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The Neurobiology of Genius

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1515 words
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Genius: The Neurobiology of Giftedness

Toby Rosenberg, in all the five years of his life, has never been your typical toddler. At age 14 months, Toby could read aloud from posters his stroller passed by. A year later, he spoke both Polish and English fluently, and at the age of 4, he compiled a dictionary of hieroglyphics after visiting a museum shop and perusing through a book on ancient Egypt (1). From W.A. Mozart to Bobby Fisher to Toby Rosenberg, some children have since their birth amazed the world with their incredible intellect and abilities that can at times outdo even the brightest of adults. Why is this so, and, as many parents-to-be wonder, can a genius be created? It is evident that when a child's mental development is displayed far beyond the usual time, the only reasonable explanation is that the brain and nervous system are much more highly developed than is normal for the age (2). Some scientists believe that there are quantitative differences in these children's cerebral organization, and that these differences may possibly have a genetic link. However, although results seem to indicate this as so, more data is needed to establish this firmly and to ultimately explain why so few children have such gifted abilities.

First, however, one must have a clear notion of what is meant by giftedness. Only the top 2-5 % of children in the world are truly gifted. These children are precocious, self-instructing, can intuit solutions without resorting to logical, linear steps, and have an incredible interest in an area or more that they focus so intently on, that they may lose sense of the outside world (3). Early reading and development of abstract thought are typical characteristics as well. The acceleration of ment...

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...cience and human genetics concerned with human learning, memory, and intellectual developments which have implications in gifted education.

http://www.edfac.unimelb.edu.au/LED/GDE/brain.html

6)Raising Albert: Can studying dead brains ever tell us anything about genius?, Environmental factors may be a source of Einstein's genius.

http://www.newscientist.com/ns/19990626/editorial.html

7)TI: Mental rotation and the right hemisphere, Abstract of research findings regarding enhanced development of the right cerebral hemisphere and its connection to extreme intellectual giftedness.

http://www.soton.ac.uk/~crime/Mathematics_brain.html

8) Wetware: The Biological Basis of Intellectual Giftedness, A thorough analysis of the parts of the brain and their related systems in comparison to the intellectually gifted.

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/montage/v1n4p3.html

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that toby rosenberg, a 14-month-old, could read aloud from posters his stroller passed by, spoke both polish and english fluently, and compiled hieroglyphics at the age of 4. some scientists believe that there are quantitative differences in these children's cerebral organization.
  • Explains that only the top 2-5 % of children in the world are truly gifted. they are precocious, self-instructing, and have an incredible interest in an area or more.
  • Explains that the study of the gifted brain has been utilized by scientists throughout much of history.
  • Explains that neurophysiologists have disputed whether genius can be mainly localized in the right hemisphere of the brain or not.
  • Concludes that although various answers regarding areas in the brain have been implicated in localizing genius, there are disadvantages with the technologies used in making these findings.
  • Concludes that more data is needed to establish firmly the significance of brain differences in gifted and average children, and ultimately explain why so few children have such gifted abilities.
  • Describes the characteristics of the gifted, and more information about giftedness in tangled web.
  • Explains that gifted children inspire admiration but also suffer ridicule, neglect, and misunderstanding.
  • Explains that einstein's brain may or may not indicate the source of genius.
  • Describes recent developments in cognitive neuroscience and human genetics concerned with human learning, memory, and intellectual developments which have implications in gifted education.
  • Explains that environmental factors may be a source of einstein's genius.
  • Describes research findings regarding enhanced development of the right cerebral hemisphere and its connection to extreme intellectual giftedness.
  • Analyzes wetware: the biological basis of intellectual giftedness, an analysis of the brain and its related systems in comparison to the intellectually gifted.
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