I've envisioned my specie called the stalker as:

  1. Humanoid about same height, strength & speed as humans
  2. Three pairs of eyes placed horizontally (Near UV, Visible, Near IR)
  3. Lightspeed neurotransmission
  4. Active camouflage like cuttlefish
  5. Biological radio for high bandwidth communication, range 1m
  6. Spoken language for most of the communication
  7. IQ similar to humans.

In order to handle all this sensors + biological radio + active camouflage my explanation is that it uses molecular transistors as biological computer to help the brain neurons. The things that bothers me is that I need them to have IQ similar to humans. My story setting for stalker being primitive and learning from the humans doesn't feel right if they're some super Einstein's. Why they didn't figured out things themselves. On the other hand they need processing power to handle all those biological sensors.

So I'm thinking for explanation like both humans & stalker have about same CPU which is general intelligence, but stalker has additional specialized parts in the brain that just handle his sensors, radio & camouflage like GPU, PPU & DSP do for the computer.

Is it plausible that stalker IQ is similar to ours?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Octopus can have active camouflage and see things we do not - and have much smaller brain. So why it's so hard for your species it needs anything to help neuron brain? For me, that's less plausible than similar intelligence. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 20:47
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ IQ means your intellgiience relative to your age's average. So probably they have very similar IQ $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 7:57
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    $\begingroup$ Even between humans, there are several isolated populations that didn't figured out things by themselves. If you go to the Amazonas Forest, for example, you can find several groups of very much humans living in a really primitive lifestyle. They do have around the same "brain power" than other nations (they are humans!), they just use it differently. $\endgroup$
    – Mermaker
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 11:26
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    $\begingroup$ Watch Stargate SG-1 especially the episodes involving the Asgard. A race so much more technologically advanced than humans but they end up needing help from humans as they cannot think laterally and find their own tech being used against them. Sometimes experience and ability doesn't necessarily need to follow intelligence $\endgroup$
    – Darren H
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ @ThalesPereira - they don't, actually. Some of the most primitive discovered cultures have an average IQ of around 65, even when they grow up in our societies and you control for all the other factors. Notice that IQ of 65 is considered mentally retarded in our society. But it's obviously not politically correct to say this. $\endgroup$
    – Davor
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 14:08

4 Answers 4


IQ tests are pretty specific to certain types of intelligence. Just like my mom would destroy me on a "musical IQ" test and I'd be much better on a "logic IQ" test, your species could very well be vastly superior to humans in some kinds of processing, while being sub-par in other kinds.

If your stalkers are really good at tracking prey, predicting movement, ambushing their victims, etc., they wouldn't need to evolve highly complex methods of building tools, traps, buildings, and other things humans are good at. To us, they would seem primitive, but the truth is we're just stupid in those regards and need the extra help technology provides.

Eventually though, technology would outpace evolution, and we would actually surpass them even in their fields of strength. At this point, they might see a need to duplicate at least some of our education and technology to enhance themselves. This assumes they feel a need to compete with us, however; if they're content to just have their part of the world in peace, they might not change much at all.

Your general idea of having different components in the brain is roughly accurate. The brain's mass (or neuron count) will be roughly sub-divided into different regions of expertise. For example, humans have different parts corresponding to vision, memory, spacial awareness, and so forth. Devoting neurons from the "creativity" center of the brain to vision would give your stalkers what they need to see more of the spectrum, while reducing their ability to invent new tools.

Be aware, however, that brains aren't really individual components. Each "part" of the brain is highly interconnected, and the distinction between "GPU" and "memory" is a blurry grey area. Also, many parts of the brain have multiple functions, and some functions are distributed to multiple parts of the brain, further confusing the spatial notion of "parts". So it probably makes more sense to think of logical parts, which are loosely correlated to spatial zones.

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    $\begingroup$ Your first paragraph reminds me of this. qph.ec.quoracdn.net/… $\endgroup$
    – Darren H
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ IQ is a measure of the ability to solve problems with reasoning. "Musical IQ" and similar are nonsense made up by quasi-psychologists to sell books. $\endgroup$
    – Davor
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Davor: Not true. IQ is a very broad subject that discusses general intelligence in many areas. Reasoning skills are only a tiny subset of IQ. Look, for example, at Cattell–Horn–Carroll Theory, where reasoning is under Gf (fluid reasoning), while audio is under Ga (auditory processing). And the reality is that things humans require reasoning skills to accomplish, other species can do without cognitive thought. Or vice versa. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelS
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ However, I will note that people typically consider "creativity" and "intelligence" to be different aspects of mental ability. If "musical IQ" is intended to include the creative aspect of music, not just the technical aspect, then the term "IQ" would be technically inappropriate while still getting the meaning across. Hence the quotes around it, since I didn't want to imply a specific type of mental test. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelS
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ There have been some interesting studies as well that show blind people who learn to echo-locate are re-purposing the vision portions of their brain to do the processing. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 16:51

Apart from your species feeling like a humanized version of the mantis shrimp (which makes me somewhat afraid of it), i see no reason why it shouldn't have a similar IQ?

Honestly, psychologists still don't fully understand how the brain works, and even though it has been a few years since i last worked in neuroscience, i don't see any reason why they shouldn't have a similar IQ. Please be aware though, that - scientifically - IQ is not the same as intelligence (even though i assume you meant that, and my answer holds true for both).

Edit: i feel the need to emphasize that in my opinion there cannot be a hard-science, definitive answer to your question. I think you might give it almost any Level of intelligence you wanted, with little scientific problems.


Yes: the brain evolved for a specific role and it’s an expensive tissue. It won’t do more than necessary for the animal’s survival, along an evolutionary time scale.

What you describe is our own brain too! Can you think about how you balance upright, throw a ball, or process visual information? The concious thinking mind is a high level process on top of layers we can’t directly access.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you think about ...? I can, mostly. I managed to unlock the vision's geometry engine for other uses. $\endgroup$
    – Joshua
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ Some kind of savant skill? I heard about somone who blurs geometry with numbers, and perceves numbers as shapes. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Nobody knows, not eve me. I find it difficult to imagine the opposite. $\endgroup$
    – Joshua
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 20:56

There are some people who are absolutely brilliant at applying and combining learned knowledge in unique and powerful ways. However, some of these may also be horribly uncreative when it comes to coming up with entirely new ideas.

The vast majority of human scientific advancement is about building upon the discoveries and insight of others.

Your stalkers may be extremely flexible in applying what they know, but have mental blocks that prevent development of new ideas.


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