Multiple Intelligences

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  • #1
Kerrie
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Howard Gardner, a Harvard Professor, has written quite a bit on this psychological theory which claims that the human intelligence is more then just math or book smarts...

Multiple Intelligence list

I have to completely agree with his theory because IQ tests are very selective in the intelligences it measures. Read this quick page, and I would like to hear any comments...
 

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  • #2
This list provides absolutely nothing new at all. Except one catagory which is absurd.

"Musical". This person has seriously overstepped the boundaries of what intelligence is. Intelligence is a physical process clearly understood by specialists in the field. This person is not in the field. It sounds like he might be that type of person that use the term "emotional intelligence" which is scientifically absurd. There is only one mental process which is designated as being intelligence.

This person is WAY out of their league and way out of their education. This is the type of broken boundaries which damage the research of us who take this pursuit seriously. Horrible horrible work on this "professors" part.
 
  • #3
Kerrie
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how would you define intelligence? i believe musical talent is a form of intelligence...
 
  • #4
Kerrie...

Probably over 99% of the population uses the word intelligence as the wrong type of word.

For instance you cannot say "Hi Kerrie, I've got some jumping to share with you." It's the wrong type of word.

Intelligence is a processing ability that is defined in only mathematical and physic(al) equations.

You can't say intelligence is the ability to.........

Just like you can't say Newton's second law is the ability to......

Do you see what I mean? Humans think intelligence is a human ability to "do something". Intelligence is a process like respiration, digestion, photosynthesis.

With that said it becomes obvious music talent can't be a form of intelligence just like a piece of apple pie can't be a forum of newton's law. It isn't a sensical sentence. I know it's difficult for some people to relearn the fact that intelligence is a physical process and not an ability...

This can be made more evident in attempts to createo artificial intelligence.The goal is merely to use computer programms to mimic the process - just like a computer program that can mimic an ecological system to determin what excess fishing will do to the reef etc...

It's a hard thing for people to understand and to accept. I find this in classes I teach - but in a student environment they are much more likely to feel good about knowing what intelligence really is.

For instance Kerrie, let's say I smoke and you don't. Your respiratory capacity would probably be much stronger than mine.

In just the same way, someone who was fetal alcohol syndrome might have a less strong intelligence.

I can say more on this if anyone wants - don't want to bore you all :)
 
  • #5
megashawn
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What exactly do you think music is? Do you play any instruments?

I mean, if intelligence is as you define it the ability to process information, well, music is nothing but math.

That being said, some people have a particular knack for music. I know a guy that is dumb as a brick, would probably struggle with a simple problem like 15x10. Infact, the only thing I've ever known him to be incredibly good at was playing guitar. Let him listen to a song he's never heard before, maybe twice, and the third time around he'll play right along with the music.

Now, seeing as how music is nothing more then a different form of mathematics, and there are more ppl in the world then my friend with that described ability, what exactly would you call it?

Not arguing your point about peoples misuse of words though. Musical ability is a form of intelligence though. You do process info, either by hearing it, or reading it from a sheet. So, you have input of info, and the music is the results of the processing.
 
  • #6
MegaShawn - I have played music for 23 years, and am currently the CEO of a record label in California. I've taught music for 6 years, and written 4 scores for orchestra.

Originally posted by megashawn
What exactly do you think music is? Do you play any instruments?
{/quote]

Music is the progression through time of pitches of a chosen set.

Originally posted by megashawn

I mean, if intelligence is as you define it the ability to process information, well, music is nothing but math.


What intelligence is has nothing to do with what music is. I see no logical connection between these two withouts assumptions.

Originally posted by megashawn

That being said, some people have a particular knack for music. I know a guy that is dumb as a brick, would probably struggle with a simple problem like 15x10. Infact, the only thing I've ever known him to be incredibly good at was playing guitar. Let him listen to a song he's never heard before, maybe twice, and the third time around he'll play right along with the music.


So what? This has nothing to do with the topic. Some people who have no legs can lift 500 pounds with their arms - so what?

Originally posted by megashawn

Now, seeing as how music is nothing more then a different form of mathematics, and there are more ppl in the world then my friend with that described ability, what exactly would you call it?


How you gather that music is "nothing more than a different form of mathematics" does not compute.

There is no forms of math - and there is no claim by anyone that music has anything to do with math. Again, there's no logical connection between your friend and this situation. It's a random point you've posted but has nothing to do with this.

Originally posted by megashawn

Not arguing your point about peoples misuse of words though. Musical ability is a form of intelligence though. You do process info, either by hearing it, or reading it from a sheet. So, you have input of info, and the music is the results of the processing.


And here you conclude from 4 false premises that music is a form of intelligence.

I thought I stated above the scientific definition of intelligence.

Apparently you missed one (well many) important points.

The definition I gave is the scientific definition. I was not displaying a personal opinion.

This is what scientists have designated as being intelligence - it's not up for debate unless you have an enormously overwhelming amount of evidence.

I'll be focusing on others responses......
 
