According to Daily Mail, one of the most important factors which can influence alertness in older people, is the lifestyle. They also stated that the main factor which influences our intelligence when we get older is the genes. It seems that the environment is very important when it comes to intelligence. This means that if we choose the right environment, we can increase our intelligence. The news came as a result of a long-term study which analyzed the way in which 2,000 Scottish people varied in intelligence over the course of their lives.
What influences intelligence?
The researchers wanted to see if their intelligence was controlled by various factors, such as genetics or environmental ones. The researchers started analyzing the participants when they were 11 years old and then once again when they were between 65 and 79. The researchers estimated the fact that 24 percent of the variations in intelligence are influenced by genetics.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, together with other institutes from UK and Australia. The research wasn’t greeted with too much importance, because it was considered to be unreliable. Many stated that the study did not examine the individual environmental and genetic factors which could cause changes in one’s intelligence.
The study was a genome-wide association study, which tried to identify links between changes in intelligence amongst the participants and genetic variations. Such a test was impossible up to this point, because the technology required did not exist. Researchers did not examine the purpose of each environmental and genetic factor that can influence intelligence, as they did not have pre-specified DNA sections or genes.
Based on their discoveries, the researchers reached to the conclusion that both genes and environment can influence one’s intelligence. The researchers discovered that was a correlation between one’s intelligence at the age of 11, and the intelligence at an older age. The researchers discovered that when it comes to the intelligence at the age of 11, in 24 percent of the cases, it is influenced by genetics.
Problems with the research
The research wasn’t very accurate, and because of this, the ones who conducted the study weren’t able to tell exactly which factors influence intelligence more: genetics or environment. The results were unable to be significant, and as a result the research was unable to prove which of the two factors are more important and more influential. The researchers stated that they will need to continue with the study in order to be more accurate about the results. The study was very important given the fact that it changed the perception about the loss of intelligence. Prior to this point it was believed that it is common and natural to lose intelligence with age. Even if, intelligence is lost over the course of time, certain factors influence the degree in which it is lost.
It will be interesting to see the way in which the researchers will be able to find out more about the study, and about the way in which intelligence is influenced by various factors.