This Hormone Linked to Gifted Higher IQ in Utero

by EzekielDiet.com
Posted on Sep 30, 2017

EZ Diet Note:  This may help explain why one child in a family can be gifted while the others are less-gifted.

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Testosterone Hormone Linked to Higher IQ

By Rick Nauert PhD

Instead of debating nature versus nurture as the progenitor of superior intelligence, a Canadian scientist suggests that perhaps we should be looking for a hormonal source.

University of Alberta researcher Marty Mrazik, Ph.D., says being bright may be due to an excess level of a natural hormone.

Mrazik, and a colleague have published a paper in Roeper Review linking giftedness (having an IQ score of 130 or higher) to prenatal exposure of higher levels of testosterone.

Mrazik hypothesizes that, in the same way that physical and cognitive deficiencies may develop in utero, so too could similar exposure to this naturally occurring chemical result in giftedness.

“There seems to be some evidence that excessive prenatal exposure to testosterone facilitates increased connections in the brain, especially in the right prefrontal cortex,” said Mrazik.

“That’s why we see some intellectually gifted people with distinct personality characteristics that you don’t see in the normal population.”

Mrazik’s notion came from observations made during clinical assessments of gifted individuals. He and his fellow researcher observed some specific traits among the subjects.

This finding stimulated a conversation on the role of early development in setting the foundation for giftedness.

“It gave us some interesting ideas that there could be more to this notion of genius being predetermined from a biological perspective than maybe people gave it credit for,” said Mrazik.

“It seemed that the bulk of evidence from new technologies (such as functional MRI scans) tell us that there’s a little bit more going on than a genetic versus environmental interaction.”

Based on their observations, the researchers made the hypothesis that this hormonal “glitch” in the in-utero neurobiological development means that gifted children are born with an affinity for certain areas such as the arts, math or science.

Mrazik cautions that more research is needed to determine what exact processes may cause the development of the gifted brain.

He notes that more is known about what derails the brain’s normal development, and charting what makes gifted people gifted is very much a new frontier.

Mrazik hopes that devices such as the functional MRI scanner will give them a deeper understanding of the role of neurobiology in the development of the gifted brain.

“It’s really hard to say what does put the brain in a pathway where it’s going to be much more precocious,” he said. “The next steps in this research lay in finding out what exact stimuli causes this atypical brain development.”

Source: University of Alberta

About Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

Source article:  https://psychcentral.com/news/2011/03/14/testosterone-hormone-linked-to-higher-iq/24379.html

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