelligence might be correlated with an increased sex drive.
Here is a list the top 5 Universities that spend the most amount of money on sex toys per year:
1) Cambridge £9,793
2) Oxford £9,689
3) Manchester £5,441
4) Lancaster £4,103
5) York £3,751
What does this all mean?
Correlation does not imply causation. This does not mean that staying up late, doing drugs, and experimenting with sex toys makes you more intelligent. But it seems to be the case that people who naturally have a higher degree of intelligence partake in these activities naturally because they are drawn to them. Maybe it is because of their openmindedness, their desire to expand their mind and their experience, or a biological urge to experiment with something novel.
Chances are, a lot of people reading this tend to stay up late and indulge in life’s pleasures. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it may even be a natural consequence of having an above average IQ. These three studies completely shatter everything we would expect to be true about people of high intelligence. It seems to be the intellectuals that are having the most fun. I think it’s time we let go of old stereotypes.
Sources: Listed within the article
About the Author: My name is Steven Bancarz, and I am the creator of ‘Spirit Science and Metaphysics’. Thank you for reading this article!
Artwork: The sexual artwork in 3rd section is called “Spiritual Genesis” by artist Mark Henson. To view more of his work, click here.
In Aesop’s fable about the crow and the pitcher, a thirsty bird happens upon a vessel of water, but when he tries to drink from it, he finds the water level out of his reach. Not strong enough to knock over the pitcher, the bird drops pebbles into it — one at a time — until the water level rises enough for him to drink his fill.
Highlighting the value of ingenuity, the fable demonstrates that cognitive ability can often be more effective than brute force. It also characterizes crows as pretty resourceful problem solvers. New research conducted by UC Santa Barbara’s Corina Logan, with her collaborators at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, proves the birds’ intellectual prowess may be more fact than fiction. Her findings, supported by the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, appear today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
Logan is lead author of the paper, which examines causal cognition using a water displacement paradigm. “We showed that crows can discriminate between different volumes of water and that they can pass a modified test that so far only 7- to 10-year-old children have been able to complete successfully. We provide the strongest evidence so far that the birds attend to cause-and-effect relationships by choosing options that displace more water.”
Logan, a junior research fellow at UCSB’s SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, worked with New Caledonian crows in a set of small aviaries in New Caledonia run by the University of Auckland. “We caught the crows in the wild and brought them into the aviaries, where they habituated in about five days,” she said. Keeping families together, they housed the birds in separate areas of the aviaries for three to five months before releasing them back to the wild.
Getting individual crows into the testing room proved to be an immediate challenge. “You open the testing room door and then open the aviary door, with the idea that the bird you want is going to fly through into the testing room,” she said. But with four birds in an aviary, directing a particular test subject is tricky at best.
“So I thought, let’s pretend the sky’s the limit and I can train them to do whatever I want,” Logan said. “I started by pointing at the one I wanted and continuing to point until he or she flew out. I got to the point where I could stand outside the aviary and point at the one I wanted and it would fly out while the other birds stayed put.”
Two birds in particular — 007 and Kitty — became so well trained that Logan had only to call them by name and they’d fly into the testing room.
The testing room contained an apparatus consisting of two beakers of water, the same height, but one wide and the other narrow. The diameters of the lids were adjusted to be the same on each beaker. “The question is, can they distinguish between water volumes?” Logan said. “Do they understand that dropping a stone into a narrow tube will raise the water level more?” In a previous experiment by Sarah Jelbert and colleagues at the University of Auckland, the birds had not preferred the narrow tube. However, in that study, the crows were given 12 stones to drop in one or the other of the beakers, giving them enough to be successful with either one.
“When we gave them only four objects, they could succeed only in one tube — the narrower one, because the water level would never get high enough in the wider tube; they were dropping all or most of the objects into the functional tube and getting the food reward,” Logan explained. “It wasn’t just that they preferred this tube, they appeared to know it was more functional.”
However, she noted, we still don’t know exactly how the crows think when solving this task. They may be imagining the effect of each stone drop before they do it, or they may be using some other cognitive mechanism. “More work is needed,” Logan said.
Logan also examined how the crows react to the U-tube task. Here, the crows had to choose between two sets of tubes. With one set, when subjects dropped a stone into a wide tube, the water level raised in an adjacent narrow tube that contained food. This was due to a hidden connection between the two tubes that allowed water to flow. The other set of tubes had no connection, so dropping a stone in the wide tube did not cause the water level to rise in its adjacent narrow tube.
Each set of tubes was marked with a distinct color cue, and test subjects had to notice that dropping a stone into a tube marked with one color resulted in the rise of the floating food in its adjacent small tube. “They have to put the stones into the blue tube or the red one, so all you have to do is learn a really simple rule that red equals food, even if that doesn’t make sense because the causal mechanism is hidden,” said Logan.
