The Intelligent Brain

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intelligent Brain Dr Richard J Haier is very professional and personable with his presentations. This course is very informative. Dr Haier's delivery is outstanding. He is an asset to the world of research. You were smart in getting him to produce this course. I enjoyed it.
Date published: 2020-11-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good Course, but defective Disks Liked the professor and his delivery. I would have given the course 4 stars if the first lecture on the second disc (#7) and the last lecture on the third disc (#18) didn't lose the sound for about 10 seconds, out of every minute, for the entire lecture. Very disappointing.
Date published: 2020-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from And now for the rest of the story... This 2013 release is an excellent presentation of the state of IQ research, and shows what psychological research is like. I’m an experienced psychologist and already knew most of what is covered in the course, other than the fascinating new research on the neurology of IQ. The topic of IQ always brings out differences of opinion, as much within the profession as without. Professor Haier is a true believer in g, which I (and most practicing psychologists, in my experience) are not. So let me make sure you hear the other side of the story. Here’s the bottom line that I learned in graduate school: IQ correlates about .6 with educational achievement, about .3 with life success. Nothing in this course contradicts that. Pay close attention to those findings regarding IQ and automobile accidents. Note that only 10% of those mathematically gifted teenagers had published an article 25 years later (even though three of them, two of whom dropped out of college, became rich and famous). When Dr. Haier says that IQ correlates with many indicators of life success, that is true, but it only correlates weakly with those indicators. Unless you are Mensa material, you may start to feel a bit inadequate if you take everything he says about the wonders of high IQ to heart. Although he starts carefully differentiating IQ from intelligence (they are correlated, but they aren’t the same thing), before long he is using the word “intelligence” instead of “IQ scores”. Many in my profession are not as favorably disposed to the work of Arthur Jensen as is Dr. Haier. That said, this is an excellent TGC production, and the professor does an impressive job of presenting some very technical information is a way that should be easy for most to understand. He seems to be on to something, redefining IQ in terms of measurable brain activity. Those MEG movies of the brain in action are indeed remarkable. This is an area of active research, and the course is now 7 years old. I don’t know what other findings have come to light since 2013 but a quick internet search reveals that there has been some limited success in identifying genes related to cognitive abilities (doi:10.1038/mp.2016.45). If you put on your critical thinking hat, you might find some discrepancies and inconsistencies, but that’s the way things are in social science research. Data and findings are always subject to interpretation. If you have a high IQ, or are just interested in research on intelligence, you’ll probably love this course.
Date published: 2020-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course Highly recommended. One advice, change the map in chapter 2 in minute 1,30. You compare Australia to Greenland but you show the map of Iceland instead.
Date published: 2020-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend I have just finished watching this course and found it fascinating and enlightening. It was taught well with interesting illustrations. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the way our brains work and the future for this incredibly important aspect of humanity and our future.
Date published: 2020-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from March Reveiw, 2020 I viewed this course from beginning to end, and found it to be very informative. I thought the lecturer was excellent and very professional. I am however disappointed and angered by the idea that anyone should ever feel reluctant to speak the truth for fear of not appearing to be "politically correct". As a group, scientists are a much more reputable bunch than politicians, and should never be silenced for the sake of political correctness.
Date published: 2020-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent A great course. Covers a wide range of topics related to human intelligence. The lecturer is balanced and objective, but does not shy away from addressing controversial issues and is willing to give his own personal views.
Date published: 2019-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Content I wanted to learn more about the brain. This course does just that.
Date published: 2018-12-08
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The Intelligent Brain
Course Trailer
What Is Intelligence?
1: What Is Intelligence?

Probe the nature of intelligence by looking first at the phenomenon of savants-individuals who excel at a narrow mental skill. Does this qualify as intelligence? Examine how intelligence is defined, and explore its connection to IQ and a variable called g, which is the conjectured general factor of intelligence....

30 min
Assessing Intelligence
2: Assessing Intelligence

What does an IQ test measure? Study the history of intelligence tests, including the Stanford-Binet test and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Consider typical questions used to measure intelligence, and learn how they are designed to avoid bias. Also look at the SAT for college admission....

30 min
General Intelligence in Everyday Life
3: General Intelligence in Everyday Life

Survey the importance of intelligence in 10 areas of everyday life, from school success to managing money to making medical decisions. What does the g factor predict about the ability to cope in these situations? Finally, consider the implications of such predictions for public policy....

27 min
To g or Not to g-Is That the Question?
4: To g or Not to g-Is That the Question?

Analyze a model of intelligence that incorporates two special factors: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Then explore alternatives to the g concept, including Robert Sternberg's theory of practical intelligence and Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. What is the evidence for these ideas?...

32 min
Intelligence and Genius over the Life Span
5: Intelligence and Genius over the Life Span

Follow the careers of geniuses throughout their lives in three classic studies that began in California in the 1920s, Scotland in the 1930s, and Baltimore in the 1970s. Each study started when the test subjects were children, testing their mental abilities and successes at various intervals....

