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 examined 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.
AdvertisementThe 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 and arms.
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.