PhD student Selma Coecke shares with us a summary of her recent CEN seminar titled: An undefined form of fluid intelligence: how its trajectory differs from conceptual development in the context of science
Intelligence tests measure two forms of cognitive process: verbal – representing declarative knowledge – and nonverbal -aiming to eliminate the influence of socio-cultural knowledge.However, my research demonstrates that there are multiple cognitive processes in the context of scientific thinking. Spatial-temporal cognition for example, is one of these and it consistently explains unique variance in science beyond verbal-nonverbal distinction.Furthermore, although it is often considered part of the verbal domain, scientific vocabulary is another unique measure. It lies at the interface between the verbal and nonverbal as it draws heavily on imagery. During this talk I explained how my data demonstrates that neither verbal nor nonverbal abilities are unitary. Spatial-temporal cognition in particular, may be a good candidate independent component of fluid intelligence. This form of thinking appears to satisfy three major requirements: it has a (1) unique predictive/ecological validity, (2) capacity to support abstract thinking, (3) unique qualitative and quantitative characteristics.