The concept of intelligence encompasses the mental abilities necessary to survival and advancement in any environmental context. Attempts to grasp this multifaceted concept through a relatively simple operationalization have fostered the notion that individual differences in intelligence can often be expressed by a single score. This predominant position has contributed to expect intelligence profiles to remain substantially stable over the course of ontogenetic development and, more generally, across the life-span. These tendencies, however, are biased by the still limited number of empirical reports taking a developmental perspective on intelligence. Viewing intelligence as a dynamic concept, indeed, implies the need to identify full developmental trajectories, to assess how genes, brain, cognition, and environment interact with each other. In the present paper, we describe how a neuroconstructivist approach better explains why intelligence can rise or fall over development, as a result of a fluctuating interaction between the developing system itself and the environmental factors involved at different times across ontogenesis.
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