What makes a prodigy?

  title={What makes a prodigy?},
  author={Brian Butterworth},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
A PET study measures brain activity during calculation in a prodigy and non-experts. Unlike the controls, the prodigy showed activation in areas involved in episodic memory. 

Neural foundations of logical and mathematical cognition

Brain-imaging techniques are revealing more than simply where these high-order processes take place in the human cortex, beginning to answer some of the oldest questions about what logic and mathematics are, and how they emerge and evolve through visuospatial cognition, language, executive functions and emotion.

Effective Connectivity Reveals Strategy Differences in an Expert Calculator

The neural bases of calendrical skills, i.e. the ability to rapidly identify the weekday of a particular date, in a gifted mental calculator who does not fall in the autistic spectrum, are investigated using functional MRI.

Learning complex arithmetic--an fMRI study.

Frontoparietal white matter diffusion properties predict mental arithmetic skills in children

Fractional anisotropy in the left aSLF positively correlates with arithmetic approximation skill, as measured by a mental addition task with approximate answer choices, and the correlation is stable in adjacent core a SLF regions but lower toward the pathway endpoints.

Prodigies and Savants

This chapter describes cited contemporary models of intelligence for each of the three levels: psychometric, physiological, and social. The contemporary models that bridge more than one level are

Low numeracy and dyscalculia: identification and intervention

One important factor in the failure to learn arithmetic in the normal way is an endogenous core deficit in the sense of number. This has been associated with low numeracy in general (e.g. Halberda et

Education and neuroscience

This paper argues that the central problems in relation to finding a connection between education and neuroscience centre of differences in time frames. Education deals with content that is cultural,

Neurodevelopmental Variation as a Framework for Thinking About the Twice Exceptional

Developmental exceptionalities span the range of learning abilities and encompass children with both learning disorders and learning gifts. The purpose of this article is to stimulate thinking about


The Greek name for mind or soul is psyché, which is also the name of a species of butterfly. Moreover, Psyche was the name of the charming girl engaged to Cupid, the god of love, who gave her the



Mental calculation in a prodigy is sustained by right prefrontal and medial temporal areas

It is found that the expert could switch between short-term effort-requiring storage strategies and highly efficient episodic memory encoding and retrieval, a process that was sustained by right prefrontal and medial temporal areas.

The neural correlates of the verbal component of working memory

Comparisons of distribution of cerebral blood flow in these conditions localized the phonological store to the left supramarginal gyrus whereas the subvocal rehearsal system was associated with Broca's area, the first demonstration of the normal anatomy of the components of the 'articulatory loop'.

Neuropsychological impairments of short-term memory.

List of contributors Acknowledgements General introduction Part I. The Functional Architecture of Auditory-Verbal (Phonological) Short-Term Memory and its Neural Correlates: 1. The impairment of

Basic and Exceptional Calculation Abilities in a Calculating Prodigy: A Case Study

We describe the basic and exceptional calculation abilities of a calculating prodigy whose performances were investigated in single- and multi-digit number multiplication, numerical comparison,

Counting on working memory in arithmetic problem solving

The data support the view that the subvocal rehearsal component of working memory provides a means of maintaining accuracy in mental arithmetic, and this matches a similar conclusion derived from previous work on counting.

The Mathematical Brain

This text, containing theories and anecdote, is an investigation into the bizarre world of numbers and examines the role of education, good or bad, in the development of mathematical disorders.


The Great Mental Calculators

across biological membranes. This is an important area of biophysical research. The movement of the ions generates current fluctuations depending on the nature of the underlying system. The author