How the seven intelligences map to different brain structures:

Question: What kind of evidence supports these mappings?

1. These connections have been determined via brain imaging (looking at what areas of the brain are more active when person is processing different kinds of information or producing different kinds of output -- speech, music, movement). Two approaches to brain imaging: ERP (track electrical activity in the brain) and MRI (record blood oxygenation levels, which go up when area is more active).

2. Brain damage in patients provides clues: Different functions are lost depending on which particular areas of the brain are damaged.


Left lateralization

for most people


Specific areas: Broca's (syntax), Wernicke's (semantics), angular gyrus (names)-- all on left side.

Note: "most people" means 95% of right-handed and 70% of left-handed. 5% of right-handed and 15% of lefties are right-lateralized for language; 15% of lefties use both sides of the brain for language.

Deaf people whose native language is ASL are an exception--they use both sides of the brain but are right-dominant for language.


Right lateralized for

most people


Increasing involvement of left hemisphere with musical training


Very distributed--

Front, back, both sides

Both hemispheres

Left parietal, temporal, occipital

Angular gyrus (Gerstmann syndrome)

Right frontal


Right lateralized for most people

Broad involvement of right

Parietal, temporal, occipital, frontal


Both sides of the brain (control opposite sides of the body)

Motor cortex (frontal)

Sensory cortex (parietal)

Subcortical areas: thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum

Thalamus: proprioception,

touch, pain

Basal ganglia(base of cortex, ganglia = nerve cells):

Initiate large movements

Cerebellum: Fine coordination, timing

Interpersonal &


Not clearly distinguished

Front lobes important

Frontal lobe damage can cause

loss of "personality" or self

Also loss of ability to socialize

Temporal lobe epilepsy also disrupts social interaction

(This may relate to limbic system, covered more in EI)