As it turns out, this is a very challenging task for both corvids (a family of birds that includes crows, ravens, jays and rooks) and children. Children ages 7 to 10 were able to learn the rules, as Lucy Cheke and colleagues at the University of Cambridge discovered in 2012. It may have taken a couple of tries to figure out how it worked, Logan noted, but the children consistently put the stones into the correct tube and got the reward (in this case, a token they exchanged for stickers). Children ages 4 to 6, however, were unable to work out the process. “They put the stones randomly into either tube and weren’t getting the token consistently,” she said.
Recently, Jelbert and colleagues from the University of Auckland put the New Caledonian crows to the test using the same apparatus the children did. The crows failed. So Logan and her team modified the apparatus, expanding the distance between the beakers. And Kitty, a six-month-old juvenile, figured it out. “We don’t know how she passed it or what she understands about the task,” Logan said, “so we don’t know if the same cognitive processes or decisions are happening as with the children, but we now have evidence that they can. It’s possible for the birds to pass it.
“What we do know is that one crow behaved like the older children, which allows us to explore how they solve this task in future experiments,” she continued. Research on causal cognition using the water displacement paradigm is only beginning to get at what these crows know about solving problems. This series of experiments shows that modifying previous experiments is useful for gaining a deeper understanding.
The research on the crows is part of a larger project Logan is working on to compare the cognitive powers of crows with those of grackles. “So far, no smaller-brained species have been tested with the tests we use on the crows, and grackles are smaller-brained,” she said. “But they’re really innovative. So they may have a reason to pay attention to causal information like this.”
The next research phase will begin next month, after the grackles’ breeding season ends and they are ready to participate.
The above story is based on materials provided by University of California – Santa Barbara. The original article was written by Andrea Estrada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Quasiparticles can be used to explain physical phenomena in solid bodies even though they are not actual physical particles. Physicists in Innsbruck have now realized quasiparticles in a quantum system and observed quantum mechanical entanglement propagation in a many-body system. The researchers have published their work in Nature.
Christian Roos’ research team at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Innsbruck has established a new experimental platform for investigating quantum phenomena: In a string of trapped ultracold ions they can precisely initialise, control and measure the states and properties of quasiparticle excitations in a many-body quantum system. “Quasiparticles are a well-established concept in physics to describe the collective behaviour of particles in a simplified way,” says Christian Roos.
For the experiment the physicists used a one-dimensional ion-string consisting of between seven and fifteen calcium ions trapped in a vacuum chamber. Laser beams then manipulate the quantum state of the ions. “Each particle behaves like a little quantum magnet interacting with each other,” explains Petar Jurcevic, first author of this study. “The precise excitation of one of the particles also affects the other particles. The resulting collective behaviour of the system is called quasiparticles.” These quasiparticles disperse to both sides of the excitation site on the ion-string, thereby, transporting quantum correlations. Excitation distribution has previously been observed in experiments with neutral atoms, where correlations between particles have also been shown. “In our experiments we have been able to determine that these correlations are quantum correlations,” says Roos. “By measuring multi-particle correlations we have been able to detect and quantify quantum entanglement.” The physicists were, thus, the first to show entanglement propagation in a quantum system.
In contrast to previous experiments, the researchers in Innsbruck can tune the ion-ion interaction range in the system from effectively nearest-neighbour to infinite range. In each case, a new set of quasiparticles is created with unique dynamical properties.
New research with quasiparticles
“With this new scheme we can precisely manipulate the quasiparticles,” says an excited Philipp Hauke, one of the authors of this study. “It has taken us decades to come up with ways to precisely control and manipulate quantum particles. With this platform we can now do the same with quasiparticles and investigate phenomena that we haven’t been able to study experimentally.” For example, it opens up new paths to study how quantum systems reach equilibrium, including the question of when thermalisation occurs, a process that so far has remained elusive. “Another big goal is to utilize quasiparticles for quantum information processing,” says Hauke. In addition, this platform could also be used to study the role of transport processes in biological systems. At the moment Christian Roos’ research team is working on the idea to investigate interaction processes between two quasiparticles.
The above story is based on materials provided by University of Innsbruck. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week.
The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. TBI, in particular, has affected 270,000 military service members since 2000.
The goal of LLNL’s work — driven by LLNL’s Neural Technology group and undertaken in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Medtronic — is to develop a device that uses real-time recording and closed-loop stimulation of neural tissues to bridge gaps in the injured brain and restore individuals’ ability to form new memories and access previously formed ones.
The research is funded by DARPA’s Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program.
Specifically, the Neural Technology group will seek to develop a neuromodulation system — a sophisticated electronics system to modulate neurons — that will investigate areas of the brain associated with memory to understand how new memories are formed. The device will be developed at LLNL’s Center for Bioengineering.
