(Editor’s Note: as part of our Author Speaks Series, you can enjoy below a stimulating excerpt from the new book The Brain Advantage: Become a More Effective Business Leader Using the Latest Brain Research).
Brain-imaging techniques allow researchers to witness the brain’s activity reflected in a rainbow of colors on a computer screen. When brain cells are highly active ”working harder” the result shows up as brighter colors on the computer screen. Brilliant reds and yellows indicate brain areas that are most active. In contrast, the blues and greens on a scan show a quieter, less active brain.
What would we expect to find if we examined the brain scans of people with high versus average IQ scores? We might picture the active brain of an Einstein as a hotbed of smoldering colors ”but we’d be wrong. Neurologist Richard Restak summarized a UCLA study that compared individuals with high IQs to those with average IQs. Restak wrote, The researchers started off with the seemingly reasonable idea that ‘smarter brains work harder, generate more energy, and consume more glucose. Like light bulbs, the brains of bright people were expected to illuminate more intensely than those of dimwits with a reduced wattage. What they discovered instead was exactly the opposite. Higher IQ people had cooler, more subdued brain scans “while their less intellectually gifted counterparts lit up like miniature Christmas trees..
Why would smarter brains work less hard? [Read more…] about The Brain Advantage: Train your Autopilot…and how to turn it off