Perhaps too much intelligence is not the best thing. Well, we all knew it was true to some extent, given the fact that how many exceptionally smart people struggle to be happy.

However, the study we will talk about is more focused on the questions of mental performance and its limitations. The authors of the study speak of a ‘ceiling’ on the level of intelligence of humans, which seems to act as a “shield”.

Scientists at Warwick University in Great Britain and their colleagues from the University of Basel in Switzerland have been studying human evolution, trying to find out why the level of intelligence is at the level that we know it and we are not smarter than we are.

Too much intelligence = too many problems?

They concluded that excessive intelligence may have drawbacks and lead to various kinds of disorders. The reason for that is that we seem to have a special physical mechanism that prevents the excessive increase in intelligence.

The researchers report that a very high IQ is likely to be associated with diseases of the nervous system and disorders such as autism. We can often see these disorders in individuals with exceptional cognitive abilities such as eidetic memory. It’s not the first study to come to this conclusion. Another paper associated above average intelligence with psychiatric disorders such as bipolar.

Also, the scientists claim that various cognitive-enhancing substances such as caffeine and nootropics, which have been widely used in recent years to enhance memory and intelligence, are effective but have limited action and only help those who face specific problems such as a lack of concentration.

Even if the human mind has limitless possibilities, it seems that mental performance does not

The bottom line here is that the level of intelligence operates on the basis of “give something – lose something.” Put simply, the researchers support the statement that if the level of memory (or intelligence in general) increases greatly, it will decline some other function, which explains why modern humans are not smarter than they are.

It seems that there is a price to pay for everything, including too much intelligence, so we probably won’t be able to evolve into ‘superminds’ from sci-fi movies anytime soon.

This conclusion may first sound somehow frustrating, given the popular claims about the limitless possibilities of the human mind. However, the results of the study apply mainly to the cognitive enhancement restrictions such as memory and focus.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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the power of misfits

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