Neural Efficiency – What is Yours?

May 22, 2018

Neural efficiency is a measure of the effectiveness with which your brain functions. Suppose you are trying to play chess. How challenged is your mind? Does it differ for you and me? Does that make you smarter than me? Well more likely than not, you are smarter than me. Since you are, your brain would behave differently, something that scientists would crave to measure. Just how much smarter are you really and how does your mind reveal that you are.

Measuring Neural Efficiency

The activity of the brain can be “seen” using an EEG which measures the brains electrical activity directly. There are others like SPECT and PET which are also indirect markers in case you want to know. When your brain is active, it “lights up” with electrical activity, which can then be measured. Counter-intuitively, if you are smarter, your brain will light up less than it would if you were not. It is this that forms the basis of the theory of neural efficiency. The rationale is that to perform the same task; you are marshalling fewer neurons. Hence you are smarter.

Researchers tested this hypothesis. The subjects were given number series and asked to discern patterns. A test like this measures fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence is the ability to solve problems that are new to you. After adjusting for the reaction of your brain to a stimulus (presented a test), the researchers measured the activity in the brain.

Results showed that those who had a higher intelligence were more effectively able to solve the problem at hand using fewer neurons. However, when tested on subjects in which they had a natural ability, the differences disappeared. Studies have already shown that you are best doing what you like or something for which you have a natural gift. Would you like to know if you can change your neural efficiency? Keep following me to learn more!

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