Monday 12 October 2015 10:45 pm

There's a brain scan that can tell how intelligent you are

Forget IQ tests – scientists have found a way to tell how intelligent you are by looking at a brain scan.

The research, published in Nature, shows that by studying "functional connectivitiy profiles" inside the brain, which act as a "fingerprint", it is possible to accurately identify a subject from a large group of people. In other words, using brain scan images, it is possible to uniquely identify an individual.

However, the researches also found that by looking at the fingerprint-like connectivity pattern, an individual's intelligence can be predicted.

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As the patterns, which are "distributed throughout the brain", can be looked at an individual level, it is possible to use them to help "predict the fundamental cognitive trait of fluid intelligence in subjects", the researchers said.

The study by Emily Finn and her colleagues look at data from 126 participants of the Human Connectome Project to find that a connection profile obtained from one of six imaging sessions can be used to identify any one subject, and then predict intelligence.

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Previously, neurological testing focussed on looking at larger groups of people, rather than individuals. However, the report says that "all individuals are unique" and studies that look at aggregated groups of people "typically ignore heterogeneity within each group".

The researches hope that the results will provide a foundation for future work to test "inferences about single subjects".