  • #7
Kerrie
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Biology~

You offer an interesting insight into the definition of intelligence...I began this thread because I believe IQ tests only measure a minor amount of one's abilities...as stated in the link:

The idea of multiple intelligences is important because it allows for educators to identify differing strengths and weaknesses in students and also contradicts the idea that intelligence can be measured through IQ. In researching about genius, we found that Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences provides a great alternative to the popular measurable IQ method.

I get annoyed when the IQ of a person is glorified but other abilities are not, such as musical ability...

consider this blurb regarding autistic savants from the same website:
Savant skills occur within a narrow but constant range of human mental functions, generally in six areas: calendar calculating; lightening calculating & mathematical ability; art (drawing or sculpting); music (usually piano with perfect pitch); mechanical abilities; and spatial skills.

how do we explain situations like these with an IQ test?
 
  • #8
Kerrie - gonna grab a bite to eat, anxious to answer your question with some science info brb!!!
 
  • #9
Originally posted by Kerrie
You offer an interesting insight into the definition of intelligence...I began this thread because I believe IQ tests only measure a minor amount of one's abilities...as stated in the link:

Thanks! It comes from lots o' research. Intelligence is one of those topics, the information of which seems to not leak out into the public.

Originally posted by Kerrie
I get annoyed when the IQ of a person is glorified but other abilities are not, such as musical ability...

Yeah - Having a high IQ can be a good quality for sure, but it doesn't really seem to lead to any special circumstances in life. Poor people have high IQs, so do rich people. Although it does correlate to some things.

Originally posted by Kerrie
how do we explain situations like these with an IQ test?

Some of them IQ does test, like calculating. Some of them it does not test.

The big problem we have here is Gardners misuse of the word intelligence. It means what I stated earlier, in the field of science which deal with the part of the animal body that contains this process.

And so in using this word he's attempting to say that these abilities are some how more important on the hierarchy of all a human can do.

They are not. They are merely things a person can do, just like singing, dancing, writing a story etc....

I'm speaking particularly of his mention of musical ability.

To be frank, I've played music at all ends, and taught and wrote, for 23 years.

Claiming someone can replicate piano pitches of a song from hearing it once has 100% nothing to do with musical ability.

Music is taught - it is not innate. That's like saying reading is innate. An ability which may assist this process may be innate, but musical knowledge is learned.

So we have alot of issues here - colleagues in my fields have big issues with this kind of imporper terminology and generalizations.
 
  • #10
You got me on a roll here, this is a topic I often speak on so it's on the tip of my tongue.

Once we replace this misuse of the word intelligence in Gardners work with another word, we notice that, for example if we use the word "ability", that all he is doing is talking about a few of the literally billions of abilities humans have.

(mis)Using the intelligence makes it seem like he is talking about some kind of hierarchical dictator of humans ultimate abilities - and that someone who can caculuate quickly, play perfect pitch songs with one listen, and has excellent spatial skills is anymore "intelligent" or anymoreo "anything" for that matter, than a person who can balance a spoon on there nose, belch out jingle bells, and or dribble four basketballs at once.

See what I mean?

I understand that his attempt appears, based on the webpage, to be to single out the "true" abilities that designate what he calls intelligence, or desginate the tip of the hierarchy from which all abilities progress downward from.

It's just that he is not doing that, but it would appear he is since he uses this word intelligence.

(You might be able to see that we in these fields take a bit of an issue with this!).

Keep this going, ask me more :)
 
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  • #11
Zantra
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I have to agree with Biology on this. Music can be "taught" people can improve thier music ability by practicing. It's true some people learn music more rapidly than others. But this could be due to other improved abilities such as accute pitch, etc that help them master this quicker. Intelligence isn't something that can be improved through any amount of practice. It's static(allbeit on a curve through early adulthood). Mentat and I had an extensive discussion about this before. Intelligence and musical ability through practice are two different things. I play guitar and piano. When I started I sucked.I was no virtuoso. But I've grudually improved over the yeaars. I can't say that I'm more intelligent that I was when I began. Perhaps more knowledgable, but as it has been stated and confirmed before, intelligence and knowledge are two separate things.

As For Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and other disorders associated with "rainman syndrome". First you should know that only 10 percent of autistic patients exhibit savant syndrome. It's been theorized that these types people are compensating for damage- in much the same way a blind man tends to have an increase sense of smell and hearing ability.

The brain's right hemisphere
Autistic savant behaviour is so far unexplained. However, researchers think it might have something to do with the right hemisphere of the brain.

The brain is divided into two hemispheres, left and right, bridged by a thick band of nerve fibres called the corpus callosum. While left hemisphere skills are involved with symbolism and interpretation (such as understanding words and body language), the skills of the right hemisphere are much more concrete and direct (such as memory).

CT and MRI scans of the brains of autistic savants suggest that the right hemisphere is compensating for damage in the left hemisphere. It seems that the right hemisphere of an autistic savant focuses its attention on one of the five senses - for example, if it concentrates on hearing, then the autistic savant may have a special skill in music. Research is ongoing.

You can read the entire article
http://www.disability.vic.gov.au/dsonline/dsarticles.nsf/pages/Autistic_savant?opendocument
 
  • #12
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by BiologyForums
This list provides absolutely nothing new at all. Except one catagory which is absurd.

