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Why highly intelligent people suffer from more mental and physical disorders

Your brain's heightened sensitivity can make you perceptive and creative. But it's a double-edged sword, researchers find.

People with high IQ are considered to have an advantage in many domains. They are predicted to have higher educational attainment, better jobs, and a higher income level. Yet, it turns out that a high IQ is also associated with various mental and immunological diseases like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD as well as allergies, asthma, and immune disorders. Why is that? A new paper published in the journal Intelligence reviews the literature and explores the mechanisms that possibly underlie this connection.

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UNESCO Preserves the Works of One of the Greatest Minds in Human History

This polymath's papers—full of personal and scientific revelations—have joined the World Register.

A stamp printed in Laos from the "Space Exploration " issue shows Isaac Newton and Lunokhod 2, circa 1984.

The UNESCO International Memory of the World Register has recently added another batch of genius to its collection of documents: the papers, diaries, books, and notes of Sir Isaac Newton, thereby helping to preserve for all time the works of one of the greatest minds in human history.

Wait, who added what?

The UNESCO Memory of the World Program is a programmed dedicated to the preservation of and access to the documentary heritage of the world. The program has existed since 1992 and has discovered, preserved, and exhibited countess documents of vital importance to the heritage of mankind since then, including the papers of Winston Churchill, the telegram Austria-Hungary sent to declare war on Serbia, and The Wizard of Oz.

So, why add Newton’s stuff?

Isaac Newton discovered and formulated the law of gravity, the classical laws of motion, the nature of color and optics, and invented calculus in his spare time. He invented the reflecting telescope, determined why the planets don’t move in perfect circles, and he later went on to invent the little indentations around the side of coins when he was the master of the mint for Great Britain. His contributions to science are nearly impossible to overstate.

And don’t take my word for it; Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains here why Newton is the greatest physicist of all time.

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Surprising Science

4 geniuses whose brains were studied by science—and what they reveal

Here are four great brains from great minds, and how they differ from yours.

 

A picture shows a picture and model of Albert Einstein's brain on display during a preview of the Wellcome Collection's major new exhibition 'Brains: mind of matter' in London on March 27, 2012. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Many people have wondered about the minds of great thinkers. What must Einstein have been thinking when he sat down at his piano and came to the conclusions that gave us relativity? How does such a fantastic mind work? For neuroscientists, who view mental activity as brain activity, some of their curiosity can be satisfied by studying the brains of great thinkers and seeing how they differ from the normal brain.

Now, brain morphology does not always correlate to behavioral differences. The findings listed below may have little to no meaning at all. Brain shape can be altered by things such as daily motor skill practice or dementia. The current data suggests that brain morphology has at most a modest effect on overall intelligence. In some cases, a larger brain makes for lower functionality. This should be kept in mind when reading about these differences between the brain of these geniuses and the average joe.

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Surprising Science

What the Early Life of Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Success

This infographic, by Anna Vital from Funders and Founders, recaps the significant moments of Steve Jobs’ journey on, and sometimes off, the path of success. 

Steve Jobs

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Technology & Innovation

Our Cult of Achievement Is Crushing the Genius Out of People

Humans worship at the altar of excellence, but is our complete obsession with this "quality controlled" mode of intellect holding us back?

We want our surgeons to be excellent. We wants our classical music performers to be excellent. But do we really want excellence everywhere? This is the provocative line of thought economist and mathematician Eric Weinstein is currently chasing. We've figured out how to reliably teach excellence, which is useful — but there is a trade-off. Individuals and education institutions become hyper-focused on cutting variant individuals to a certain shape, pushing them into a mold so they can passably imitate the "excellent" population, but not really perform. "The key question is: who are these high-variance individuals? Why are our schools filled with dyslexics? Why are there so many kids diagnosed with ADHD? My claim is these are giant underserved populations who are not meant for the excellence model." To that end, Weinstein suggests that the label of 'learning disabled' is severely misguided. Perhaps we should call this phenomenon what it more accurately is: a teaching disability. How much genius is squandered by muting the strengths of these populations?

Mind & Brain
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