Many gifted adults are afraid to reveal their giftedness for fear of being chastised by others for saying that the way they perceive the world just isn’t like everyone else.
Well, it’s time to step out of the closet because neuroscience’s first glimpses into the physical differences of gifted brains have revealed quite eye-opening results…
Scientific researchers in cognitive neuroscience, neurobiology and neuropsychology have been able to use functional magnetic resonance imaging, or the fMRI, to take a look at what happens inside the human brain while a person is engaged in an activity. They have been able to measure and record changes in location and level of brain functioning based upon very specific criteria.
These researchers have discovered that the frontal areas of the brain are more active in gifted people, visible in the external world as the extended amount of focus gifted people show, and that these enhanced frontal areas support information processing in other parts of the brain as well. Since “the response properties of single neurons [in the prefrontal cortex] are highly adaptable…. [and] Any given cell has the potential to be driven by many different kinds of input,”(1) gifted people demonstrate greater levels of inductive, deductive, arithmetic and linguistic reasoning than their non-gifted counterparts.
Longitudinal studies of gifted people have also shown that “children with superior levels of intelligence experience a markedly different pattern of brain development from children with average and high intelligence.”(2) “[B]y the time the gifted children had reached their teens, their cerebral cortices were significantly thicker than average, especially in the prefrontal cortex [than those of non-gifted teens].” (1)
Giftedness can be described with physical scientific data in addition to observable behavioural characteristics. So as much as some people might try to hide their giftedness from the world, their brains just won’t let them.
And when parents and educators say, “Gifted people are just wired differently than the rest of us,” they aren’t very far from the truth.