Scientists have found that children who can accurately
depict the human form at the age of four are more likely to be brighter in
their teenage years.
Psychologists at King's College London
pictures drawn by more than 15,000 four-year-olds. Those who drew with the most
skill were likely to perform better in intelligence tests a decade later.
The study carried out on 7,750 pairs of identical and
non-identical twins, also discovered a strong link between genetics and
artistic talent. They found that identical twins were much more likely to
draw pictures of a similar quality than non-identical twins.
Dr Rosalind Arden of the Institute of Psychiatry at
King's College London
said that their study results showed a link between
the ability to draw at the age of four and intelligence later in life.
"Through drawing, we are attempting to demonstrate someone
else what's in our mind. This capacity to reproduce figures is a unique human
ability and a sign of cognitive ability, in a similar way to writing, which
transformed the human species' ability to store information and build a
civilization," she said.
However, she added that there are countless factors, both
genetic and environmental, which affect intelligence in later life. "Drawing
ability does not determine intelligence. The findings show there is a link, but
it is only a moderate link," she said.
As part of the research, the children were asked at the age
of four to draw a picture of a child. Each figure was scored between 0 and 12
depending on the presence of features such as a head, nose, ears, hair, body
The scoring system ignored features such as proportion, but
the children were awarded a point for including clothing. The children were
provided verbal and non-verbal intelligence tests at the time they completed
the drawing, and again at the age of 14.
The scientists found a definite correlation between the
drawing scores and the two sets of intelligence scores. Researchers conclude,
drawing ability makes a child more observant and enables to pay attention to
what is around them.