Less is more for smart perception

Brains of high-IQ people automatically ignore the least relevant sights

12:11pm, May 23, 2013

People with high IQs see the world in their own way. Their brains seamlessly separate the visual wheat from the chaff, allowing them to home in on the most relevant information, a new study finds.

Using a simple visual exercise, a team led by psychologist Duje Tadin of the University of Rochester in New York found that high-IQ volunteers excelled at detecting the direction in which small objects moved but struggled at tracking large moving objects.

That’s a useful trait, the scientists report May 23 in Current Biology. In many situations, small moving objects in the foreground are more important to track than background activity. But whether people are driving a car, walking down a street or writing on a computer in an open workspace, their visual field includes humans and objects in the background that are in constant motion.

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