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Extract from the Original Cognitive Battery Paper ....

The best measure of intelligence is life itself. Unfortunately, this is both time consuming and economically not viable. Modern work on intelligence started with Binet's observation of his daughters and his belief that intelligence was best measured by tests that reflect complex functions such as imagination, aesthetic sensibility, memory and comprehension. His most famous quotation was his answer to the question 'What is intelligence?' His answer was 'Intelligence is what my test measures'. Although perceived as a witty anecdote, he unconsciously pointed out one of the fundamental problems in measuring intelligence. In today's terms it is known as the GIGO principle, best known in IT circles as 'Garbage In, Garbage Out'. Many researchers and theorists explored various factors and variables in order to explain most of intelligence's variance. However, whatever they put in, came out.

The second big problem in this domain was (and still is) that almost all of them tried to represent intelligence by one number (e.g. IQ). This may be tempting, but also misleading because it is difficult to represent qualitatively different factors by one number. From the logical point of view, the error is simple - non sequitur. Furthermore, along that line we have various definitions of intelligence that stemmed from the constructs they made.

BCB (Bobic's Cognitive Battery) is a set of cognitive tests representing a new model of cognitive functioning, based on new definition of intelligence. It addresses certain aspects of mental functioning in a rather new way.

In reality, it is difficult to separate the influence of certain aspects of personality, motivation, "noise" and knowledge from pure mental capacity. In Dr Bobich's model, mental capacity is the potential for a person to be intelligent. This potential does not mean that a person is intelligent; it only means that the person has the ability to develop and/or use their intelligence. This approach explains certain facts well known in literature such as children brought up in the jungle who never developed their potentials, or the correlation between intelligence tests results and success in life, which has the shape of a reverse letter U. Somebody with a smaller potential used to its maximum can, and usually does, achieve more in life than a person with bigger potential who used only a fraction of it.

BCB is designed to measure both, mental capacity and the extent to which we use it. The starting point of this model is its new definition of Intelligence:

Definition of Intelligence

Intelligence is a mental activity which, using maximum mental capacity, supported by optimal motivation, under certain influences of personality, affected by minimum "noise", enables the most efficient use of knowledge to achieve the set goal in the minimum possible time.


In order to avoid misunderstanding we defined various terms and notions that will be used in this model and they should be considered only in the terms listed below.

  • Thought: Complex idea resulting from thinking/reasoning; mental activity containing symbols.
  • Activity: Exertion of energy.
  • Mental: Everything related to psychological activity or functioning.
  • Mental Activity: Activity of the CNS (Central Nervous System) regarding all processes of recognition or comprehension: sensation, conceive, comprehend, judge and infer, with especial emphasis on abstract thinking.
  • Mental Capacity: In the terms of the Theory of Information this notion refers to permeability of the channels, capacity for storing and processing information, the number of channels and number of bonds between them. Also, it is the number of possible combinations in a given unit of time. In this context word capacity means ability, and mental capacity means ability to perform as many as possible qualitatively different mental functions in a given unit of time.
  • Motivation: Intrinsic or extrinsic urge that would reinforce certain activity. It is an act of supporting and maintaining a certain goal-orientated activity.
  • Personality: In this context personality means the outer aspect of an individual, the way other people experience us and how we experience others.
  • Emotional Block: An emotional reaction to frustration that would result in the impossibility to perform certain mental or physical tasks correctly.
  • Noise: Everything that would disrupt, hamper or put out of action our flow of information. Psychologically, it is everything that would disrupt, hamper or put out of action any goal orientated mental process or activity.
  • Knowledge: All information in the possession of an individual.
  • Goal: The ultimate result an action is orientated to.
  • Time: Continuum in which events are happening.
  • Information: Is the quantitative characteristic of a set of knowledge about a particular event that could be communicated.

