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Big Brain Doesn't Mean Big Smarts

Researchers say brain structure plays more of a role in intelligence

brain skull

FRIDAY, Oct. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Having a big brain doesn't guarantee you'll have an outsized IQ, a new analysis indicates.

Researchers who examined 148 studies that included more than 8,000 people found only a weak association between brain size and IQ.

"The presently observed association means that brain volume plays only a minor role in explaining IQ test performance in humans. Although a certain association is observable, brain volume appears to be of only little practical relevance," said review author Jakob Pietschnig, of the Institute of Applied Psychology at the University of Vienna in Austria.

"Rather, brain structure and integrity appear to be more important as a biological foundation of IQ," he explained in a university news release.

The researchers noted that men tend to have larger brains than women, but there are no differences in overall IQ levels between the genders.

Their research was published online Oct. 9 in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about the brain.

SOURCE: University of Vienna, news release, Oct. 14, 2015
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