Sunday, April 24, 2016

Well, That Adds Up

There's a neat article in Scientific American that relates some research into whether or not the brains of scientists who grasp complex mathematical concepts easily -- Alan Turing, Albert Einstein, and so on -- differ from the brains of the people who could not grasp them were their metaphorical hands covered in Gorilla glue -- me. Although Scientific American did not mention me by name, I am well aware of who they are looking at when they draw the distinction.

The study took a look at brain activity of non-mathematicians who are tops in their own fields -- meaning professors and researchers, as well as the brain activity of some folks who were lights-out smart with their sums and gozintas. They found that the level of brain activity was comparable, although it centered on different areas of the brain depending on whether the subject was a mathematician or not.

I really liked the article, but it does seem to me that the upshot of the study is that what's different about people who understand math really well is that they have brains that understand math really well, and of course by "really well" I know that Scientific American actually means "better than you, Friar." Which, come to think of it, I already knew, so I may be smarter than I thought I was.

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