Fluctuating asymmetry: how is it related to mental functions?
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Elliott-Jones, Laura R
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Fluctuating asymmetry and developmental instability has previously been related to a general intelligence factor of g. This study is looking to broaden the research and assess whether other cognitive functions, including working and short term memory and frontal lobe functioning, are also related to fluctuating asymmetry. Using a population sample of 80 participants, we administered one verbal and one performance intelligence test, as well as a digit forward span task, working memory Ospan task, and the Frontal Systems Behaviour Scale. A score of fluctuating asymmetry was calculated for each participant too. We hypothesised there to be some correlation between FA and the various cognitive tasks, with the intelligence scores having the highest relation to developmental stability. Our results however found only the performance related intelligence test to show any correlation with fluctuating asymmetry, and we review why this may have occurred. We concluded perhaps only performance intelligence has any significant relation to fluctuating asymmetry for a number of reasons, including biological cell growth related reasons, or perhaps verbal intelligence is a more robust intelligence against developmental stresses. However, much more research needs to occur to make any of these statements with any level of certainty.