Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Intelligence, Learning, and Neural Plasticity

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_752



Intelligence reflects a general cognitive capability that involves the ability to learn quickly, learn from experience, the ability to reason, solve problems, and understand complex ideas. Individuals are known to differ with respect to this general cognitive ability.

Neural plasticity describes the phenomenon that not only the brain’s activity but also the brain’s structure can be changed through learning and practice, i.e., the brain is “plastic” or malleable not only during a “critical period” in childhood but also in adulthood.

Theoretical Background

Individual differences in human intelligence have been studied for more than 100 years beginning with Francis Galton’s early attempts to study how talent and giftedness runs in families (Hereditary genius, 1869) as well as Binet and Simon’s first edition of an “intelligence test” (1905). In the twentieth century, hundreds of empirical studies have shed light on the measurement...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GrazGrazAustria