This model has five levels of cognitive functioning. They are:

  • 1. Attention: Is selective activity of the consciousness; focusing of consciousness on a certain object and abstraction of others at the same time.
  • 2. Concentration: Is persistent and constant attention at a high level of intensity.
  • 3. Perception: Is a process of recognition and identification. Due to this process one becomes conscious of objects, events or processes using previous knowledge and experience. More precisely, it is the ability and speed of recognition.
  • 4. Learning / Memory: Learning and memory are two sides of the same coin. There is no learning without memory and no memory without learning.
Learning - Is a change that occurs in an organism as a consequence of certain activity. Something is learned if a new activity is different to a previous one. Learning is the acquisition of new knowledge.
Memory - Memory is the restoring and re-experiencing of previous experiences. The entire process itself has four levels/ stages: learning, retaining, recalling and recognition.
  • 5. Reasoning: Is a determined flow of ideas with symbolic content, caused by a problem, and is aimed towards solution.

The Model

According to this model, there are five levels of cognitive functioning. Each one contains everything from the previous one plus something new. These levels are: Attention, Concentration, Perception, Learning/Memory and Reasoning.

The Parameters

BCB gives several new opportunities in measuring cognitive functioning.

Mental capacity and Intelligence

BCB is able to measure mental capacity as well as intelligence. As mentioned earlier, mental capacity refers to the person's resources, or potential to be intelligent.


We tried to keep this parameter at a minimum as the BCB does not particularly measure this. The only required knowledge in BCB are some basic rules in basic calculation. Apart from that, no other specific knowledge is required.


Mental blocks are able to be 'caught' and that might be very important in the selection of special people for special purposes. Mental blocks happen when anxiety takes over and blocks mental processes, as the mind becomes overloaded by emotions or processing other information and its processing power becomes insufficient to perform the task or solve the problem.

Typology of the CNS

Test results enable a typology that is, to distinguish certain brain types such as

  • fast vs. slow (refers to the time of processing information or solving a task)
  • consistent vs. inconsistent (or reliable v. unreliable; refers to the variability in the time of mental processing)
  • accurate vs. inaccurate (accurate types do not make mistakes and weak ones do, regardless of whether the brain is quick or slow, or stable or unstable)


It is easy to recognise that this typology reflects characteristics of the CNS (Central Nervous System) according to Pavlov's theory. Also, we can recognise that an accurate and consistent type would reflect a sanguine type, accurate and inconsistent would reflect a choleric type, accurate, consistent and slow would be a phlegmatic and inaccurate would be a melancholic.


Motivation can be derived from several factors indicating the brain type. Quicker, consistent and accurate types indicate better motivation than slower, inconsistent and inaccurate types. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic refers to the type itself and extrinsic to the external factors. E.g. a accurate, consistent and quick type may become inaccurate, inconsistent and slow under the influence of alcohol. If the time of solving tasks in the test increases as the test progresses, it indicates weakening of the person's motivation (the brain gets fatigued).


Distractibility could be derived from the amount of "noise".

Most of the quality of the noise can not be identified, but quantity can.

Reaction time v. intelligence

The ideal media for this model is time, because it is culture free, there is minimal influence of education and of specific or general knowledge, it is repeatable and it can be easily measured (it is objective). Because reaction time is so deeply inoculated in this model, here is some background on the relationship between reaction time and intelligence.

It was said that the first attempts to link intelligence and reaction time were initiated by Galton (Peak and Boring, 1926).

However, contemporary and systematic research was started by Jensen (Jensen 1982a, 1982b, 1985, 1987). Jensen believed that reaction time measures represent the speed and efficiency with which the nervous system processes elementary information. His experiments were consistent with Hick's Law (It states that reaction time is a linear function of the log of set size (Hick 1952)). He also assumed that intelligence is inversely related to reaction time and to the size of the set size (the more complex the set, the longer the reaction time). In other words, intelligence was related to the speed of processing information of increasing complexity. Jensen (1987) reported average correlations between median reaction times in the no-choice, two-choice, four-choice and eight-choice conditions and intelligence of -.19, -.21, -.24 and -.26 respectively. This research was based on 15 samples and 1129 subjects.

