Researchers focus on many different aspects of human’s cognitive abilities. One of these specific aspects that is focused on by researchers is an individual’s cognitive control, or their ability to make goal-oriented decisions and control the cognitive processes that support them (Gazzaniga, Irvy, & Mangun, 2018). Cognitive control is heavily impacted by one’s ability to utilize their working memory systems, or their ability to actively represent task relevant information and then manipulate this information in order to achieve a specific goal (Gazzaniga, Irvy, & Mangun, 2018). This working memory system itself impacts many different aspects of our life including our ability to control behavior and our ability to integrate perceptual information within our environment (Gazzaniga, Irvy, & Mangun, 2018). Working memory also impacts many other aspects of our cognitive abilities including our ability to learn and our overall intelligence levels.
Intelligence has been described by researchers as our ability to learn, interact with our environment, and understand and process incoming perceptual and sensory information (Intelligence, 2009). Similar to working memory and cognitive control, intelligence is believed to be supported by a combination of the control and organizational abilities within our frontal lobes and the sensory information being processed by our parietal lobes (Intelligence, 2009). Working in tandem, these areas within the brain allow us to quickly process information within our environment, concentrate on tasks, and utilize critical thinking abilities. The intelligence quotient (IQ) score, which is measured by various cognitive abilities such as verbal, mathematical, and spatial abilities, is utilized by researchers as an operationalized method to study and measure an individual’s intelligence level (Intelligence, 2009).
As mentioned above, one of the factors that influences intelligence is one’s ability to utilize our working memory systems. For example, research indicates that one of the key factors that influences intelligence and our ability to learn and incorporate new information from our environment is the efficiency in which our brain can signal information between the frontal and parietal lobes (Intelligence, 2009). The term signaling efficiency is utilized as a way to describe how much information is readily available to the user. This readily available information is also a key process in working memory, as it is a term describing a person’s ability to actively concentrate on information and then manipulate it (Gazzaniga, Irvy, & Mangun, 2018). Without the efficiency of this neural network, a person would not be able to quickly signal and retrieve information. This disruption would impact their ability to conduct verbal, mathematical, or spatial recognition tasks, which all aspects that are measured to compute one’s intelligence score, or IQ. (Intelligence, 2009).