Motion Quotient

A common but peevish complaint against IQ tests is that they don’t test anything real, or are somehow biased. Very unlikely.

Science Daily reports:

A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study.

In the study, individuals watched brief video clips of black and white bars moving across a computer screen. Their sole task was to identify which direction the bars drifted: to the right or to the left. The bars were presented in three sizes

As expected, people with higher IQ scores were faster at catching the movement of the bars when observing the smallest image. The results support prior research showing that individuals with higher IQs make simple perceptual judgments swifter and have faster reflexes.

But the tables turned when presented with the larger images. The higher a person’s IQ, the slower they were at detecting movement…. That counter-intuitive inability to perceive large moving images is a perceptual marker for the brain’s ability to suppress background motion, the authors explain.

The key discovery in this study is how closely this natural filtering ability is linked to IQ.

This visual test is correlated remarkably with IQ in the .64 – .71 range.

There is a version of the test on YouTube here.


Motion quotient: IQ predicted by ability to filter visual motion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2013, from­ /releases/2013/05/130523143130.htm


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