WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BRAIN OF A GIFTED LEARNER?
Have you ever wondered how can some children solve problems in no time, while it might take a while for you and others to solve that problem? Why is it that some children can grasp, learn, and memorize way faster than compared to the rest of the class? If you have, then you might be familiar with the term “gifted brain”. And have often wondered about how the gifted brain learns? Also, what happens in the brain of a gifted learner? The answers to these questions lay in the construction of a gifted brain and on the way it works and functions. But, first, let’s know a little bit about what is a gifted brain.
What does a gifted brain mean?
If you ask around 40 people about the definition of a gifted brain, each of them is most likely to answer differently. And, you might end up with 40 different definitions. But you might find some similar features in most of the answers such as all-rounder, intelligent in everything, extraordinary in a specific area, creative, artistic, and many more. It is a bit tricky to provide the perfect definition of a gifted brain. And if you do a quick Google search, you are encountered by plenty of resources to look at with a long detailed explanation of a gifted brain. To sum it up, giftedness means having an above-average level of intelligence in a specific area or all areas and is often perceived to be higher or lower on cultural background.
How the brain memorizes?
To understand happenings in the brain of a gifted learner, one first should know the functions of a normal brain. So, let’s have a look at the way a normal brain processes information and memorizes it.
To start it up, psychologists have considered the brain to have three memory registers:
- Sensory memory: – Brain processes information through our five sensory organs or senses. And that information is immediately discarded as most of the time that information fails to acquire space in long term memory.
- Short term memory: – It is often addressed as Working memory. It is actively working on the information that is passed from sensory memory and processes it. Since our senses have a limited capacity to see, hear, taste, etc., working memory cannot hold onto information for a long period and cannot hold a lot of information at the same time.
- Long term memory: – It lasts for a long period and most of the important information which you have learnt or memorized stays in long term memory. For example- If you are encountered with the same question in your exam that you memorized last night, firstly you are fortunate, secondly, your brain starts to retrieve information from long term memory and brings it to short term memory as it is where a piece of information is actively thought upon. And eventually, you start writing your memorized answer.
How does the gifted brain learn?
A gifted learner has more capacity of holding more information and ideas in the working memory as it has more working memory capacity. He/she can hold onto information in the working memory while learning a new thing, and then connecting that information with the long term stored information and generates new ideas and thought. Hence, a gifted learner learns fast. This is because of more working memory capacity as well as the more efficient working of long term memory.
What happens in the brain of a gifted learner?
The brain has grey matter and gifted people tend to have more volume of grey matter in some regions than normal human beings and that helps gifted people compute information better and faster than the rest.
Grey matter is in the frontal cortex and other parts that affect the way we think. A gifted person has a higher volume of this grey matter in the specific regions which results in them being faster at specific regions such as making faster decisions, handling calculations better, process and hold onto large information. Some of the specific regions are:
- Frontal lobes help in decision making.
- Temporal lobes process and interprets language and signals.
- Parietal lobes handle the taste, touch, and various other skin related functions.
- Occipital lobes address visual information or the information received through the eyes.
A gifted learner is required to be instructed at a different speed and level than the rest and which is higher than the rest as their brain is more active and works faster. A gifted person is mostly more sensitive, artistic, creative, and emotional and should be treated in the way that person should be, that is, with high sensitivity and care. In conclusion, a gifted person’s brain functions way differently than any normal human being.