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Theory of a High Eye-Q May Be Worth a Closer Look

November 04, 1987|SHIRLEY MARLOW

--After taking a close look at test scores, two Israeli doctors say there is a link between nearsightedness and high intelligence. "There can be no doubt about the reality of the correlation between myopia and intellectual performance," wrote Drs. Mordechai Rosner and Michael Belkin after testing 157,748 Israeli military recruits, ages 17 to 19. But, they added, the "cause and effect relationship . . . is not clear." The researchers, writing in the current issue of the American Medical Assn.'s Archives of Ophthalmology, said that among the recruits who had an IQ of 128 or higher, 27.3% were nearsighted. An IQ of 100 is average. Only 8% with an IQ of 80 or below were nearsighted. The percentage of myopic recruits increased with the number of years of education, but less schooling did not necessarily mean low IQs. Rosner and Belkin, of the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv, said theories that could account for the study results include a lot of reading that may tire the eyes and fuel myopia, or genetics.

--Patrick Hurley Jr. has never been in the driver's seat of a car, but the Boca Raton, Fla., third-grader is going to traffic school. Last month, when he was 8, Patrick received a $52 traffic ticket for failing to yield when he made a left turn and rode his bicycle into the path of an oncoming car. "While we were somewhat perplexed why an officer would cite a child of this age, we wanted Patrick to learn from the experience," said Patrick Hurley Sr., the boy's father. "So we had him do a series of household chores, and then be done with it." Then Hurley decided to contest the ticket, figuring a dialogue with the judge might give his son a lesson about bicycle safety. But County Judge Howard Harrison simply asked if Patrick wanted to pay the fine or go to driving school.

--Shirley Williams, a British politician once considered a potential prime minister, said she would marry Harvard University Professor Richard Neustadt, an adviser to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Williams, president of the centrist Social Democratic Party, and Neustadt, a political scientist, plan to marry at the end of year, a party spokeswoman said. They will live in England after Neustadt's retirement. Williams, 57, said she took six weeks to reply when Neustadt, 68, proposed. "But he persuaded me he was as committed to (her political career) as I was," she said. "He is very persuasive."

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