BBC: Scans reveal intricate brain wiring
Study: How to Get Smarter, One Breath at a Time
Book Review: What Is Intelligence? - The Flynn Effect
In other words, what we see as IQ is more or less an estimate of how an individual handles a particular mode of cultural expression. So, for example when we say 'kids are smarter today than us' it's because they are more familiar with the most common modes of cultural expression (computers, games, messaging, & other ways of communicating).
As technology and it's use spreads other cultures adapt to it as well, And when that happens "IQ" of that culture is said to rise as per the Flynn Effect. That said, any one brought up in a culture of information/education of the most successful culture they can easily beat or keep up with the dominant cultures intellectuals. Why? Because intelligence is about experience and HOW you understand that experience i.e. how many internal brain cell interconnections you make.
What actually does explain how any one civilization is more successful than other is it's historical interactions with 3 things: Guns Germs & Steel. The following two links explain that;
Jared Diamond’s ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ Part 1 – Out of Eden
Jared Diamond’s ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ Part 2 – Conquest and the Tropics
Most differences of opinions are a matter of information/education.
Book Review: Lies my Teachers Told Me
The are external factors keeping levels of information down such as Texas.
The Power Of Your Brain: Brain Plasticity & IQ Enhancement
Michael Merzenich: Growing evidence of brain plasticityMichael Merzenich studies neuroplasticity -- the brain's powerful ability to change itself and adapt -- and ways we might make use of that plasticity to heal injured brains and enhance the skills in healthy ones.Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich looks at one of the secrets of the brain's incredible power: its ability to actively re-wire itself. He's researching ways to harness the brain's plasticity to enhance our skills and recover lost function.
This means that neuronal development and restructuring is possible with training. Since lack of brain exercise can increase the "noise" in your brain and make it less efficient over time, a type of brain gym for older people is likely in the future as part of daily activities.
Brain Plasticity--An Overview "What is brain plasticity? Does it mean that our brains are made of plastic? Of course not. Plasticity, or neuroplasticity, describes how experiences reorganize neural pathways in the brain. Long lasting functional changes in the brain occur when we learn new things or memorize new information. These changes in neural connections are what we call neuroplasticity.
To illustrate the concept of plasticity, imagine the film of a camera. Pretend that the film represents your brain. Now imagine using the camera to take a picture of a tree. When a picture is taken, the film is exposed to new information -- that of the image of a tree. In order for the image to be retained, the film must react to the light and ?change? to record the image of the tree. Similarly, in order for new knowledge to be retained in memory, changes in the brain representing the new knowledge must occur.
To illustrate plasticity in another way, imagine making an impression of a coin in a lump of clay. In order for the impression of the coin to appear in the clay, changes must occur in the clay -- the shape of the clay changes as the coin is pressed into the clay. Similarly, the neural circuitry in the brain must reorganize in response to experience or sensory stimulation."
This means that the way you can build your muscles is the same way that you can build your brain i.e. with exercise.