On the four types of characteristics of super mathematically gifted students

Roza Leikin, Mark Leikin, Nurit Paz-Baruch, Ilana Waisman, Miri Lev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to achieve the present study’s goal–to understand better the phenomenon of mathematical giftedness–we performed a multidimensional examination of the mental processing in students who exhibited mathematical expertise (EM) at the secondary school level. The study included participants from the three groups: students who excelled in school mathematics but were not identified as generally gifted (NG-EM), generally gifted excelling in mathematics (G-EM) students, and students with superior performance in mathematics (S-MG). The research integrated three salient dimensions of mental processing: domain-general cognitive traits, domain-specific (mathematical) creativity, and neuro-cognitive functioning expressed in event-related potentials (ERPs) when solving mathematical problems. In the three study dimensions, we found four types of characteristics of S-MG students: accumulative, G-related, unique and unraveling. This paper defines and exemplifies the characteristics of the four types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-125
Number of pages19
JournalHigh Ability Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the John Templeton Foundation [grant number 1447]. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. We are grateful to the University of Haifa for the generous support it has provided for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 European Council for High Ability.


  • General giftedness
  • basic cognitive traits
  • event related potentials
  • mathematical creativity
  • mathematical expertise
  • mathematical giftedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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