Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bright Prospects

` Oh, here's another Editor's Summary! Though first, ponder this: My brain's growing stage was very probably horribly stunted, as I spent so much time squandered in Special Ed until age 12 at which time I was at home all day screaming at the walls while my parents were at work.
` Now read this:

Here's a subject guaranteed to cause controversy: the relationship between intelligence, measured by IQ tests, and physical brain development in children and adolescents. A study that followed 307 typically developing subjects from childhood to adolescence (roughly between the ages of 6 and 19 years) now suggests that 'brainy' children are not cleverer by virtue of having more or less grey matter at any one age. Rather, intelligence is related to various aspects of the continuing process of cortical maturation. Specifically, the trajectory of change in the thickness of the cerebral cortex, not cortical thickness itself, relates to intelligence. More intelligent children demonstrate a particularly plastic cortex, with an initial accelerated and prolonged phase of cortical increase, which yields to equally vigorous cortical thinning by early adolescence.

` There is also an abstract available to all....

` The thing is - why am I so intelligent if that were true? Not only that, but I have to ask myself, would I be more intelligent if I hadn't been so abused and neglected all my life? Or, perhaps the growth of my cortex relied more heavily on predetermined genetic factors than it did stimulation. Believe me - most of the stimulation I ever got, on the rare occasion I ever did get any attention or find anything of interest in the house while locked up at home - was pretty negative.
` And yet... in school I was bullied and abused by both students and teachers, and after sixth grade (at home) I began to talk to myself constantly out of despair and loneliness. I wonder if talking to myself helped my brain develop? Surely, a skewed development is better than none at all! Perhaps my brain fed off of whatever little stimulation I could get very efficiently?
` An interesting and many-faceted subject to ponder!


Laura said...

I believe that talking to yourself is a way of stimulation for your mind. I mean if you consider the different exercises you create to keep yourself entertained you would have to be increasing brain power. I've always heard that those that are more fantasy inclined are more intelligent. Maybe it is all the things that your brain has to creat on its own that gives it the step above the rest.

Galtron said...

Let us hope that is true... Spoony's imagination is powerful enough to be capable of scaring me. And I'm not easily scarable.

It makes sense, too - talking to yourself is like a self-contained feedback loop, and it actually takes some talent to keep it going. I don't know many people who can for long periods of time.

cassie d said...

well put, laura. i was thinking the same thing about being creative. because you are a creative person, with external stimuli, you have perservered to become a great imaginative and critical thinker. whoever said the external stimuli had to be good? sounds like all the negative stimuli put your mind into overdrive! it made you the person you are today!

and don't forget what Batman says:
'It's not who I am underneath, but what I *do* that defines me.'

cassie d said...

i just reread that and it doesn't make much sense.

but you get my point sorta, right?

S E E Quine said...

` I'm not sure about the effect that all the horrible abuse had on me. Mainly, it made me block out the entire world and become emotionally numb. I didn't move much, I never left the house, I didn't draw pictures or play the piano at all unless my parents were home. Mostly, I just talked to myself, screamed at the cameras I believed had been set up to monitor me and slept a lot.
` I was not motivated to do a damn thing, the stress was so bad. I did not know what it was like to feel good enough to engage in an activity I was not required to do until recently.

` How that could have helped to expand my mind, beats me.

` On top of this, I was conditioned not to use my mind, as the very act of thinking or questioning anything was met with brutal punishment. Not only that, but my dad was constantly all over me, insisting that I could not do anything by myself, and on the occasion that I would physically or verbally try to push him away from me, I was screamed at for being 'nasty'.
` On top of this all, I was told that I was 'lucky' because I got to spend all that time at home doing whatever I wanted to. In fact, I mostly cursed, slept, and lost the will to do so much as draw a picture.
` All I mainly did during my home school years was rot by myself with nobody to talk to but the supposedly malicious walls. No social interactions or anything to spare me utter loss, boredom, and nothing spurred me into action.

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