Scientists who asked volunteers to keep time with a drumstick before taking intelligence tests discovered that those with the best sense of rhythm also scored highest in the mental assessments.
Born smart? The late Keith Moon, drummer with The Who, could have had natural intellect.
Prof Frederic Ullen, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, concluded that there was a link between intelligence, good timing and the part of the brain used for problem-solving.
He said: "The rhythmic accuracy in brain activity that is observed when a person maintains a steady beat is also important to the problem-solving capacities measured with the intelligence tests."
For the study, Prof Ullen and Guy Madison, from Sweden's Umea University, asked 34 right-handed men aged between 19 and 49 to tap a drumstick at a variety of different intervals.
By Gary Cleland
12:01AM BST 17 Apr 2008