Intelligence and Cognition


Intelligence and cognition refer to the various mental processes by which we learn, reason and comprehend.

Keywords: intelligence; cognition; g; IQ; psychometric model

Figure 1.

The psychometric model has a hierarchical structure, with specific tests giving information about specific cognitive abilities such as verbal and spatial abilities, processing speed and memory ability. These correlated abilities in turn give information about general cognitive ability.

Figure 2.

Tyron's classic study shows successful selective breeding on errors in maze learning in rats. The maze was a long and difficult T maze with 17 blind alleys. Errors refer to the total number of blind alley entrances in 19 trials. The original population (P) of 142 animals shows a continuous distribution. P animals with the fewest errors were bred together and those with the most errors were also bred together. Their progeny (F1) were assessed and then similarly bred. For each group, from 66 to 115 progeny were assessed across the eight generations. (A copy of original data from Tyron RC (1946) Individual differences. In: Moss FA (ed.) Comparative Psychology, pp. 331–365. New York: Prentice‐Hall In.)


Further Reading

Baddeley A and Gathercole S (1999) Individual differences in learning and memory: psychometrics and the single case. Anonymous, Learning and Individual Differences: Process, Trait, and Content Determinants, pp. 31–50. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Brody N (1992) Intelligence, 2nd edn New York: Academic Press.

Carroll JB (1993) Human Cognitive Abilities. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Deary IJ (2000) Looking Down on Human Intelligence: From Psychometrics to the Brain. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gazzaniga MSE (2000) Cognitive Neuroscience: A Reader. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science.

Jensen AR (1998) The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability. Wesport, CT: Praeger.

Kosslyn S and Plomin R (1999) Toward a neuro‐cognitive genetics: goals and issues. In: Dougherty D, Rauch SL and Rosenbaum JF (eds.) Psychiatric Neuroimaging Strategies: Research and Clinical Applications. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Mackintosh NJ (1998) IQ and Human Intelligence. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Plomin R (2001) The genetics of g in human and mouse. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2(2): 136–141.

Plomin R, De Fries JC, McClearn GE and McGuffin P (2001) Behavioral Genetics, 4th edn New York: Worth Publishers.

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How to Cite close
Plomin, Robert, and Galsworthy, Michael J(Jul 2006) Intelligence and Cognition. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005240]