"Musical". This person has seriously overstepped the boundaries of what intelligence is. Intelligence is a physical process clearly understood by specialists in the field. This person is not in the field. It sounds like he might be that type of person that use the term "emotional intelligence" which is scientifically absurd. There is only one mental process which is designated as being intelligence.

This person is WAY out of their league and way out of their education. This is the type of broken boundaries which damage the research of us who take this pursuit seriously. Horrible horrible work on this "professors" part.

The problem for me is, I don't think you took enough time to understood Kerrie's position because your refutation is so uncompromisingly and instantly negating.

I think she sees something even if she hasn't expressed it precisely . . . do you know what it is?
 
  • #13
I didn't see anything where Kerrie was displaying much of an opinion. Everything she said was quoted from other sources....and she asked me "what I thought". I wasn't agreeing or disagreeing with her - I didn't think she made a claim of her own....
 
  • #14
Zantra
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Originally posted by LW Sleeth
I think she sees something even if she hasn't expressed it precisely . . . do you know what it is?

I don't know what Kerrie sees, but you seem to know. Very interested to hear your take on this.
 
  • #15
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by Zantra
I don't know what Kerrie sees, but you seem to know. Very interested to hear your take on this.

Well, in a way this is related to the my recent thread on "rightness."

Who gets to define what is valuable? Let's say you have the responsiblity for developing the IQ test all the world will use, and you are firmly convinced that intelligence is best when it produces products/services useful to society.

Guess what sorts of problems are going to show up on the test?

Dominance prevails and IQ values reflect the values of those dominating. I realize the argument can be made that if something is dominating, it must be superior. But in actuality that is not always or even mostly true.

If one dumps cayenne in the soup, it will dominate, but does it make the best soup? Quality is very often (maybe MOST often) found in subtlty. As a music listener, my tastes have steadily moved toward subtlty; and the same is true for me with food, wine, sex, art . . .

So the big guys who are in power can define "best" how they please. Might makes right, doesn't it? And who, speaking from the more subtle place, dares question that?
 
  • #16
Zantra
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Originally posted by LW Sleeth
Well, in a way this is related to the my recent thread on "rightness."

Who gets to define what is valuable? Let's say you have the responsiblity for developing the IQ test all the world will use, and you are firmly convinced that intelligence is best when it produces products/services useful to society.

Guess what sorts of problems are going to show up on the test?

Dominance prevails and IQ values reflect the values of those dominating. I realize the argument can be made that if something is dominating, it must be superior. But in actuality that is not always or even mostly true.

If one dumps cayenne in the soup, it will dominate, but does it make the best soup? Quality is very often (maybe MOST often) found in subtlty. As a music listener, my tastes have steadily moved toward subtlty; and the same is true for me with food, wine, sex, art . . .

So the big guys who are in power can define "best" how they please. Might makes right, doesn't it? And who, speaking from the more subtle place, dares question that?

Conspiracy theory? Not biting
 
  • #17
hypnagogue
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BiologyForums,

I don't know if what you're saying is entirely consistent, so I would appreciate it if you clarified your stance a little. You say that the 'ability to' do something does not constitute intelligence-- but you also seem to think that mathematical aptitude is a genuine form of intelligence. So how precisely can the ability to do quick calculations in your head be a form of intelligence, while the ability to pick up a song after a couple of lessons not be?

You also say that intelligence is best seen as a process. Exactly what kind of process do you mean? It must be something more specific than 'neural information processing,' because then any activity in the brain can be seen as a form of intelligence. So what exactly is it about the process of intelligence, as you define it, that delineates it from other neural processes in the brain?

You also seem to imply the criterion that that which can be taught does not constitute a form of intelligence. But if mathematical aptitude constitutes a form of intelligence, then clearly this intelligence depends on some kind of formal teaching. For instance, if I had never taken math beyond the grade school level, I would have much greater difficulty performing calculations in my head. Now there is a distinction to be made; is this the case because of the math I was taught, or was the continual experience of doing calculations honing some innate mathematical ability of mine? I think you would say the latter, and I would (mostly) agree. But can't we then also look at the process of formally learning music as, on some level, honing some innate musical ability? Would it then be incorrect to denote this innate musical ability as musical intelligence?

As an aside, I think you overstate your case when you talk about the firm grasp the scientific community has on the concept of intelligence. If we understood intelligence that well, the field of artificial intelligence might have lived up to some of its bold predictions by now. Even some of the more successful applications, such as Deep Blue, rely more on a priori knowledge and brute force than actual intelligence. Deep Blue has beaten the best chess player in the world because it was programmed to give each chess piece a particular value as determined by human chess masters and because the breadth and depth of its analysis of future moves was much, much greater than is humanly possible. The ratio of the quality of strategy to computational resources is still much higher in the human than in the computer; I would argue that this efficiency of information processing is part of what constitutes true intelligence. Classical AI has run into countless theoretical objections, and more importantly, its progress as a field has continually run into one brick wall after another. Simulated neural networks are a better approach, but even the results here have been relatively modest thus far.
 
