Intelligence the Metabrain
Coherent social organization is achieved by
a meta-brain. Many individual brains are coordinated in a network of interacting
individuals. One of the functions of social organization is the
distribution of individuals in spacetime and the regulation of their
interactions. Humans are used to social regulation through speech and rules and
tend to overlook the more basic and pervasive social controllers that operate
from their innate tendencies.
Animal societies are
organized around activities such as mating, rearing the young, foraging,
hunting, resting and seeking protection. Mammalian social organization varies
with the habitat, food supply, and habits of the animals. In primate groups,
individual animals are locked into complex sets of social and kinship networks.
The kin group is the most prevalent basic unit of organization and
has a genetic basis. Intelligence is organized around interactions with others.
Modern humans belong to many groups of different size and importance and
will create a hierarchy of allegiance characterized by shifting loyalties and
even reversals of allegiance. Tracking allegiances is a major task for
intelligence and some people are obviously more gifted than others. Humans
evaluate and compete with each other in a continuous negotiation that involves
strategy, criticism, conflict, and overt battles.
Visual information gathering is dominant in primates and specialized areas of
the cortex are devoted to evaluating what others are doing. Neurons
in the inferotemporal cortex of macaques respond to faces and hand gestures and
some neuronal groups are tuned to specific behaviors. The most basic
intelligence modules identify individuals by appearance and behavior
and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of association with other
individuals. Smart people are better leaders because they are better evaluators
of the behavior and intentions of other members of their group and are more
accurate in responding strategically to challenges from their subordinates.
The brain systems that evaluate others are not used in self-evaluation. It is
easy to argue that humans, like other primates, are mostly interactive
creatures, pre-occupied with what others are doing; humans have little or no
cognitive ability for self-evaluation. A human relies on
others to evaluate behavior and therefore, human society has built in multiple
and complex evaluative procedures that operate daily as external controls. The
innate rules of association built into the brain pertain to
small groups and tend to become dysfunctional when individuals try to relate as
members of large and anonymous groups. Large groups are still controlled by
individuals and small groups with limited ability. Enlarging organizations rely
on repeating modular structures controlled from above. A large corporation has many repeating subunits linked and administered by a central
office that is controlled by a small group of executive officers and directors.
As the corporation grows, the executive officers do not become more intelligent,
better informed and more expansive. Indeed, executives in growing corporations
usually become isolated in their immediate social groups and have difficulty
grasping issues beyond their immediate local group and self-interest.
"IQ" is a handy short form for overall intelligence and IQ scores could
be considered as approximate measurements of a number of underlying abilities.
Comprehensive IQ testing would go beyond the selective IQ tests in
common use. Comprehensive testing would evaluate at least eight critical
domains of mental ability.
ability to live in a group, to cooperate with others and, at the same time, to
compete successfully for status, privileges, resources and mates.
The ability to recognize what is really going on out there in diverse situations
and to act appropriately.
3. Information processing ability
including the ability to find, evaluate and apply knowledge relevant to
completing real world tasks.
4. The ability to navigate
through different environments and to move skillfully with minimal risk of
injury or death.
5. The ability to send and receive
communications with language and other expressive modalities such as mime,
singing, dancing, rhythm, drawing, sculpture, model-making, playing musical
6. The ability to design, make and use tools
7. The ability to set goals, sequence, plan
and implement strategies
8. The ability to self-evaluate
and correct behavior, ideas and strategies when they are not working.