New Delhi, July 3 (Calcutta Tube) A US research suggesting that people in developing countries have lower intelligence quotient (IQ) because their bodies divert energy from the brain to fighting diseases has been slammed as racist by experts here.
‘The report is definitely racist. There is no link between intelligence and diseases,’ said Kamal Verma, senior neurologist from the Asian Institute of Medical Science, Faridabad.
‘Previously, there have been studies which suggested that IQ is directly related to the wealth of the nation. However, America still lags behind as compared to countries like Brazil in IQ. In fact, most of the developed world is functioning on the IQ of the developing world,’ Verma told IANS
The study by a team of researchers from the University of New Mexico in the US claims to explain why IQ scores vary around the world and are lower in some warmer countries hit by diseases such as malaria, tetanus and tuberculosis.
P.N. Renjen, senior neurologist at Delhi’s Apollo Hospital, said that in this case the method for calculating the IQ has to be questioned.
‘Usually IQ tests take into account verbal IQ and leave performance IQ. This is likely to be the reason behind developing world registering lower IQ.’
‘Diseases like tuberculosis and malaria may stop a child from going to school, but they cannot have any effect on his intelligence,’ Renjen said.
‘Just because a person is ill, he cannot be mentally retarded. It is a wrong comparison,’ Renjen told IANS.
According to the report, regions with hot climates where there is a surge of deadly infections, the priority is survival and people have evolved to develop stronger immune systems than intelligence.
It says children under the age of five in these countries use most of their energy for brain development and this can be restricted if the body has to fight disease.