  • #18
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by Zantra
Conspiracy theory? Not biting

How did this post constitute a conspiracy theory? I think it is a valid point. The scientific community may have formulated specific criteria for what constitutes intelligence, but that does not make it an open and shut case. It may be that, for the scientific purposes, the definition is overly narrow and does not capture what we usually mean when we say 'intelligence' (still waiting for BiologyForums to get back to me on this one)-- in which case I would argue that it is the scientific community that is misusing the word by essentially redefining it. Now this would not be a malicious action on their part, so it wouldn't constitute a 'conspiracy'-- it's not like the scientists are all getting together plotting ways to keep the lowly people down-- but the simple fact is that the scientific stance on the matter will have a sociological impact, especially if it is used to guage the value of human beings.
 
  • #19
Zantra
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Not to sidetrack, but you bring up some very good points. How close are we to formulating algorythms that closely parallel human thought? Obviously this would go beyond simply learning from your mistakes. or am I looking too deep and it is as simple as that? Was deep blue indeed capable of learning from trial and error? I would certainly think so. Otherwise we did nothing more than immensely scale up the EMACS. I guess a more humanistic approach would be "reading your opponent"? Sensing his posture, attitude, body signs, etc, and figuring that into the equation? Then you would have to figure in emotions such as anxiety, arrogance, fear,or any other psychological aspects that might figure into it. unfortunately those things can't at this point be fully integrated into a machine, so replication of realistic AI is still decades away. At least it seems to me. Maybe someone could talk about this more ?
 
  • #20
I'm smarter than all of you.
 
  • #21
Zantra
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Originally posted by hypnagogue
How did this post constitute a conspiracy theory? I think it is a valid point. The scientific community may have formulated specific criteria for what constitutes intelligence, but that does not make it an open and shut case. It may be that, for the scientific purposes, the definition is overly narrow and does not capture what we usually mean when we say 'intelligence' (still waiting for BiologyForums to get back to me on this one)-- in which case I would argue that it is the scientific community that is misusing the word by essentially redefining it. Now this would not be a malicious action on their part, so it wouldn't constitute a 'conspiracy'-- it's not like the scientists are all getting together plotting ways to keep the lowly people down-- but the simple fact is that the scientific stance on the matter will have a sociological impact, especially if it is used to guage the value of human beings.

The problem is that you're categorizing ALL intelligence as subject to the whims of our fancy. Does that mean we should throw up the entire system? You say that the factors for intelligence may have been determined by the needs of society, but if that is the case, it has failed miserably. Mensa is a testament to that. Look at all the high IQ people who are unsucessful. Success isn't something that can be measured as a function of intelligence. Certainly it would have a bearing, but there's not accounting for sheer willpower and determination. That's the test we need to develop in order to single out sucessful people. Not spatial and mathmatical reasoning. Sucessful self-made persons generally all have one single characteristic, and it's not logical facilities, or creativity, or social skills as much as it is Tenacity. It's the single characteristic that can compensate for the lack of other abilities sucessfully. You can't mkake yourself smarter, but you can make yourself more knowledgeable, more experienced, and more determined than the next person. Quite simply, raw intelligence rating still doesn't account for good old free human will. I know some pretty intelligent people, who are also some of the laziest people you could ever hope to meet. If there's an easier way to do it, they'll take it, if only to make thier lives easier.

If the scientists were hoping to use the modern Intelligence Quotient as a measure of sucess, they sure fell way way short of the bar.
 
  • #22
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by Zantra
You say that the factors for intelligence may have been determined by the needs of society, but if that is the case, it has failed miserably.

Actually, I was saying something more like the inverse of that: the deigned concepts of what constitutes intelligence partially influence the values, motives, and actions of society at large as well as specific societal structures, such as the education system. Thus a person may be judged and valued by himself, by society at large, and by specific societal structures on the basis of these values, motives, and actions.
 
  • #23
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by Zantra
Not to sidetrack, but you bring up some very good points. How close are we to formulating algorythms that closely parallel human thought? Obviously this would go beyond simply learning from your mistakes. or am I looking too deep and it is as simple as that? Was deep blue indeed capable of learning from trial and error? I would certainly think so. Otherwise we did nothing more than immensely scale up the EMACS. I guess a more humanistic approach would be "reading your opponent"? Sensing his posture, attitude, body signs, etc, and figuring that into the equation? Then you would have to figure in emotions such as anxiety, arrogance, fear,or any other psychological aspects that might figure into it. unfortunately those things can't at this point be fully integrated into a machine, so replication of realistic AI is still decades away. At least it seems to me. Maybe someone could talk about this more ?

If I'm not mistaken, Deep Blue did include a learning algorithm, but it was only used for fidgeting with the values assigned to the various chess pieces. Other, more subtle changes in its strategy were hard-wired in by its programmers. For instance, there is something called the horizon effect-- initially, Deep Blue would only look forward on each branch of potential future moves by a predetermined maximum amount. This lead to an inevitable 'horizon' that it could not see past, and the results could be disasterous-- for instance, if the maximum search depth was 20 moves ahead, Deep Blue may have determined that its best chain of moves in a particular game results in taking the opponent's queen 20 moves from now, but it could not see that the 21st move would result in a checkmate and a loss. Thus the designers programmed in a caveat to maximum depth rule, allowing deeper searches for certain sequences of moves that were 'most promising.' Deep Blue would not have been able to learn this strategy unless the programmers explicitly programmed in some kind of learning algorithm functioning on the breadth and depth of its board searches. This is another weakness of classical AI-- the program cannot learn what it is not explicitly instructed to learn about. This obviously is not a very good grasp on the actual human learning process.

