The more intelligent a person, the fewer connections there are between the neurons in his cerebral cortex. This is the result of a study conducted by neuroscientists working with Dr Erhan Genç and Christoph Fraenz at Ruhr-Universität Bochum; the study was performed using a specific neuroimaging technique that provides insights into the wiring of the brain on a microstructural level.
The new findings provide an explanation of conflicting results gathered in intelligence research to date. For one, it had been previously ascertained that intelligent people tend to have larger brains. “The assumption has been that larger brains contain more neurons and, consequently, possess more computational power,” says Erhan Genç. However, other studies had shown that — despite their comparatively high number of neurons — the brains of intelligent people demonstrated less neuronal activity during an IQ test than the brains of less intelligent individuals.