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The Neuroscience of Intelligence

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Table of Contents

1. What we know about intelligence from the weight of studies; 2. Nature more than nurture: the impact of genetics on intelligence; 3. Peeking inside the living brain: neuroimaging is a game changer for intelligence research; 4. Fifty shades of gray matter: a brain image of intelligence is worth a thousand words; 5. The holy grail: can neuroscience boost intelligence?; 6. As neuroscience advances, what's next for intelligence research?

About the Author

Richard J. Haier earned his PhD from The Johns Hopkins University and is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine. He pioneered the use of neuroimaging to study intelligence in 1988 and has given invited lectures at meetings sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the European Molecular Biology Organization, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 2013, he created video lectures, 'The Intelligent Brain', for The Great Courses. In 2016, he served as President of the International Society for Intelligence Research and became Editor-in-Chief of Intelligence.


'Forty years of Haier's research and thinking about the neuroscience of intelligence have been condensed into this captivating book. He consistently gets it right, even with tricky issues like genetics. It is an intelligent and honest book.' Robert Plomin, King's College London 'An original, thought-provoking review of modern research on human intelligence from one of its pioneers.' Aron K. Barbey, University of Illinois 'Deftly presenting the latest insights from genetics and neuroimaging, Haier provides a brilliant exposition of the recent scientific insights into the biology of intelligence. Highly timely, clearly written, certainly a must-read for anyone interested in the neuroscience of intelligence!' Danielle Posthuma, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 'The trek through the maze of recent work using the modern tools of neuroscience and molecular genetics will whet the appetite of aspiring young researchers. The author's enthusiasm for the discoveries that lie ahead is infectious. Kudos!' Thomas J. Bouchard Jr., Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota 'Richard J. Haier invites us to a compelling journey across a century of highs and lows of intelligence research, settling old debates and fueling interesting questions for new generations to solve. From cognitive enhancement to models predicting IQ based on brain scans, the quest to define the neurobiological basis of human intelligence has never been more exciting.' Emiliano Santarnecchi, Harvard Medical School 'Loud voices have dismissed and derided the measurement of human intelligence differences, their partial origins in genetics, and their associations with brain structure and function. If they respect data, Haier's book will quieten them. It's interesting to think how slim a book with the title The Neuroscience of Intelligence would have been not long ago, and how big it will be soon; Haier's lively book is a fingerpost showing the directions in which this important area is heading.' Ian J. Deary, University of Edinburgh 'The biology of few psychological differences is as well understood as that of intelligence. Richard J. Haier pioneered the field of intelligence neuroscience and he is still at its forefront. This book summarizes the impressive state the field has reached, and foreshadows what it might become.' Lars Penke, Georg-August-Universitat, Goettingen, Germany 'It increasingly appears that we are within years, not decades, of understanding intelligence at a molecular level - a scientific advance that will change the world. Richard J. Haier's The Neuroscience of Intelligence gives us an overview of the state of knowledge that covers not only his own field, the brain, but also recent developments in genetics, and he does so engagingly and accessibly for the non-specialist. I highly recommend it.' Charles Murray, American Enterprise Institute 'This book was overdue: a highly readable and inspiring account of cutting-edge research in neuroscience of human intelligence. Penned by Richard J. Haier, the eminent founder of this research field, the book is an excellent introduction for beginners and a valuable source of information for experts.' Aljoscha Neubauer, University of Graz, Austria 'This book is 'A Personal Voyage through the Neuroscience of Intelligence'. Reading this wonderful volume 'forces thinking,' which can be said only about a very small fraction of books. Here the reader will find reasoned confidence on the exciting advances, waiting next door, regarding the neuroscience of intelligence and based on the author's three basic laws: 1. No story about the brain is simple, 2. No one study is definitive, and 3. It takes many studies and many years to sort things out.' Roberto Colom, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid 'Richard J. Haier's The Neuroscience of Intelligence is an excellent summary of the major progress made in the fields of psychology, genetics and cognitive neuroscience, expanding upon the groundbreaking work of 'The Bell Curve.' He addresses the many misconceptions and myths that surround this important human capacity with a clear summary of the vast body of research now extending into the human brain and genome.' Rex E. Jung, University of New Mexico 'The Neuroscience of Intelligence is a compelling text that addresses a complex body of research (intelligence research) that has often been misinterpreted and manipulated by secondary and tertiary sources. This book is a must read for psychology and other social science students. Given the broad range of misinformation about intelligence testing, despite the academic and clinical need for that testing, it would be beneficial for this text to be widely read. It would serve as a great learning tool to teach undergraduate students about intelligence also how science and politics interact.' Robert B. Perna, PsycCRITIQUES '... an exceptional resource for any individual interested in a technically thorough but easy-to-digest compilation of the neuroscience of intelligence.' CHOICE 'The Neuroscience of Intelligence melds a century's worth of psychometrics with the most recent advances in genetics and neuroimaging to reveal the cutting edge of intelligence research. This book is an impressively broad review of the current state of the field that does not compromise on depth. It can serve as a crash course for budding researchers in the field while highlighting many exciting prospects for those already involved. ... The book is inspiring and enjoyable to read, and it is structured in a way that 'forces thinking' while capturing the passion that Haier feels for this exciting field.' Arseni Sitartchouk and Alan C. Evans, Intelligence 'Dr Haier has compiled an impressive collection of scientific findings and arguments ...' Nathaniel Barr, British Journal of Psychology

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