Have you heard the term “gifted”? It usually refers to individuals with unique abilities that set them above their peers. You may not think of yourself as gifted, but there are some surprising traits of the brains of gifted individuals that may apply to you.
Here are five signs that you are secretly gifted.
1) You have trouble with languages
According to Boston College professor Ellen Winner, gifted individuals have a unique brain organization, where the right hemisphere of the brain dominates the left hemisphere and sometimes takes over its functions. Since the left hemisphere usually deals with vocabulary, grammar, and understanding meanings, this often results in a very uneven set of mental abilities, where language abilities lose out. Winner notes that over 120,000 students in the United States are both gifted and learning impaired at the same time, and they most often have dyslexia. Albert Einstein is one of the best examples of uneven giftedness as he could not speak until the age of three and did not speak fluently until the age of ten.
2) You are not right-handed
Are you left-handed or right-handed? Or even both? Winner also noted that gifted individuals are more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous compared to the general population who are more likely to be right-handed. Many researchers believe that prenatal conditions can significantly affect the development of the fetal brain and key psychological outcomes. Remember how the right hemisphere often dominates over the left hemisphere in gifted brains? The same developmental paths that lead to this brain structure also frequently result in non-right-handedness.
3) You have immune issues
How’s your immune system? You may not think that the immune system is related to the brain, but there is a common factor between them. As mentioned previously, prenatal conditions have significant effects on the development of the brain. The exact same conditions that lead to gifted brains also affect the rest of the body, disrupting the functioning of the immune system. Gifted individuals have a higher rate of asthma, allergies, and other autoimmune disorders.
4) You have a strong working memory
How many things can you remember at the same time? Research shows that a strong working memory can be a sign of a gifted mind. One of their unique traits is the ability to solve problems in a creative way. They can think “out of the box” and come up with many fresh perspectives and angles. The thought processes of gifted individuals look chaotic and uninhibited, with many different thoughts going on all the time. But in order to cope with all of these different ideas simultaneously, they have to flex their strong working memories.
5) You have extreme mood swings
Does your mood usually go up and down all the time? Research shows that creatively gifted individuals are at a higher risk for cyclothymia, a mental condition that involves sudden changes between periods of depression and periods of elevated mood called hypomania. During the periods of hypomania, mental recollection becomes sharper, emotions become intense and stamina becomes virtually unlimited. An investigation of high school students showed that those with the most hypomanic symptoms also had the highest degree of creative achievement, suggesting the link between creativity and cyclothymia can be harnessed by gifted individuals.
Do you relate to any of the traits mentioned in this article? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and share this article if you think it will help someone else. The studies and references used are listed in the description below.
- Missett, T. C. (2013). Exploring the relationship between mood disorders and gifted individuals. Roeper Review, 35(1), 47-57.
- Myers, T., Carey, E., & Szűcs, D. (2017). Cognitive and neural correlates of mathematical giftedness in adults and children: A review. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 1646.
- Winner, E. (2000). The origins and ends of giftedness. American Psychologist, 55(1), 159.