As far as reading the opponent, I believe there has been some progress on recognizing facial characteristics using simulated neural networks-- for example, face recognition. I don't think that reading emotions through subtle changes in facial expression or body posture is something that is beyond the potential of neural networks. But more salient with regards to playing a good game of chess is how the game itself is actually approached. Deep Blue uses a brute force method-- it checks millions of sequences of moves and determines which is the best next move to make. A human obviously cannot check millions of different permutations in a reasonable amount of time-- the approach is fundamentally different, in that a good human chess player uses pattern recognition as his principle computational tool. Good pattern recognition is essential to what we consider to be human intelligence. In this respect, neural networks appear to be much more promising than classical AI approaches in constituting what we think of as intelligence, in that they computationally mimic the functional characteristics of the human brain and thus theoretically have the power to perform complex pattern recognition.
 
  • #24
Ok, let's of stuff to respond to here:

Originally posted by hypnagogue
BiologyForums,
I don't know if what you're saying is entirely consistent, so I would appreciate it if you clarified your stance a little. You say that the 'ability to' do something does not constitute intelligence-- but you also seem to think that mathematical aptitude is a genuine form of intelligence. So how precisely can the ability to do quick calculations in your head be a form of intelligence, while the ability to pick up a song after a couple of lessons not be?

I am unsure why I stated something seeming to say mathematical aptitude is a genuine form of intelligence. Show me, perhaps it doesn't communicate what I meant or I made a mistake.

Intelligence is a process of a biological system. For instance the Respiratory System, is fo course a biological system. One process this system performs is called breathing: inhaling oxygen and exhaling CO2.

The endorcrine system performs processes of releasing hormones into the body or onto the outter skin.

The nervous system, or more specifically the brain system, performs a process called intelligence.

One might define some important parameters of breathing as the capacity of the lungs, the possible exhaling and inhaling pressure, and how well oxygen is pumped in - and CO2 "sucked" out, of the internal to lung chamber barrier.

The process of intelligence has two important parameters. Notice they are identical to those of the computer processor.

1. Speed
2. Bandwidth (in a computer)

Speed can be inhibited, such of that in a mentally retarded person, or someone consuming inhibitory medications.

Bandwidth would be determined by the number of neurons in a given area, or in the brain in general if comparins cross-species.


Originally posted by hypnagogue

You also say that intelligence is best seen as a process. Exactly what kind of process do you mean? It must be something more specific than 'neural information processing,' because then any activity in the brain can be seen as a form of intelligence. So what exactly is it about the process of intelligence, as you define it, that delineates it from other neural processes in the brain?

Your wording here is slightly out of scew. You say that "activity in the brain is a form of intelligence". But a correct phrase would be more like "acitivity in the brain uses the process of intelligence."

Your question of what delineates it from other processes in the brain... Mainly that it's normal called intelligence in areas of the brain that, throughout evolution, have grown to be what we refer to as "higher processing" areas. For instance neural processes in the medula, or the cerebellum, are not refered to as intelligence.

This is because, general speaking, the changes in lineage of the brain stem sections do not greatly vary in size in a brain/body weight comparison - however the areas of the brain which touch the outter skull - all the lobes, are greatly enhanced in some creatures.

So what is refered to as intelligence are the neural processes in areas which are considered variable in humans and in some other species.

Originally posted by hypnagogue

You also seem to imply the criterion that that which can be taught does not constitute a form of intelligence. But if mathematical aptitude constitutes a form of intelligence, then clearly this intelligence depends on some kind of formal teaching. For instance, if I had never taken math beyond the grade school level, I would have much greater difficulty performing calculations in my head. Now there is a distinction to be made; is this the case because of the math I was taught, or was the continual experience of doing calculations honing some innate mathematical ability of mine? I think you would say the latter, and I would (mostly) agree. But can't we then also look at the process of formally learning music as, on some level, honing some innate musical ability? Would it then be incorrect to denote this innate musical ability as musical intelligence?

I think this is based on an earlier comment, I may have mistated something. But math aptitude is certainly a function of intelligence no doubt. But it's also a function of teaching skills, of attention span and ability, of interest etc. See below for some good info on this...


Originally posted by hypnagogue

As an aside, I think you overstate your case when you talk about the firm grasp the scientific community has on the concept of intelligence. If we understood intelligence that well, the field of artificial intelligence might have lived up to some of its bold predictions by now. Even some of the more successful applications, such as Deep Blue, rely more on a priori knowledge and brute force than actual intelligence. Deep Blue has beaten the best chess player in the world because it was programmed to give each chess piece a particular value as determined by human chess masters and because the breadth and depth of its analysis of future moves was much, much greater than is humanly possible. The ratio of the quality of strategy to computational resources is still much higher in the human than in the computer; I would argue that this efficiency of information processing is part of what constitutes true intelligence. Classical AI has run into countless theoretical objections, and more importantly, its progress as a field has continually run into one brick wall after another. Simulated neural networks are a better approach, but even the results here have been relatively modest thus far.

