Neuropsychological Characteristics of Academic and Creative Giftedness


Evidence for interpretable neural correlates of giftedness comes from two main lines of enquiry. First, studies comparing the neural functioning of gifted children with age-matched peers not identified as gifted consistently report that gifted subjects display enhanced frontal cortical activation and inter-hemispheric functional connectivity. Second, studies which compare the neural function and structure of high-IQ adults with those of average IQ consistently report that high-IQ subjects display relatively enhanced inferior lateral prefrontal cortical (PFC) activations, together with relatively enhanced activations in a network of other cortical regions including the inferior parietal cortex. The salience of PFC activations is supported by neuroanatomical studies in which the grey matter densities of high-IQ subjects in frontal regions are significantly higher than average. These data can account for enhanced executive capability as one important neuropsychological characteristic of gifted people and a more efficacious working memory as another.


Neuropsychology of giftedness Neural structure Neural function Frontal cortex Parietal cortex Fronto-parietal network Executive function 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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