Wednesday, August 06, 2008


High-Aptitude Minds: The Neurological Roots of Genius

An excerpt: "Within hours of his demise in 1955, Albert Einstein’s brain was salvaged, sliced into 240 pieces and stored in jars for safekeeping. Since then, researchers have weighed, measured and otherwise inspected these biological specimens of genius in hopes of uncovering clues to Einstein’s spectacular intellect."

It's a fascinating, but long article, so I'll give you the summary: Basically, after all this time, we still don't know what the neurological roots of genius are, but being brilliant doesn't ensure success or accomplishment. Self-discipline and working hard are much more important that a high IQ.

The moral is... study hard, kiddies, and you will achieve.


At August 06, 2008 10:17 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Maybe we should leave well enough alone. If we over study this we may not be happy with what we find.

At August 06, 2008 1:25 PM, Blogger jan said...

It seems like humans are always looking for easy answers instead of the obvious difficult ones.

At August 06, 2008 2:41 PM, Blogger cube said...

jill: This is one field of study that will never run out of funding. Cracking the workings of the human brain will never suffer from a lack of interest either.

jan: Those silly humans ;-)

At August 06, 2008 4:37 PM, Blogger nanc said...

i am far from being a brainiac - more of a common sensiac. i've mothered three near genius children by two different fathers, both mathmetically inclined.

i'm going to say it's inherited - that and if you fill a child's life with wonderment, they'll always want to know more.

At August 06, 2008 5:51 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

If there is one thing you give your children, give them the desire to learn. We drag our kids to museums, historical sites, etc. They usually enjoy them, sometimes they're bored. But we always challenge them to ask why, what, how.

At August 06, 2008 6:40 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

I think Jan nailed it!

Kewl hat, too!

At August 06, 2008 6:54 PM, Blogger cube said...

nanc: The genetic structure notwithstanding, I think giving your kids a thirst for knowledge is the best thing we can give them.

chuck: Challenging them to think critically is good.

brooke: That is a thinking cap ;-)

At August 07, 2008 12:02 AM, Blogger Z said...

"thirst for learning" and "thirst for reading"..

I was in an applied art industry and would tell students when I was asked to do graduate juries "MANY of you have TALENT, but you have to present clean and well presented boards, sell yourself, work hard and go the extra mile". I hope it sunk in.
Cube, I think you're right....not enough to be smart.

At August 07, 2008 9:53 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Some criminals' brains have been dissected too, with mostly no answers as to why they behaved the way they did.

At August 07, 2008 11:45 PM, Blogger nanc said...


At August 08, 2008 1:48 PM, Blogger cube said...

I think it's a fascinating problem. Is ability related to brain structure or just to the electrical activity? Doesn't the structure define the limits of the electrical activity?

At August 08, 2008 1:49 PM, Blogger cube said...

nanc: Thanks.


At August 08, 2008 6:48 PM, Blogger Dr.John said...

So we can tell our children that if they work hard and do great things they can look forward to having their brain cut up into pieces. Wow! That's incentive.

At August 08, 2008 10:47 PM, Blogger cube said...

dr.john: Yikes!

At August 10, 2008 2:19 AM, Blogger Caz said...

OK, so there's a wee downside to being too successful Dr John. :-)

Even those with the advantage of natural abilities do not succeed without irrational commitment and practice.

Many naturally gifted people often under achieve because they don't have to work as hard as others, they think they can just skate through with little effort, and are then surprised when less clever people eclipse them. In addition, it's been shown that many gifted children give up very easily when it comes to areas in which they don't naturally excel.

Yes, the lesson for all of us and our children, is commitment and practice, practice, practice.

It's exactly the same principle, no matter for a surgeon or a football player.

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