Intelligence based on pupil size?

Looking directly into another person’s eyes can reveal a lot about them. In fact, poker players often cover their eyes with sunglasses for fear of giving a tell, and some studies have shown that staring into another person’s eyes can create deep feelings of intimacy for those involved.

Now, it turns out, a person’s eyes might also reveal something unexpected and controversial: their level of intelligence, reports Discover.

In the new study, psychologist Jason S. Tsukahara and colleagues found a positive correlation between pupil size and cognitive ability. Of course, dilated pupils occur when the eye needs to let in more light, such as when you need to adjust to the dimmer light of a dark room. But what could having larger-than-average pupil size have to do with IQ? It turns out, changes in pupil size happen in a number of circumstances that don’t necessarily relate with changes in light levels.

“Starting in the 1960s, it became apparent to psychologists that the size of the pupil is related to more than just the amount of light entering the eyes. Pupil size also reflects internal mental processes,” wrote the researchers. “For instance, in a simple memory span task, pupil size precisely tracks changes in memory load, dilating with each new item held in memory and constricting as each item is subsequently recalled.”

So could this mean that people with generally larger pupils have more active minds? It’s certainly possible, but as any serious scientist will tell you, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. The researchers suggested another possibility: that both intelligence and pupil size might be influenced by some other shared factor.

“Neuroscience research has shown a close association of pupil size with activity in the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system. [In the brain, norepinephrine] modulates the gain of target neurons to be more sensitive to incoming signals (both excitatory and inhibitory)… this modulation of neural gain has an effect on the strength of functional connectivity throughout the brain,” they wrote.

In other words, it’s possible that the key factor here is higher norepinephrine signaling. It would make sense that more intelligent people should be more sensitive to excitatory and inhibitory signals in the neural system. If higher norepinephrine levels are also correlated with larger pupil size, then the connection makes sense.

Of course, the study will need to be expanded to make sure the correlation does, in fact, exist. And it should also be noted that there are many other factors that relate to IQ than pupil size or norepinephrine signaling, so these factors hardly make for a conclusive intelligence test. Still, it’s an interesting twist on the old notion that the eyes are the windows to the soul.

source: Bryan Nelson

Remember Your Goodness

It is important to remember your basic goodness. If you wonder if you are good or not, take this simple test. If you see a friend  of yours is crying, would you rather comfort them or poke them in the eye? If you choose comfort, you are basically good. That is your basic nature.

Remembering your basic goodness is important, because it helps you stop checking your thoughts and behaviors to see if your are good or not or good enough. Your basic goodness is good enough. You know what it feels like to suffer and you would rather not suffer, and you would rather that your friends not suffer. When you recognize that basic quality is enough, the pressure is off.

If you can recognize your basic goodness, then you have also recognized your basic intelligence. Suddenly you are not only good, you are good and smart. That’s also enough. You don’t need to be anything more than that.

When you are confident that you are good and smart, you can use your wisdom to explore your goodness. You can check in with your goodness whenever you make a decision. You can see if your actions are causing suffering or providing comfort. You can use your wisdom to see what the best way would be to give comfort. You can give what comfort you can. Then you are compassionate and kind.

That is what comes from remembering your basic goodness. Although goodness is enough, when you look into it and check in with it, you will see that it leads to wisdom, compassion and kindness. Practicing that leads to happiness for your self and others. How good of you want to create happiness.