Do you have a high EYE Q? People with large pupils are more intelligent, research shows
- Researchers tracked pupil size in volunteers who took a series of intelligence tests
- These include areas such as intelligence, memory retention and the ability to focus
- They made a baseline measurement while volunteers looked at a blank screen
- They found that those with larger pupils were more intelligent at baseline
- This may be due to increased activity in brain regions associated with intelligence
According to a new study, people with larger pupils are more intelligent than people with smaller pupils.
Volunteers took reasoning, attention and memory tests so the Georgia Institute of Technology team could investigate the link between pupil size and intelligence.
They found that pupil dilation is not only related to arousal and exhaustion, but can also be used to understand individual differences in intelligence, finding that the larger the pupils, the higher the intelligence.
Differences in baseline pupil size between those who scored highest and those who scored lowest on intelligence tests could be seen with the naked eye.
The team says this may be due to the fact that people with larger pupils have better results regulating brain activity in a region linked to intelligence and memory.
According to a new study, people with larger pupils are more intelligent than people with smaller pupils. stock image
HOW DOES THE STUDENT WORK?
The pupil is the opening in the center of the iris (the structure that gives our eyes their color).
The pupil’s function is to allow light to enter the eye, where it is then focused on the retina.
The black color of the pupil is because the light passing through it is then absorbed by the retina – meaning no light is reflected.
The size of the pupil and how much light enters is determined by the muscles in the iris.
One muscle narrows the pupil opening and another iris muscle widens the pupil.
In low light, the pupil dilates to allow more light to reach the retina to improve night vision.
In bright conditions, the pupil constricts to limit the amount of light entering the eye.
Researchers had 500 people aged 18 to 35 from Atlanta take part in a battery of tests while their pupil size was monitored by an eye-tracking device.
This device captures the reflection of light from the pupil and cornea through a powerful camera. They were measured at rest while the volunteer stared at a blank screen for four minutes to create a baseline.
This allowed them to create an average pupil size for each of the volunteers that would be used to track changes through different types of tests and activities.
Average human pupils, the black circular opening in the center of the eye, can range from 2 to 8 mm and are surrounded by the iris that controls pupil size.
After creating a baseline for each volunteer, they had them run a series of tests measuring a range of intelligence areas.
This included the ability to reason through problems, the ability to remember information over time, and the ability to stay focused even when distracted.
They found that those with a larger “baseline pupil size” performed better on the attention, memory and reasoning tests.
This suggests a strong link between the brain and the eye that the researchers hope to study in more detail in the future.
Pupil size was negatively linked to age, finding that older volunteers tended to have smaller and more constricted pupils.
However, if they removed age as a factor and created a standardized figure, the relationship between intelligence and pupil size was still there — regardless of age.
To find out exactly why pupil size is linked to intelligence, a more detailed study of the brain was needed to see which regions are activated.
They found that pupil size is related to a region known as the locus coeruleus in the upper brainstem that extends into the rest of the brain via neural connections.
Volunteers took reasoning, attention and memory tests so the Georgia Institute of Technology team could investigate the link between pupil size and intelligence. stock image
It releases a chemical that functions as a hormone in the brain and body and a neurotransmitter for regular processes such as perception, attention and memory.
This region also plays a greater role in helping distant brain regions work together to perform complicated tasks.
The leading theory is that people with larger pupils have better regulation from this brain region, benefiting cognitive performance and the brain’s ability to function.
The findings are published in the journal Cognition.
‘INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT’ (IQ) IS A MEASURE OF MENTAL POWER
IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient and is used to measure mental ability.
The abbreviation ‘IQ’ was first coined by psychologist William Stern to describe the German term Intelligenzquotient.
Historically, IQ is a score obtained by dividing a person’s mental age, obtained through an intelligence test, by their age.
The resulting fraction is then multiplied by 100 to obtain an IQ score.
An IQ of 100 has long been considered the median score.
Because of the way the test results are scaled, a person with an IQ of 60 is not half as intelligent as someone with an IQ of 120.
The ranking of IQ scores also means that the results are “normally distributed,” meaning an equal number of people score on either side of the mean.
For example, the same number of people score 70 as people who score 130.
Although the accuracy of intelligence tests is somewhat disputed, they are still widely used.
For Mensa, the acceptance score requires members to be in the top two percent of the general population.
Depending on the IQ test, this may require a score of at least 130.
IQ scores of famous people:
- Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking – 160
- Donald Trump – 156
- Emma Watson – 138
- Arnold Schwarzenegger – 135
- Nicole Kidman – 132