What makes a genius? Scientists have long wanted to discover the secrets of genius.

Looking for the answers, different researchers examined the brain of Albert Einstein, the prominent physicist and mathematician who is also a timeless symbol of high intelligence and innovative thinking, and found a few distinctive features. You can read more about it in my article about Einstein’s brain and its secrets.

Now, let’s take a look at a few studies that reveal the differences in the brains of highly intelligent people and those of people with average levels of intelligence.

The brains of little geniuses

A study published in 2006 in the journal Nature revealed that when it comes to intelligence, the size of the brain is less important than the way it develops in childhood. Thus, the brain’s cortex is thicker in children and thinner in adolescents.

The study showed that children who had above average IQ had their cerebral cortexes thinner in early childhood, but their thickness increased at a very fast speed until the age of eleven years old.

Geniuses use a different brain region when solving tasks

Slovenian scientists examined the brain activity in people of above-average IQ (127 and above) as well as in those of low intelligence (IQ equal to 87) and asked them to solve a few tasks. The results showed that highly intelligent participants had the ability to use different areas of the brain for problem-solving.

A later study studied the brains of people whose IQ was 124 and above and those of people of average intelligence (IQ equal to 110). The researchers asked the participants to solve complex cognitive problems of various nature, such as analytical tasks and emotion identification.

The results showed that highly intelligent participants used a different brain region than those with average intelligence levels. In particular, those with high IQs used the inferior part of their brain’s right hemisphere while everyone else used superior brain regions in their left hemisphere.

The secrets of genius revealed

It seems that distinctive features in the brain’s physiology could reveal some of the secrets of genius. The only thing is for sure – highly intelligent people think in an outstanding way, which also shows in the way their brains work.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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