Influence of fine motor skills on intelligence

Intelligence cannot just be because of the cognitive abilities present in a human being, or the ‘so called’ amount of brain that one uses, it is also mainly due to the fine motor skills of a human being! Indeed many of us here don’t know what is meant by ‘fine motor skills’. The definition says,” Fine motor skill is the coordination of small muscle movements which occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes.” The levels of the skills determine the amount of coordination between the muscles and the eyes and the control and execution of the commands dispatched by the nervous system. These are basic for any individual, and also determine the level of achievement one can attain throughout his/ her lifetime, though not being the sole skill capable of determining so. Fine motor skills are essential for many activities, like, dressing and undressing; tying shoes; the utilization of eating utensils; holding and guiding pencils, paintbrushes, and rulers; using scissors; turning the pages of a book; and piecing together jigsaw puzzles. In fact, fine motor skills correlate consistently with general as well as specific cognitive abilities. 

 

For any kind of achievement, studying is a must! And indeed if one has a poor correlation between the muscles and the eyes, one can never achieve anything. All scholastic achievements thus, directly or indirectly depend on the level of fine motor skills one has. The writing speed, correcting sheets, ticking the right option, solving a problem manually, typing the right words, all depend on it. Furthermore, deficits in fine motor skills can be expected to have indirect effects on cognitive achievement. For instance, Losse and colleagues (1991) found increased dispositions toward irritated reactions and designative, depressive moods among school children with deficits in fine motor skills.

 

Now, citing its effect on the intelligence. The most common way of determining one’s intelligence is through the IQ test. There have been many controversies related to this method. Some disregard this test and its result of course, by pointing out that they are socially biased and their theoretical basis is questionable. While the others argue that this test, whether taken on paper or on the computer, needs to be judged on various factors other than the right answers only as it depends on the concentration level, motivation and sleepiness experienced by the subject too. The inter-individual difference in fine motor skills can lead to vastly different results in the IQ test. Analysing this fact, as was done by many renowned researchers, the motor skill factor has been reduced in such tests to a wide extent. The study of fine motor skills has found its way in many studies for determining the gifted students of mathematics too. The amount of fine motor skills present in a person determines the giftedness. Also the deficits in these could lead to underachievement. Universities abroad conduct the study for determining the gifted students and the underachievers just to analyse the populace of the students and the ratio of the two categories.

 

Basically, the amount of the brain functioning is determined by the amount of mathematics one can be good at. If one carefully notices, IQ tests too deal with the logical reasoning and the mathematics involved in the regular life. Research showed that the achievement of the subjects in such tests and math examinations were almost identical. But the age factor does influence the determination of the intelligence. At the early ages, one may not have developed motor skills, which may not be the case later on, as subjects work hard in order to improve the coordination. So, conclusively, it can be said that at the early ages when the concentration level is really high, IQ test are a reliable source for determining the amount of cognitive abilities. Later on, motor skills should be the main one to determine the intelligence level.

 - A KNOWLEDGE SEEKER

VAISHALI TYAGI

 

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