Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Cell Intelligence
Name: Jayant
Status: Other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

Is intelligence confined to the brain only or to all cells of our body?

This is a hard one! How do you define intelligence? Intelligent people have skills, and would need other cells than their grey ones to employ those skills. In order to be a good mathematician, intelligence is important. Without social interaction, the most genious thoughts are wasted: we have to express them. But to be a good dancer, or a good musician, you name it, you need a proper dosis of intelligence also. There must be a perfect coordination between brain and body, feelings and expression of feelings, thoughts and deeds, so the complete body is needed.

Now the question is, is that because intelligence is not confined to the brain, or is it that, with smart brain cells AND a good body chemistry, we can achieve more with our intelligence? A paralyzed person can be highly intelligent. So I think the brain is the key factor. What you DO with your intelligent talents is another thing.

What about the biochemistry. Suppose intelligence would be the number of brain cells, or the complexity of cellular interaction within the brain (I am not aware that the biochemical nature of intelligence has been identified so these are just examples). In order to work correctly, the brain needs sufficient supply of oxygen, to name a thing. I don't think such basic requirements are worse than perfect. In other words, each brain is probably supplied with the best of things, unless there is a disease to prevent this.

The key factor to your question is how to define intelligence. And that is not an easy thing.


Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory