Brainy kids' brains develop slowly - CNN
Wednesday, March 29, 2006; Posted: 3:05 p.m. EST (20:05 GMT)
The brain's outer mantle, or cortex, gets thicker and then thins during childhood and the teen years. The study found that in kids with superior intelligence, the cortex reaches its thickest stage a few years later than in other children.
Nobody knows what causes that or how it relates to superior intelligence. But researchers said the finding does not rule out a role for environment -- such as intellectual stimulation -- in affecting a child's level of intelligence.
In fact, the brain's delay in thickening may promote higher intelligence because it means a child is older and processing more complex experiences while the cortex is building up, said study co-author Dr. Judith Rapoport.