The neural basis of precocious mathematical ability: Some structural and functional characteristics of the math-gifted brain

Kareem Al-Khalil, Michael W. O'Boyle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

In this chapter we provide a selective review of some quantitative/qualitative characteristics of the math gifted brain. The initial discussion highlights the significant bilateral engagement of both hemispheres by the math gifted when performing a variety of cognitive tasks, this in contrast to their average math ability counterparts, who rely on either their left or right hemispheres in a more unilaterally dominant fashion. The review also includes a brief overview of several studies that have employed task related Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) and/or Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) techniques to provide converging evidence for increased activation of various brain areas and heightened white matter connectivity between regions in the math gifted brain. In addition, differences in structural characteristics (e.g., surface area, volume and cortical thickness) of the math gifted brain are briefly presented along with a discussion of how math exceptional individuals tend to rely on mental imagery ('visualize') to solve many types of problems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychobiological, Clinical, and Educational Aspects of Giftedness
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages15-38
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781536130522
ISBN (Print)9781536130515
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • BOLD
  • Connectivity
  • DTI
  • Math giftedness
  • fMRI

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