Savants is one of the reasons why multiple intelligences exist

Savants is one of the reasons why multiple intelligences exist. Idiot savant is defined as individuals with below average intelligence but able to do one or more intellectual tasks (Howe & Smith, 1988, p. 371). There are many kinds of savants but in this essay, savants with calendar calculating abilities will be the focus.
There is a case study of twins being able to calculate calendars although unable to score for arithmetic questions. The twins are not equipped with any numerical skills or reading abilities and suffered family difficulties through their early childhood. They were also put into a mental institute since they were nine years old, declared as mentally retarded. One of the twins had a minimum of 6000 years span of calculating calendars (Horwitz, Kestenbaum, Person & Jarvick, 1965, as cited in Howe & Smith, 1988, p. 374). Despite having some errors in between the Georgian and Julian calendar, he managed to answer the correct days of a week when given a specific date, to illustrate, the first Friday in a month for the year. They are also able to score for arithmetic questions that involved dates rather than direct multiplication or basic addition.
The reasons why they can calculate calendars have been researched over the years. One research conducted found out that there is visual imagery involved to utilize the calendrical rules which is implanted in our hippocampus which is responsible for memory and the knowledge retrieved. Such imagery is in the Long-Term Memory (LTM) after being exposed to calendars at a young age (Heavey, Pring & Hermelin, 1999, p. 150). Therefore, Savants contributes to having multiple intelligences as being mentally handicapped does not contribute to having no intelligence. As mentioned earlier in this paragraph, visualization combined with a good memory is needed to remember extensive dates.
According to Gardner (1983), spatial intelligence allows one to picture the world correctly to create mental images. It also allows one to use reasoning and representations invoked from the images, such as drawings, diagrams, models and maps. It differentiates from linguistic representations like texts because it involves interaction with our cognition with the spatial information for problem-solving (Rogers, 1995, as cited in Diezmann & Watters, 2000, p. 301). Spatial intelligence occurs in the parietal lobes of the brain which plays an essential role when manipulating objects and sensing through touch in relation to processing information. The high amount of pressure applied one’s body is integrated inside the parietal lobe which sends back a signal to the brain causing that region’s muscles to contract. Thus, any damage to the parietal lobes of the cerebral cortex damage will only affect the frontal lobe where advanced intelligence is mostly present.
One example of measuring spatial intelligence is the Vandenburg Mental Rotation Test, which allows one to know the relationship between the right cerebral hemisphere of the brain, mental rotation and general intelligence (Vandenburg & Kuse, 1978, as cited in Hegarty, 2010, p. 267). The faster one knows which two of the images on the right is the same as the other on the left, the higher the spatial intelligence is present. However, those who have lower spatial intelligence endowed tend to score better when taught using imagery in a classroom setting because they are demanded to perceive in different directions (Prokýšek, Rambousek & Wildová, 2013, p. 859). As a result, spatial intelligence occurs from the cognitive processes in the brain and further develops when imagery is enforced which perform with other intelligences. Being able to focus on the spatial-visual aspect of self is from intrapersonal intelligence when knowing that one excels in it which will be discussed in the next point.
Intrapersonal intelligence is about knowing and managing own feelings and being able to self-motivate to create greater self-awareness (Veenema, Hetland, & Chalfen, 1997, as cited in Behjat, 2012, p. 352). It is a deeper form of emotional intelligence as it requires more self-inference. Intrapersonal intelligence manifests in the frontal lobes and the hypothalamus part of the limbic system in the brain which are responsible for personality changes and emotions respectively. If there is damage in the frontal lobes, it causes personality change in which one may not have a sense of purpose nor being able to plan for future. To illustrate, an example of intrapersonal intelligence is looking at an autistic child with weak intrapersonal intelligence will be unable to infer much from self but rather from others (Gardner, 2006). Imitating others’ behaviours can help them to learn about the world which means that not all autistic children are unintelligent.
Besides, individuals with higher intrapersonal intelligence will put more focus to do well when learning languages. They tend to assess self-knowledge more frequently and prefer working on individualised projects. An accurate measure of intrapersonal intelligence requires evidence from other expressive forms of intelligence. Motivation coming from intrapersonal intelligence affects the learning process of one (Perez ; Ruz, 2014, p. 146). To illustrate, low intrapersonal intelligence may mean that one may not feel motivated enough to do well. However, just like spatial intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence may also be further developed. (Sellars, 2006). Filling in self-evaluating forms increases their self-awareness and once they know what their strengths are, they build on them with motivation for excelling. At the same time, recognising which form of intelligence is suitable for oneself will create more learning opportunities and thus have more desirable results. Thus, the frontal lobes and hypothalamus of the brain helps one to create an understanding of self together with motivation which is intrapersonal intelligence.
In conclusion, there are multiple intelligences not just one intelligence. As outlined, brain injury in Broca’s area only affects that region, leaving other areas intact such as the cerebellum which is in-charge of kinaesthetic intelligence. Savants also prove that various intelligences exist which were not reflected in psychometric tests such as IQ test. Furthermore, spatial intelligence enabling imagery, occurs in the parietal lobes and intrapersonal intelligence is about self-awareness in terms of emotions, occurring in the frontal lobes and hypothalamus. Therefore, Gardner’s argument on multiple intelligences is reflected well in which people express and see information differently from one another. Purely basing on an IQ test results is not sufficient to make a judgement dismissing it as singular intelligence.


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