Earlier I believe I stated that indeed even in the scientific community Intelligence is not well understood, as far as what is known, and how it is defined, in the specific fields. In that small niche of fields it is understood.

Lemme give a comparison here. An evolutionary biologists understands evolution well, no doubt. When teaching to a class the biology may make a comment like the following:

"There is a mechanism in predators known as the risk of ruin. It's an observation that a creature such as a lion, will attack a small rabbit with the same sneak and attack skills, the same speed, and the same srength as it does an Elk or a Zebra. It does this because it knows that it needs to be as sure as possible that each hunting attempt is a success, for itself and for it's children."

Now this evolutionary biology knows that the lion does not "know" this. The lion isn't conscious about this at all. It's a personification to simplify to students.

In reality what occurs is this:

"The lions which attack all of their prey will full force are more likely to have greater number of successes, whcih provide the young with more food to grow stronger and thus they are selected FOR."

But the teacher often chooses to use the personification to simplify the conversation.

This occurs as well when scientists attempt to communicate information regarding intelligence - for the sake of making it easier on others.

One might say - the ability to process math equations is a form of intelligence.

But in reality what occurs is someone who has a greater "bandwidth" and "speed" of processes would likely be able to "deal with" any input information better than the average person.

But again, a greater number of neural connection can be specific to one area of the brain, and be normal in another.

Regarding the latter comments. You made the comment that intelligence is not well understood. This is kind of a yes and a no. What scientists have chosen to define as intelligence is well chosen - and the process itself, on the level of a neuron is very well understood.

But what's the challenge is going from the single neuron to understanding entire embedded tissue layers of neurons, and bring this outward towards the entire processing human. It's an enormous step from small to big - and we are most certainly in an infancy, perhaps not even born yet!

The AI shows this - some of the best ways to understand are to copy. AI has run into issues, and forced to be "rethought" as they say. AI started more as an attempt to fake intelligence rather than to copy it. Whereas neural networks attempt to copy it.

It's definetely something that, if only showing us one thing, has shown us we have a hell of a long way to go.

I hope that makes a bit of sense - it's early/late!
 
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  • #25
One of the main concerns, if I may call it that, with the entire genre of Intelligence is the publics popularity to complicate what is really much more simple than they would thin, or perhaps want to think.

For some reason we find in many facets of culture - or society I should say, that when something becomes extremely complex, humans have a tendency to begin to think there is some extraordinary, or even some supernatural occurence.

Apparently when some seems to be so monumental, either a massive natural event or the massive processes of the brain, humans dislike having to deal with it part by part (through the billions) and instead want to make it easier on themselves by attributing some other event or even entitity to this.

We find this most certainly with "intelligence". Hypnagogue commented on the societal understanding of intelligence versus the scientific one.

In fact they tend to be more similiar. It's nothing more than the compilations of millions of neurons in a particular facet of the brain (and billions in total) the create some sort of "intelligence" in the full on human experience.

Biology's fundamental unit is the cell, of which a neuron is. Thus Biology looks at this issue from this level, and attempts to build from it. Here we have less accumuluation of error since we know the unit from which are working.

The societal approach is to see the experience of inteligence in your friend or a classmate, and attempts - with no tools and probably no knowledge - to work downwards....

...what we come up with is the want to think that there is "something more" than neurons firing.

It may seem like scientist is almost using the same word for something totally different - like society calls what science calls cars, cows - and science vice versa.

But it's sciences approach to the issue "from the ground up".
 
  • #26
You guys really got me going. I'll leave you with one last comment.

On the issue you mentioned of the societal verse scientific intelligence concepts.

We see a kind of metaphor for this in AI versus ANN (artifical Neural networks).

AI (partiularly that of the 60s through 80s) disregards the actual physical processes and focuses on using any means to produce a physical object which has the illusion of the SOCIETAL intelligence.

An ANN focuses on the physica processes of the SCIENTIFIC intelligence, and yet currently can not currently full anyone of having the societal level if intellect.

So the tables have turned!
 
  • #27
Zantra
781
3
Just one facet I wanted to comment on, which is the oversimplification that society places on complexed topics. Of course the reason for that is the group mentality that all need to understand, so a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. What is one man's light reading is another's complexed theory. That is why newspapers are printed at an average 5th grade reading level. If the general population with an average IQ of 100 cannot comprehend something, then we must simply.

Also you have to account for niching. The total sum of human knowlege is impossible to contain in a single human mind, therefore most people(even the intelligent ones) niche, or specialize themselves. For the knowledge outside of thier specialization, it's impossible to have all but a percursory knowledge on a broad range of topics. Even someone with a photographic memory could spend his entire life learning consistently at a college level pace or above, and never encompass the sum of knowledge. So therefore simplification exists at all levels of intelligence both for the sake of brevity, and due to limitations of the human mind(not to mention a social life..ahem). For instance, i'm sure you're an expert in Biology, but what can you tell me about 18th century Russian poetry? Probably not much more than I could tell you, but it's an example, so humor me. So you see my point.

