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Critical Analysis of Scholarly Paper


The essay presents a critical review of article “Brain Imaging Studies of Intelligence and Creativity: What is the Picture for Education?” by Richard J. Jung Haier.

This paper presents a review of the article, the definition of its theme and relevance of the topic, that is why a problem is worth considering. It presents the aim of the article and its main tasks, issues and questions raised by the author. Then it is given briefly the main ideas, introduced methods used to investigate the problem, the main argument that will be advanced in the article (the thesis). At the end of the essay are given the author’s primary findings and results, estimation of the article’s contribution to knowledge and its implications and critical opinion about it.

The article reviewed is “Brain Imaging Studies of Intelligence and Creativity: What is the Picture for Education?”. The article covers the topic of structure of the human brain, the study of the structural features of the brain to characterize the abilities and intellect of man. This theme of the article is very relevant in the 21st century, as the rapid development of neuroscience technology allows to make precise and accurate study of the brain, and make new discoveries and conclusions about the structure and capabilities of the human brain. Especially the article touches upon the question of the connection between structure of the brain and certain level of human intelligence, that is, whether the level of intelligence and abilities of a man depends on size or structure of his brain?

The aim of the article is to find out this connection and answer the research questions: Can intelligence be located in the brain? Why are some brains smarter than others? What is the connection between creativity and brain structure? The main question of the research is whether the information about an individual’s brain structure and function may be useful to benefit individual’s education?

The article presents a qualitative research, that is a review of the relevant literature and research on the structure and characteristics of brain, and mental abilities of people. The paper is constructed in such a way that the author poses the question, which is considered, and gives an answer to a question based on the literature and research of scientists, conducted earlier. The author then draws conclusions from these studies and summarizes their conclusions and assumptions.

The article gives a brief overview of the literature and studies of this problem, and emphasizes inefficiency of the researches. That is, the study of the brain and the human intellect is made by many scientists, most of which emphasizes the connection between these quantities. But still there are no accurate data research and no clear answer, but only a few hypotheses that are presented in the literature. The author stresses inefficiency of all the researches and large number of controversies between them, which increases interest to this question, and the relevance of this article.

The fundamental viewpoint discussed in the article is that different people have different mental abilities, and these abilities can be taken into consideration while education process. Also the author claims that he supports the idea that there are several areas of intelligence distributed throughout the brain, but not one main area, that is the model of the Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory of intelligence (P-FIT). The author gives overview of the model, but claims that it is not considered by educators, but it is important that “identifying the specific brain areas necessary for intelligence (as defined by the tests used in these studies) is an important step for understanding the properties that help integrate their functioning into networks”. (Haier, 2008)

Then the author considers a major hypothesis, that is whether any combinations of the areas in the P-FIT show any useful information for education, as educational strategies can be developed according to individual brain characteristics of students, based on an empirical assessment of how their brain processes stimuli.

Having considered the issues raised at the beginning in different literature and researches, the author thus tried to summarize many hypotheses and researches in the field of studying brain and brain activity of people, their mental abilities. The author made several conclusions on the study, and the most important are about differences between both structure and areas of activity in different people, that is why people have different levels of intelligence and show different results in work and study. So the author assumes that the data on the structure and levels of activity of the brain of different people can be used in education to improve the performance of students.

The most important conclusion of the author is that educators must work with brain researchers to design the proper studies and to establish how new neuroscience information can be used in education. The author believes that educators have the opportunity and should use the knowledge about characteristics of brain to improve the process of education, to improve results and to optimize the use of the brain and human capabilities for learning. But to do this current researches and data on brain is not enough and further research is needed. But the author believes that in future educational system will be informed by neuroscience knowledge, especially about creativity and intelligence.


In general, the article is very informative as the author considers a large number of questions, the author makes a review of the relevant literature and researches to answer the research questions. This qualitative study, however, may not be considered accurate, as presented arguments and answers to questions are made from hypotheses, and so can be contested.


Works cited:

Haier, Richard J. Jung. “Brain Imaging Studies of Intelligence and Creativity: What is the Picture for Education?”. Roeper Review, Vol. 30 Issue 3. (Jul-Sep2008). Pp. 171-179
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