“Currently, there is no effective treatment for memory loss resulting from conditions like TBI,” said LLNL’s project leader Satinderpall Pannu, director of the LLNL’s Center for Bioengineering, a unique facility dedicated to fabricating biocompatible neural interfaces. “This is a tremendous opportunity from DARPA to leverage Lawrence Livermore’s advanced capabilities to develop cutting-edge medical devices that will change the health care landscape.”
LLNL will develop a miniature, wireless and chronically implantable neural device that will incorporate both single neuron and local field potential recordings into a closed-loop system to implant into TBI patients’ brains. The device — implanted into the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus — will allow for stimulation and recording from 64 channels located on a pair of high-density electrode arrays. The entorhinal cortex and hippocampus are regions of the brain associated with memory.
The arrays will connect to an implantable electronics package capable of wireless data and power telemetry. An external electronic system worn around the ear will store digital information associated with memory storage and retrieval and provide power telemetry to the implantable package using a custom RF-coil system.
Designed to last throughout the duration of treatment, the device’s electrodes will be integrated with electronics using advanced LLNL integration and 3D packaging technologies. The microelectrodes that are the heart of this device are embedded in a biocompatible, flexible polymer.
Using the Center for Bioengineering’s capabilities, Pannu and his team of engineers have achieved 25 patents and many publications during the last decade. The team’s goal is to build the new prototype device for clinical testing by 2017.
Lawrence Livermore’s collaborators, UCLA and Medtronic, will focus on conducting clinical trials and fabricating parts and components, respectively.
“The RAM program poses a formidable challenge reaching across multiple disciplines from basic brain research to medicine, computing and engineering,” said Itzhak Fried, lead investigator for the UCLA on this project and professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. “But at the end of the day, it is the suffering individual, whether an injured member of the armed forces or a patient with Alzheimer’s disease, who is at the center of our thoughts and efforts.”
LLNL’s work on the Restoring Active Memory program supports President Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative.
“Our years of experience developing implantable microdevices, through projects funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), prepared us to respond to DARPA’s challenge,” said Lawrence Livermore Engineer Kedar Shah, a project leader in the Neural Technology group.
The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Credit: © tsepova / Fotolia
A chimpanzee’s intelligence is largely determined by its genes, while environmental factors may be less important than scientists previously thought, according to a Georgia State University research study.
The study found that some, but not all, cognitive, or mental, abilities, in chimpanzees depend significantly on the genes they inherit. The findings are reported in the latest issue of Current Biology.
“Intelligence runs in families,” said Dr. William Hopkins, professor in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State and research scientist in the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University. “The suggestion here is that genes play a really important role in their performance on tasks while non-genetic factors didn’t seem to explain a lot. So that’s new.”
The role of genes in human intelligence or IQ has been studied for years, but Hopkins’ study is among the first to address heritability in cognitive abilities in nonhuman primates. Studies have shown that human intelligence is inherited through genes, but social and environmental factors, such as formal education and socioeconomic status, also play a role and are somewhat confounded with genetic factors. Chimpanzees, which are highly intelligent and genetically similar to humans, do not have these additional socio-cultural influences.
“Chimps offer a really simple way of thinking about how genes might influence intelligence without, in essence, the baggage of these other mechanisms that are confounded with genes in research on human intelligence,” Hopkins said.
The study involved 99 chimpanzees, ranging in age from 9 to 54, who completed 13 cognitive tasks designed to test a variety of abilities. Hopkins used quantitative genetics analysis to link the degree of relatedness between the chimpanzees to their similarities or differences in performance on the various cognitive measures to determine whether cognitive performance is inherited in chimpanzees.
Genes were found to play a role in overall cognitive abilities, as well as the performance on tasks in several categories.
Traditionally, researchers studying animal intelligence or animal learning have shared the view that environment and how previous behavior is reinforced affect how animals perform on a particular task.
“In our case, at least, it suggests that purely environmental explanations don’t really seem to tell the whole story,” Hopkins said. “Genes matter as well.”
Hopkins also studied the structure of chimpanzee intelligence to determine whether there were any similarities to the structure of human intelligence.
“We wanted to see if we gave a sample of chimpanzees a large array of tasks,” he said, “would we find essentially some organization in their abilities that made sense. The bottom line is that chimp intelligence looks somewhat like the structure of human intelligence.”
In the future, Hopkins wants to continue the study with an expanded sample size. He would also like to pursue studies to determine which genes are involved in intelligence and various cognitive abilities as well as how genes are linked to variation in the organization of the brain.
Hopkins also would like to determine which genes changed in human evolution that allowed humans to have such advanced intelligence.
The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.