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September 25, 2003

Wish I had a bigger head
Posted by razib at 01:02 PM

Wish I had a bigger head
Why? What size hat do you wear?

Posted by: Hanno Buddenbrook at September 25, 2003 02:39 PM


Posted by: Notorius BHG at September 25, 2003 02:54 PM

How big?

Posted by: Zack at September 25, 2003 07:54 PM

It doesn't really explain why, though, does it? Nor is there any estimate of significance, which could be an issue with a total sample of 215 people, depending on how many of them actually suffered cognitive decline.
Anyway, I'm happy. I have a big head :-)

Posted by: bbartlog at September 26, 2003 07:42 AM

When I was born, my head was in the 99th percentile. Having just given birth to me, she was not thrilled but I think this article will cheer her up.

Posted by: duende at September 26, 2003 10:14 AM

My gut feeling is that there are multiple factors that contribute to IQ, and two of the biggest are brain mass and "clock speed" (how efficently the brain tissue works). Since all tissues become less efficent as we age, someone who's IQ is primarily dependent on "clock speed" will slow down more than someone who simply has more brain tissue. Percentage-wise, an equal loss of processing power per brain mass will have a lesser effect.

Of course, this is all just wild-ass speculation, so take it as you will... (And I have an extremely large head, so I'm looking forward to the day all you small headed freaks accept us as your natural overlords: Kneel before Zod!)

Posted by: jimbo at September 26, 2003 07:10 PM

This finding is not very surprising, as head size and IQ had shown a positive relation since it has been a topic of study (although now with in vivo measuring, it is becoming more exact, with a current correlation estimate around .3-.4), and the relationship holds both between and within families. Although, as previously posted, the reason why is still debatable (although, whatever the reason is, it is partially heritable-----I bet we're all surprised about that).

My guess is that people with larger heads, on the average, tend to have an above average IQ (i.e., tend to be better decision makers), which then translates to better heath decisions (continually made, over a lifetime) and a longer life. Of course, there could be a direct intelligence-physical robustness relationship as well.

Posted by: Alex B. at September 26, 2003 10:31 PM