One interesting factoid I've heard was that the entire sum of a person's memories, knowledge, and experiences, the neural pathways, etc could be summed up in approximately 3 Petabytes(10^15 bytes). And we're fast approaching that level. Definitely the technology will be there in our lifetime to duplicate a human mind. How that is implemented remains to be seen. For you non-techies that's 3 million gigabytes I believe.

But I'm interrupting.. continue
 
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  • #28
Kerrie
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
841
15
Albert Einstein as an example...

http://www.sciencenet.emory.edu/mismeasure/genius/research05.html

within the website i provided, there is a page on Albert Einstein regarding his brain, as he is the most classic case of genius and intelligence...

i think a higher intelligence has to do with the capacity to learn quickly and process...for example, with the musical ability, sure anyone can learn how to play an instrument, but to write the music that is considered a true form of beauty to other people does require a capacity that not all have...
 
  • #29


Originally posted by Kerrie
http://www.sciencenet.emory.edu/mismeasure/genius/research05.html

within the website i provided, there is a page on Albert Einstein regarding his brain, as he is the most classic case of genius and intelligence...

i think a higher intelligence has to do with the capacity to learn quickly and process...for example, with the musical ability, sure anyone can learn how to play an instrument, but to write the music that is considered a true form of beauty to other people does require a capacity that not all have...


It's a capacity not all have yet, but that doesn't mean it has anything in a relation to intelligence. That's also a comment sentiment, that unique ability involving the brain are intellect.

Intelligence definetely has to do with a capacity to learn quickly. And learning quickly is a function of the second measurement of intelligence, the bandwidth. One who has more neural connection in a particular part of the brain has a greater ability to reproduce knowledge they were given!

Another facet of it is memory. One comment I find myself givin, a quote I should say is that:

"Nothing occurs, it only HAS occured."

This comment stems from something that needs explaining. Reflex archs are pathways of information passed through the nervous system.

An innate reflex arch is one that does not involve the brain. for instance if you step on something flaming hot or extremely sharp - you remove your foot. This reflex to move your foot never went to your brain - it went up your leg and immedately back down - never left the leg.

The memory of the event was a completely different neural communicatin that did go to the brain - but by the time the memory was saved you had alredy pulled your leg back.

So what happens is that there is no memory of the action of pulling away from the object! Then there are learned reflex arches which of course include the brain.

If I tell you I'm going to say a word to you and I want you to repeat it back to me as soon as I finish the word, what occurs is that the auditory information is transfered to an electrochemical communication that is saved in memory. Then you immediately access this information and say it.

So in fact there is no real moment at which you experienced this word - the only reason you "knew" what the word was because you asked your memory what it was, just like you might as what it was your friend said to you yesterday.

THus the phrase.....anyway that was of topic.

Intelligence in its cellular form combines to make some very complex processes. Conscious mental abilities all adhere to intelligence. Those that have more intelligence can handle greater mental challenges with greater ease, and thus are more likely to puruse these activities.
 
  • #30
Take From Kerries Link:
Findings: Compared to the ratios of the brains of the 11 normal men, the ratios of neurons to glial cells in Einstein's brain were smaller in the left area 30. In this area, there were more glial cells for every neuron in his brain.

Conclusion: The Scientists concluded that the greater number of glial cells per neuron indicates that he neurons had an increased metabolic need - they needed and used more energy, causing Einstein to have better thinking abilities and conceptual skills.

I'm not sure if this was generalized, but I have a problem with this.
In fact I have a serious problem with this. They conclude that his neurons needed more energy, fine. But then they conclude that it caused him to have better abilities.

This is a poor assertion.

The neurons would need more glial cells because Einstein USED THE NEURONS more, which is obvious because his work take strong mental use.

To conclude that this was because of his abilities rather than because of his actions is truly poor science on their part.
 
  • #31
Les Sleeth
Gold Member
2,254
2
Originally posted by Zantra
Conspiracy theory? Not biting

Others are making points I might, and probably better than I would. But I have to say I did not suggest a conspiracy theory. I suggested a tinted-lense or filter theory; and not that it's deception, but simply that it results from what people value and methods they use to test.

To me, part of the problem is that the word "intelligence" has more than one meaning. If we limit it strictly to what IQ tests reveal, then what else should we expect IQ tests to reveal other than what they are designed to do?

But others generalize the term "intelligence" to mean skills with consciousness of any variety, whether the IQ tests reveal them or not. Maybe there should be a consciousness quotient too, though I doubt a test could be devised that would reveal all there is to consicousness.

We've had the debate here many times, where I challenge materialists who offer as evidence the fact that empirical studies have never, ever revealed anything other than material processes at work behind and within reality. I ask "but how is that to be interpreted?" Does it mean, as they imply, there is nothing but material processes? Or does it merely prove empiricism is only capable of discovering material processes?

So the infatuation with IQ may be justified for what it really does indicate, but it may also be true that what doesn't show up on such tests still exists and contributes significantly to overall intelligence (or should we say, consciousness).
 
  • #32
hypnagogue
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,277
2
Biology Forums, thanks for your replies. I believe I have a better grasp on what you're trying to say now. But I still have some problems with the definitions of intelligence, as you have defined it.