Detterman (1987) reported a correlation of -.18 between reaction time and intelligence in his sample of 860 subjects (Air force enlistees).

Frearson and Eysenck (1986) improved the Jensen's apparatus and developed a technique called 'odd-man-out'. They obtained a correlation of -.62 between the mean reaction time for odd-man-out presentations and scores on the Raven's progressive Matrices. In 1988 the same authors obtained correlations between reaction time and Wechsler's test and Raven's progressive Matrices of -.30 and -.48 respectively (the sample contained 107 subjects).

The origin of what we now call 'emotional blocks' can be found in research by Larson and Alderton (1990). They obtained measures of the increase in reaction time following an error in performing several relatively simple judgement tasks. This measure was correlated with general intelligence. The obtained correlation was -.17 (on a large sample of military recruits).

It was also demonstrated that individuals with high IQ were able to maintain the level of performance in relatively simple tasks that were close to their optimal level, whereas individuals with low IQ were unable to maintain a constantly optimal level of performance. This model explains this phenomenon by the brain type (strong v. weak). Strong types will be able to make fewer mistakes and maintain a higher level of reliability.

The scientific attempt to explain this phenomenon is that individuals with high IQ are assumed to have neurons that oscillate more rapidly than individuals with low IQ. Low IQ individuals will have longer reaction times when the stimulus occurs during a refractory phase of neuronal reactivity. Individuals with high IQ are assumed to have more rapid oscillatory cycles that those with low IQ. I t is important to state that there was no research (evidence) to support this model).

In summary, the meta-analysis of the research on this subject indicated that the reaction time measures considered singly may account for as much as 16% of the variance in intelligence.

Intelligence and Neurofeedback

We believe that the BCB can be of great help in Neurofeedback training, especially in ERP (Event Related Potentials). ERP is a measure of brain activity which occurs as a response to a specific stimulus. There are quite a few significant differences between the BCB and similar tests currently used in Neurofeedback practices, such as

  • BCB stems from a clearly defined intelligence
  • The model has 5 levels in hierarchical order regarding their complexity
  • It is completely objective (computer measured reaction times)
  • It can be linked with Biofeedback and Neurofeedback (e.g. Nexus) equipment and performed, monitored and measured simultaneously in real time. As we know, there are four types of ERPs: sensory, motor, long-latency potentials and steady-potentials shift
  • Auditory ERPs occur with a negative peak at about 80-90 msec and a positive peak at about 170 msec after the stimulus (N1-P2 complex). BCB can provide measurements of that precision.
  • Motor reactions can accompany cognitive tasks (BCB) and be measured by Neurofeedback equipment.
  • Long-latency potentials reflect subjective responses to expected and unexpected stimuli. They run between 250 and 750 msec after the stimulus. The most often mentioned ERP is a positive response called P300, which comes approximately 300 msec after an odd-ball stimulus (the odd-ball stimulus is a meaningful stimulus, which is different to the other stimuli in a series.
  • Steady-potential shift occurs after a person is told that they must wait after a signal (warning) and then respond to an event.

In 1989, Vernon & Mori measured nerve conductance velocities of the median nerve of the arm and found a correlation of .42 between the conductance velocity and intelligence on a sample of 85 university students. There are no other studies that replicated these results and it would be too early to make any firm conclusion about this correlation.

Studies in relation to EEG and intelligence have more than five decades of history. The results are controversial. Eysenck and Barrett (1985) believed that there are defined EEG biological markers of general intelligence that are better measure of g than psychometric tests, whereas Howe (1988) stated that there are no relationships between EEG measures and general intelligence. There is one theory that linked intelligence and some EEG parameters (Hendrickson & Hendrickson, 1980). They assumed that intelligence was related to the fidelity of neural transmissions. To test this theory Blinkhorn and Hendrickson (1982) obtained average evoked potentials in response to auditory stimuli. They correlated the string length of the evoked potentials and the scores of the Raven Progressive matrices and obtain a correlation of .54.

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