I am excited to report that Rammsayer and colleagues have followed up this original study with one based on a larger sample (including the sample in the 2007 publication). The new, and IMHO very important, article is:
- Helmbold, N., Troche, S. & Rammsayer, T. (2007). Processing of temporal and nontemporal information as predictors of psychometric intelligence: A structural-equation-modeling approach. Journal of Personality, 75 (5), 985-1006. (click here to view)
- Recent research suggests a functional link between temporal acuity and general intelligence. To better understand this relation, the present study took advantage of a large sample (N5260) and structural equation modelling to examine relations among temporal acuity, measured by various tasks, speed of information processing as measured by the Hick reaction time task, and psychometric intelligence. Temporal acuity and the Hick task showed common variance in predicting psychometric intelligence. Furthermore, timing performance was a better predictor of psychometric intelligence and mediated the relation between Hick task performance and psychometric intelligence. These ﬁndings are consistent with the idea that temporal acuity reﬂects a basic property of neural functioning that is relevant to intelligence-related aspects of mental activity including speed of information processing.
- There is a large literature demonstraing a relation between higher mental ability and faster speed and of efficiency of processing on simple sensory, memory,and decision tasks. The most frequently used elementary cognitive tasks (ECTs) in this field include inspection time, simple and choice reaction time following the rationale of Hick (1952).
- Current explanations for the observed relationship between psychometric intelligence and measures obtained from ECT's usually refer to the concept of "neural efficiency" as being responsible for faster and less error-prone information processing in individuals with high mental abilities.
- The authors base their research on the Temporal Resolution Power Hypothesis (TRPH) which, in essence, is based on the idea that temporal accuracy as assessed by psychophysical timing tasks--in analogy to on ECT's---might reflect basic processes related to neural efficiency. A theoretical context for this notion is affored by the master clock hypothesis....where the oscillation rate of a general clock mechanism in the human central nervous system (CNS) is responsible for the coordination of a wide range of mental activities. According to this view a high temporal resolution power or a high oscillation rate of a general timing mechanism should influence information processing by leading to shorter task completion times and less interference from distracting sources of information.
- According to the TRPH...finer temporal resolution would be associated with better abilities in both speeded and unspeeded mental ability tests....this, in turn, is a fundamental contributor to psychometric intelligence.
- These results from this new study are consistent with the idea that temporal acuity is the more important variable in relation to psychometric intelligence and indeed appears to be sufficient to account for the well-replicated effects linking speed of information processing to the general Intelligence-related abilities of the individual.
- The results presented provide a strong case for the idea that temporal abilities, relative to mere mental speed, are a more important predictor of performance on general intelligence tests
Technorati Tags: psychology, educational psychology, school psychology, neuropsychology, neuroscience, intelligence, general intelligence, g, reaction time, temporal processing, brain clock, pacemaker-accumulator model
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