You say that two factors of intelligence are processing speed and bandwidth. I would agree with that, but stopping there is a very limited perspective that still does not capture the essence of what we mean by 'intelligence.' Bandwidth accounts for the amount of information that can be stored, and speed the rate at which it can be processed-- but who is more intelligent, the guy with the photographic memory who is very quick on his feet, or the guy who redefines his field by reconceptualizing old problems and making profound and novel connections between them, even though his memory is poorer, he has a slight lower concentration of neurons in his brain, and he's not as 'quick'? To continue your computer analogy, you are pointing to the physical capacity of the hardware to account for intelligence, but I am arguing that it doesn't matter how fast and big your system is if it has lousy software. Thus, I would argue that more than speed and bandwidth, the quality of connections between sets of neurons is what is most important for intelligence. By quality of interconnections, I mean the capacity for a given set of interconnections to process information in highly meaningful, relevent, and novel ways. Clearly intelligence is really encoded in these connections-- speed and bandwidth are limiting factors, but what is really important once you have a sufficiently powerful representational system is how it processes the information it is given. It is not at all a trivial problem to determine what types of interconnections between neurons account for true intelligence in this sense. I contend that we won't have a good understanding of the biological basis of intelligence until we can determine what, if any, common characteristics of interconnections between sets of neurons seperate a genius from a bright guy, a bright guy from an average guy, etc. In other words, to get a good grasp on intelligence, we need to determine what kind of information processing (software) ultimately underlies intelligence in action.

Also, I find the identification of the cerebral cortex with intelligence to be kind of an unsatisfying a priori assumption. Why should we limit ourselves to the cerebral cortex? What if we find what looks like intelligence operated somewhere else in the brain? Is this not intelligence simply because we have already rather arbitrarily defined that intelligence can only be situated in the cerebral cortex?

For instance, work in robotics has found that simply automating the process of navigating around an environment is an extremely complex and subtle operation, no matter how simple it seems to us. If intelligence is the ability to process information in an effective way with respect to the goal of solving some problem, then it would appear that even navigating around an environment coherently and safely requires some form of intelligence.
 
  • #33
zoobyshoe
6,551
1,286
Originally posted by Kerrie
I have to completely agree with his theory because IQ tests are very selective in the intelligences it measures. Read this quick page, and I would like to hear any comments...


I also agree with him. I.Q. tests
are limited to intelligence in
certain areas that themselves are
limited in application to a person's life. The true measure of
an individual's intelligence ought
to take much more into account.

-zoob
 
  • #34
Zantra
781
3
Originally posted by LW Sleeth
Others are making points I might, and probably better than I would. But I have to say I did not suggest a conspiracy theory. I suggested a tinted-lense or filter theory; and not that it's deception, but simply that it results from what people value and methods they use to test.

To me, part of the problem is that the word "intelligence" has more than one meaning. If we limit it strictly to what IQ tests reveal, then what else should we expect IQ tests to reveal other than what they are designed to do?

But others generalize the term "intelligence" to mean skills with consciousness of any variety, whether the IQ tests reveal them or not. Maybe there should be a consciousness quotient too, though I doubt a test could be devised that would reveal all there is to consicousness.

We've had the debate here many times, where I challenge materialists who offer as evidence the fact that empirical studies have never, ever revealed anything other than material processes at work behind and within reality. I ask "but how is that to be interpreted?" Does it mean, as they imply, there is nothing but material processes? Or does it merely prove empiricism is only capable of discovering material processes?

So the infatuation with IQ may be justified for what it really does indicate, but it may also be true that what doesn't show up on such tests still exists and contributes significantly to overall intelligence (or should we say, consciousness).

OK hopefully you'll read this as it's now an old post. Basically everything is definable and measurable. If it warrants signficance, then science has found a way to define it. I believe that there are aspects of intelligence that are just now beginning to be better defined. Things like social intelligence are known, but have not yet been put up against a measurable standard. As I allude to a few posts down, I believe that some intelligences are a result of other larger intelligence factors. If someone is gifted in linguistics, and also in processing information, that may as a by-product, make them more socially adept. However social intelligence isn't defined because it's not it's own seperate category, but what could be looked at as a subcategory, or a by-producted of a combination of other measurable intelligences. Does this mean it can't be measured? No. Does this mean it's not worthy of measurement? No. I'm not an expert, but that's how it would seem to be, to me.
 
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  • #35
A simple activity such as playing chess for a few months has been proven to increase performance on I.Q. tests by an average of 5 points. Chess exercises certain areas of the brain and although there is no chess section on an I.Q. test it improves test performance anyway. Chess is learned and fun to play. The brain is not a static piece of computer hardware because the software changes the hardware in mice studies at least of young and old. If there is an area for it in the brain then it is a form of intelligence although some areas seem more practical than others. I like Gardner's broader ideas of intelligence because it seems more realistic than reducing it all to some mystical quantity called Q that is supposedly unchanging and predictive of one's life, I call that constant, the human constant of needing to feel in control of others by imposing our ideas on them either good or bad- it feels good to control things and especially others as it also feels good to be controlled by an authority that we believe will lead us to good.
 

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