This bit of psychometrics provides more of a basis for my intuitive claim that the frontal lobe provides the first 95-99% of IQ, and something behind the ears is required to break the 135 barrier:
The ability to manipulate the symbols in the brain that correspond to entities in the outer world, and manipulate them according to the rules of logic which are intuitively known. This too operates in all the areas named under pattern recognition, and this too is so close to intelligence itself that it is not a factor on its own. But we feel it as a separate process.
On Pattern recognition and Reasoning
Pattern recognition and Reasoning are, as it were, two aspects or processes of the same – intelligence – that each cover all of the lower factors. To perform a mental task, one first has to recognize pattern, and then one can reason. Reasoning is the menial helper of pattern recognition. It does the straightforward, linear processing, the labour.
From trying to create test problems I have some experiences with regard to pattern recognition and reasoning that I wish to report:
Items that focus on pattern recognition and have little or no reasoning requirement can span a vast range of difficulty, from the very easiest to the very hardest. But they fail to discriminate well in the low and average ranges. They do not always put those with low or average intelligence into their place. In the absence of a significant reasoning aspect, candidates with low or average intelligence will now and then penetrate into score ranges far above their true level. Even hard problems of pattern recognition are occasionally solved by people of very modest ability. The inclusion of the slightest reasoning requirement at once puts them into their place. Reasoning is an unsurmountable barrier for those below a certain range (the important paradox that most individuals of high intelligence can not believe or imagine this absence of reasoning ability in so many will be discussed elsewhere).
Items that require reasoning are therefore needed to obtain discrimination in the low and average ranges. It is hard though to create a high ceiling with pure reasoning problems. Reasoning seems to “max out” around I.Q. 135-140.
Ability types measured by high-range tests
I think “reasoning” corresponds to steps 4-7 in my problem-solving model (a sort of intelligence that relies heavily on rote methods). If you have “reason” (that is, a perfectly functional frontal lobe), then you already qualify for Mensa.
But triple-9 membership requires mass behind the ears in the brain areas associated with perception and processing. “Pattern recognition” problems seem to be measuring perception and apperception, which are functions of the parietal and occipital lobes. These two lobes are atavistic and have a much higher range of possible development, from very low to very high.
These predictive insights are important because we’re having a very difficult time with creating a cohesive edenic craniology, whereas the phrenology is already quite good at predicting personality (socket depth and facial dimensions, particularly).
I’m going to make a bold statement. I think the development of the tiny anatomical details around the eyes predicts parietal lobe and occipital lobe development in the same way that the face predicts frontal lobe development.
In the NH and elsewhere, we’ve observed multiple times that gaze seems to depend on the back of the head at least as much as on the face. (And the volume, profile, and bumps of the cranium are not yielding the same high correlations to behavior as the face has done.) Furthermore, it is a very common observation amongst people who work with gifted folks that there’s “something about the eyes”. Highly intelligent people also report common, characteristic traits in their peers: a stare that is “burning”, “piercing”, “merry”, etc. For the purposes of separating T-backs from C-backs from M-backs, I think we would be better off focusing most of our energies on the small bones and tissues around the eyes. Head dimensions, already a gross and unsophisticated indicator at best, seem to have few mysteries left for us to untangle.
(The name optography comes from the observation that the brain leaves a characteristic mark on the eyes. The tiny details of the eye are “written” or “mapped” by the hindbrain.)