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

O'Boyle MW, Benbow CP
Neuropsychologia. 1990 28 (2): 211-6

PMID: 2314575 · DOI:10.1016/0028-3932(90)90102-t

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.

MeSH Terms (15)

Adolescent Attention Child, Gifted Dichotic Listening Tests Dominance, Cerebral Emotions Facial Expression Female Humans Intelligence Male Phonetics Pilot Projects Speech Perception Visual Perception

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