29 min
Early Childhood Experience and Intelligence
6: Early Childhood Experience and Intelligence

Do early childhood experiences affect intelligence? Look at the value of compensatory education, which was evaluated in what may be the most controversial article in the history of psychology. Then examine the impact of environmental elements, such as culture, birth order, and family size....

28 min
Genes and Intelligence
7: Genes and Intelligence

Are there intelligence genes? Delve into the connection between genes and intellectual capacity, focusing on the search for relevant genes and environmental triggers that may govern gene expression. Also examine the history of intelligence research on identical twins, particularly those reared apart....

31 min
Can We See Intelligence in the Brain?
8: Can We See Intelligence in the Brain?

Brain imaging technology may be the most important development in intelligence research in the last 40 years. Explore positron emission tomography, or PET, which highlights areas of the brain that are working hardest. Learn that these data correlate in an unexpected way with intelligence....

29 min
What Brain Imaging Reveals about Intelligence
9: What Brain Imaging Reveals about Intelligence

Turn to magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, a technique that can measure brain structure and changing brain activity. Among other findings, MRI scans suggest that men and women may have different brain areas related to the g factor. Also investigate a new brain imaging technology called magneto-encephalogram, or MEG....

29 min
Intelligence and the Brains of Children
10: Intelligence and the Brains of Children

Examine research about intelligence and the brains of children and adolescents. Focus on three questions: What aspects of brain development are related to intelligence? Are these developmental factors essentially the same for everyone? Is there a critical period when these factors can be influenced?...

29 min
Sex and Intelligence
11: Sex and Intelligence

Survey average differences between the sexes in specific mental abilities, such as verbal fluency, fine motor skills, and mathematical and scientific reasoning. Do different performances in these spheres relate to sex differences in the brain? Do these differences help explain the disparity of men and women in certain professions?...

28 min
Race and Intelligence
12: Race and Intelligence

Tests such as the SAT show a persistent performance gap connected to race. This is one of the most volatile issues in the social sciences. Use the information developed in the course so far to analyze the issues and possible causes and remedies for closing the gap....

29 min
Are We Really Getting Smarter?
13: Are We Really Getting Smarter?

Delve into the controversy over the Flynn effect, named for psychologist James R. Flynn, who was one of the first to study the phenomenon of worldwide rising IQ scores. Is each generation really smarter than the last? If so, does this trend disprove a major role for genetics in intelligence?...

29 min
The Mind in Milliseconds
14: The Mind in Milliseconds

Scores on intelligence tests are only meaningful compared to those of other people. In this lecture, explore a simple and easy way to estimate intelligence in absolute terms. Also, learn about the concept of "mental chronometry" to measure intelligence as proposed by the prolific and controversial researcher, Arthur Jensen of the University of California, Berkeley....

27 min
Creativity and Intelligence
15: Creativity and Intelligence

Examine rare cases in which brain trauma unleashes hidden powers of creativity. How do such examples shed light on the problem of defining and measuring creativity? Next, probe the connection between creativity and intelligence, and explore intriguing clues from brain imaging studies....

28 min
Can Intelligence Be Enhanced?
16: Can Intelligence Be Enhanced?

Look into the future of intelligence enhancement, which may involve gene manipulation and an understanding of how specific genes function to increase intelligence. Then cover two nongenetic techniques that are being researched currently: memory training and an approach that promotes accelerated learning with mild electric shocks to the brain....

29 min
Intelligence, Child Rearing, and Education
17: Intelligence, Child Rearing, and Education

Probe the potential for brain imaging to evaluate a student's cognitive abilities. Can brain data be used to create a profile that would predict not only the pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, but also how to tailor education for a person with that pattern?...

30 min
The IQ Pill
18: The IQ Pill

If we could raise intelligence, should we? Consider the current controversy over the use of drugs by students to get better test scores. What about the future, when drugs to enhance memory, attention, and learning may be vastly better? Probe the ethical quandaries we may soon face in pursuit of ever-greater intelligence....

32 min
Richard J. Haier

I'm very gratified to see positive customer feedback on the most controversial aspects of intelligence, especially when the course changes how people view the scientific study of intelligence and corrects popular misconceptions.


Johns Hopkins University


University of California, Irvine

About Richard J. Haier

Dr. Richard J. Haier is Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, where he has been teaching and conducting research since 1984. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University. Before his appointment at Irvine he was on the faculty of Brown University's Alpert Medical School. Professor Haier's main research interest is the structural and functional neuroanatomy of higher cognitive processes, especially intelligence. In 1988, he and his colleagues conducted the first modern functional brain imaging study of intelligence with positron emission tomography (PET) and proposed a hypothesis linking good performance on an intelligence test to efficient brain function. Professor Haier's more recent research with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has identified specific brain areas where gray and white matter features correlate to the g factor of intelligence and other intelligence factors. In 2012, he received the Distinguished Contributor Award from the International Society for Intelligence Research. In addition to his many professional publications, Professor Haier's research has been featured on NOVA scienceNOW, NPR, CNN, and CBS Sunday Morning, and in numerous newspaper and magazine articles.

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