Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"No Half Wits," by Marc Lallanilla., 12 April 2004.

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and SocialSciences at Fort Benning, GA, and the University of Melbourne,Australia, compared the responses of math-gifted students to average studentson a computerized visual test. The results, published inNeuropsychology, received attention as the study showed thatmathematically-gifted teens showed no difference between the two halves oftheir brains while matching various patterns. The researchers concluded thatgiftedness in math, music, or art "may be the by-product of a brain that isfunctionally organized itself in a different way." However, they cautionparents and educators that many other factors are in play. The following newssources covered the research results:

"It adds up ... mathematicians are better at using their heads." The Scotsman, 12 April2004;
"Leading article: The sum of things." The Times Online, 12 April2004;
"Both halves of the brain add up to maths whiz," by Carol Nader. The Age, 13 April 2004.

--- Annette Emerson