Can Children Be Geniuses?

Throughout history we've been a culture obsessed with child geniuses. As children grow and develop through the education system, they tend to be drawn toward certain subjects, hobbies and skills that allow them to express themselves physically, creatively and intellectually. Although, just like adults, child intellect and skill may not all be equal, most parents believe in their child's special abilities, no matter where they may fall on the talent scale. But what if your child is actually a genius? Could the precision and dedication to those skills be markers of prodigal capabilities? The answer could very well be yes. The U.S. government defines a gifted child as someone who has developed abilities far ahead of the age when those special skills are normally demonstrated. But the answer is likely more complicated than that. How does practice, genetics, studying and brain chemistry play a role? Could there be a psychological aspect to a child's ability to surpass their peers, and many adults, in their intellect and skill?

At seven years old, Akrit Pran Jaswal performed his first surgery. In 2011, at the age of nine, March Tian Boedihardjo became the youngest to ever enroll in Hong Kong University, the same year child prodigy Taylor Ramon Wilson won the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his work creating a radiation detector. So what sets these children's cognitive abilities apart—and can parents shape their children into savants? These videos give insight into one of the interesting and unbelievable phenomena of the human mind: child geniuses.

Written by Curiosity Staff August 25, 2014

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