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Encyclopedia > Child prodigy

A child prodigy is an individual who masters one or more skills or arts at an early age. One generally accepted heuristic for identifying prodigies is: a prodigy is a child, typically younger than 10 years old, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding field of endeavor. [1] [1] There is some controversy as to at what age and standard to use in the definition of a prodigy.

The term Wunderkind (from German: "miracle child" or "wonder child") is sometimes used as a synonym for prodigy, particularly in media accounts, although this term is discouraged in scientific literature. Wunderkind also is used to recognize those who achieve success and acclaim early in their adult careers, such as Steven Spielberg and Steve Jobs. Steven Spielberg (born December 18, 1946)[1] is an American film director and producer. ... Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is the co-founder and CEO of Apple and was the CEO of Pixar until its acquisition by Disney. ...

See also: List of child prodigies

==Cognitive studies on child prodigies==  :p :p This is a list of people who in childhood (at or before 9) showed abilities in a specific field comparable to those of a highly skilled adult; hence the term child prodigy. ...


Neurological Activity of Child prodigies

Few studies have examined the neurological activity of prodigies. However, Michael O'Boyle, an American psychologist working in Australia, has recently utilized fMRI scanning of blood flow during mental operation in prodigies to display startling results. “Calculators,” those capable of mentally performing arithmetic, geometry, or other complex mathematical operations, normally reserved for electronic calculators, achieve six to seven times the typical blood flow to parts of the brain observed to be active during mathematical operations.[2] Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... A psychologist is a person who studies psychology, the systematic investigation of the human mind, including behavior, cognition, and affect. ... Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or fMRI) describes the use of MRI to measure hemodynamic signals related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals. ... Human blood smear: a - erythrocytes; b - neutrophil; c - eosinophil; d - lymphocyte. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Arithmetic tables for children, Lausanne, 1835 Arithmetic or arithmetics (from the Greek word αριθμός = number) is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. ... Geometry (from the Greek words Ge = earth and metro = measure) is the branch of mathematics first introduced by Theaetetus dealing with spatial relationships. ... The human brain In animals, the brain (enkephalos) (Greek for in the skull), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behavior. ...

Mental calculators versus Mathematical prodigies

Mental calculators are not to be confused with other mathematical prodigies, because mechanically carrying out and keeping track of progress in a calculation is very different from having an understanding of the deeper principles behind mathematics. This is potentially one of the reasons why mental calculators do not necessarily go on to become mathematicians. A similar principle, for nearly the same mental mechanism, can be observed among players in games, such as, for example, chess or go. People typically think a few moves (or ply) ahead. Recent studies have indicated that ordinarily university students think 2, 3, or 4-ply when confronted with some kind of game-playing or problem-solving task. Beyond that it becomes very difficult to keep track of the different branches and details. But some people (and chess tournaments are good places to look) are able to look further ahead than that, and the skill sets between games and mathematics are very similar. For other meanings of mathematics or uses of math and maths, see Mathematics (disambiguation) and Math (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Western board game. ... Go is a strategic board game for two players. ... In chess, ply refers to a half-move: one turn of one of the players. ...

Memory capacity of child prodigies

PET ScansPDF (72.6 KiB) performed on several math prodigies have suggested thinking in terms of long-term working memory (LTWM). This memory, specific to a field of expertise, is capable of holding relevant information for extended periods, usually hours. For example, experienced waiters have been found to hold the orders of up to twenty customers in their heads while they serve them, but perform only as well as an average person in number-sequence recognition. The PET scans also answer questions about which specific areas of the brain associate themselves with prodigious number-manipulation. One subject never excelled as a child in mathematics, but he taught himself algorithms and tricks for calculatory speed, becoming capable of extremely complex mental math. His brain, compared to six other controls, was studied using the PET scan, revealing separate areas of his brain that he manipulated to solve the complex problems. Some of the areas that he and presumably prodigies use are brain sectors dealing in visual and spatial memory, as well as visual mental imagery. Other areas of the brain showed use by the subject, including a sector of the brain generally related to childlike “finger counting,” probably used in his mind to relate numbers to the visual cortex. “PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to... For other uses, see Memory (disambiguation). ... Image of a typical positron emission tomography (PET) facility Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine medical imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image or map of functional processes in the body. ... Imagery is any of the five senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste). ... Brodmann area 17 (primary visual cortex) is shown in red in this image which also shows area 18 (orange) and 19 (yellow) The visual cortex refers to the primary visual cortex (also known as striate cortex or V1) and extrastriate visual cortical areas such as V2, V3, V4, and V5. ...

Nature versus nurture in the development of the child prodigy

Most researchers recognize that prodigious talent tends to arise as a result of the innate talent of the child, the environment that the individual resides in, the energetic and emotional investment that the child ventures, and the personal characteristics of the individual. This seemingly vacuous statement is necessary to rule out a simplistic view. The environment also plays an extremely important role, many times in obvious ways. Solely environmental theories to account for the performance of prodigies have been developed, examined, and to some degree 'tested'. For example, Laszlo Polgar set out to raise his children to be chess players, and all three of his daughters went on to become world class players (two of whom are grandmasters), emphasisizing the potency an environment has in determining the area toward which a child's energy will be directed, and showing that an incredible amount of skill can be developed through suitable training. ...

See also

This is a list of people who in childhood (at or before 9) showed abilities in a specific field comparable to those of a highly skilled adult; hence the term child prodigy. ... The personal growth of child prodigies has traditionally captured a decent share of attention in popular culture. ... A genius is a person of great intelligence. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Gifted education. ... Gifted education is a broad term for special practices, procedures and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented. ... The term child actor is generally applied to a child acting in motion pictures or television, but also to an adult who began his or her acting career as a child; to avoid confusion the latter is also called a former child actor. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The whiz kid is a stock character who is highly intelligent but lacking in physical strength. ... Chess prodigies are children who play chess so well that they are able to beat Masters and even Grandmasters, often at a very young age. ... IQ redirects here. ... Mensa is the largest, oldest, and best-known high-IQ society in the world. ... The Triple Nine Society (TNS) is a voluntary association of individuals who have scored at or above the 99. ...


  1. ^ Feldman, David H: "Child Prodigies: A Distinctive Form of Giftedness", National Association for Gifted Children, Gifted Children Quarterly., 1993, 37(4): 188-193.
  2. ^ O'Boyle MW et al. Mathematically gifted male adolescents activate a unique brain network during mental rotation. Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Oct;25(2):583-7

  Results from FactBites:
Prodigy School - Indonesia (3555 words)
The standard definition of a prodigy is a child who by age 10 displays a mastery of a field usually undertaken only by adults.
A prodigy child is a child who reaches an adult level of ability with a skill usually mastered by adults.
Many child prodigies go on to have successful lives, if their parents are involved in their lives at every level.
  More results at FactBites »



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