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Face Recognition Ability Inherited Separately from IQ Essay

This article supports the modularity hypothesis of the brain where it is expressed that the human brain is like a Swiss knife that is represented as “a general purpose tool with special-purpose devices” (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010, n. p. ). Such kind of mentality is based on the idea that specialized genes are located in various regions of the brain which function for specific cognitive abilities like face recognition.

In attempt to further investigate this issue, the researchers studied the relationship of face recognition to heritable characteristics by utilizing the help of 102 pairs of identical twins and 71 pairs of fraternal twins. The experiment made use of black-and white images of 20 different faces which were shown to each participant on a computer screen each for one minute and this step was followed by the mixing of 10 of the original 20 faces to 20 new faces. Results showed that identical twins, whose genes are 100% common, were more likely to provide matched results of the face experiment (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010).

Moreover, 39% of the variance is attributed to genetic effects thereby suggesting that face recognition is a heritable trait. IQ relatedness of face recognition, on the other hand, was investigated by employing the participation of 321 students which revealed that the ability to recognize faces is independent of IQ (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010). The results gathered in this study affirm the hypothesis that some cognitive skills are not correlated with IQ which is the indicator of general intelligence (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010).

Subsequent studies are intended to investigate if other cognitive abilities like language processing, navigation, reading and the likes are related to IQ. Consequently, the significance of these findings is seen on the study of autism and dyslexia because these heritable developmental disorders might also be dictated by specific genes on the human brain. Lastly, the findings presented on this paper are believed to be credible because they are grounded on empirically derived evidence. However, it is suggested that a larger sample size must be used to further confirm the statistical acceptability of the results.

Nevertheless, the researchers made substantial and highly qualified efforts on the choice of participants because identical and fraternal twins are really the most appropriate subjects for studies that investigate heritable properties. In general, this study is a timely research endeavor that can lead to a series of promising effects in the fields of neurobiology and developmental psychology. Reference: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2010, January 20). Face recognition ability inherited separately from IQ. Science Daily.

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