Enhanced right hemisphere involvement during cognitive processing may relate to intellectual precocity

Michael W. O'Boyle, Camilla Persson Benbow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the present study, intellectually precocious and average ability youths performed a dichotic listening task (Experiment 1) and a free-vision chimeric face task (Experiment 2). Patterns of hemispheric lateralization and the relative involvement of the left and right hemispheres during cognitive processing were assessed. In Experiment 1, the average ability youths demonstrated a right ear/left hemisphere (re/LH) superiority for identification of CV syllables, while the gifted subjects failed to show any ear/hemisphere advantage. In Experiment 2, members of both groups tended to judge the leftside smile/rightside neutral half-faces as "happier", a pattern indicative of enhanced right hemisphere (RH) arousal. Notably, the degree of RH involvement was significantly greater in the gifted as compared to average ability youths. Moreover, laterality scores of the precocious on the chimeric face task correlated with their performance on the College Board Scholastic Aptitude test (SAT), i.e. the greater the leftward bias, the higher the SAT score. These findings, taken in composite, suggest that a high level of RH involvement during cognitive processing may be related to intellectual precocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

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