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Neuroscience has developed rapidly over the last few decades and we are beginning to get a better understanding of how the brain works - can we use this knowledge to help create a cleverer generation of children? One of the fundamental questions that science has tried to prove is whether genius is born (ie. innate) or whether it is learned. Why is this important? Well, if it is innate, then either you have it or your don't! If it is learned, then that opens up the possibility that everyone has the potential to become a genius.
Studies suggest that genius is indeed learned. How can this conclusion be reached? The key to researching the brain is being able to scan the brain for neural activity. Technology has developed a variety of methods to scan the brain for neural activity, and what this has revealed is fascinating. When people considered 'genius' or greatly talented have been monitored, scientists have found that they have a higher density of neurons triggered when thinking or performing. Neuron density appears to grow with training or practice - this gives rise to the theory that genius is indeed learned and not born - therefore we all have the potential to become genius!
Research of the brain has also helped to further theories that the left and right hanbd side of the brain operate at different levels. The left hemisphere of the brain appears to be more active when thinking objectively, rationally, logically or analytically, while the right hemisphere seems more active with subjective, random and intuitive thought. This leads to hyptheses that right-brained people are more scientific whilst left-brained people are more artistic.
Of course, this doesn't make much impact on the way that we're going to raise our babies, but it does suggest that by stimulating both sides of the brain, we can stimulate the development of neurons and create more rounded inidividuals. This low level research feeds into educational thinking and curriculums imposed at national level will be guided by the importance to nuture both the subjective and objective sides of individuals.
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