Multiple Intelligences: Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Multiple Intelligences: Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

The Logical-mathematical intelligence, has been considered together with linguistic intelligence, as a unique concept of Intelligence. Who is good is math and language, is intelligent. Howard Gardnerwith his Theory of Multiple Intelligences, dismantle this myth and tell us about the existence of various types of intelligence.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is so extensive that several articles could be dedicated to it. The explanation of this type of intelligence can be highly complex as it covers a wide variety of aspects. On the one hand it covers mathematics, on the other, logic, also human thought, and a wide range of concepts. Thus, the most representative points will be highlighted in the article so that the reader can get a general idea.


  • 1 Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  • 2 Characteristics of people who stand out in Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  • 3 A little Logic
  • 4 Logical-mathematical intelligence, development and brain
  • 5 Brain regions associated with mathematical processing
  • 6 Brain regions and abilities

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Logical-mathematical intelligence encompasses many factors related to the analytical, synthetic development and integration of the mind. It goes from an analysis of concrete objects to a abstract analysis. First, a relationship is established between the person and the world of objects. When this relationship matures, the mind distances itself from the material world and passes to an abstract level. Thus information is manipulated mentally. Thus, they can mentally perform actions on objects, see the relationships between them, etc.

"Pure mathematics is, in its form, the poetry of logical ideas."

-Albert Einstein-

People who stand out in this type of intelligence tend to think more conceptual and abstract. They may like to work with numbers, solve problems, analyze circumstances, etc. According to Gardner "This intelligence implies the ability to detect patterns, deductive reason and think logically". Gardner states that mathematics helps in the development of logical-mathematical intelligence.

Mathematics is universal due to its abstraction. This allows them to be useful in music, in history, in politics, in medicine, agriculture, business, industry, engineering, social and natural sciences.

Characteristics of people who stand out in Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

  1. They enjoy the process of understanding things.
  2. They are usually tidy people.
  3. They like to ask questions.
  4. They work with numbers, measurements, degrees, dimensions, angles, etc.
  5. Logical experiments usually like them.
  6. They explore patterns and relationships.
  7. They have good problem solving skills.
  8. They enjoy thinking through abstract ideas.
  9. They are good at solving complex situations.
  10. They are organized through the classification and categorization of information.
  11. They usually ask about natural events.
  12. They pursue ideas.
  13. They like to find patterns between different areas of knowledge.
  14. They are interested in the "how": How does something work? How is it possible that X occurs? What can you do about it?
  15. They enjoy a good capacity for abstract thinking.

A little Logic

Although it falls within the same intelligence, Gardner remarks that someone who stands out in logical capacity does not have to be very advanced in mathematics. While the mathematics they are dedicated to study of abstraction and of the element relationships through numbers, the logic would perform the same process without the use of these. Although the objective and methodology would be the same. As described by philosophy, the Logic is the study of thought and reasoning processes.

Logic exposes the laws, modes and forms of scientific knowledge. It is a formal science without content, and is dedicated to the study of valid forms of inference. It is about the study of the methods and principles used to distinguish the right reasoning from the wrong one.

Logical-mathematical intelligence, development and brain

Both in infants, such as young children there is evidence of concepts about estimates and basic mathematical operations (Wood and Spelke, 2005). Children who do not speak yet can distinguish between a few objects, that is, this leads them to think that they have innate form the sense of quantity. We share this feature with primates. Nevertheless, symbolic and verbalized mathematical thinking is acquired and only appears in the human being with the learning.

Children tooestimation capacity (Lourenco and Longo, 2010). The viso-spatial capacity is closely related to the estimation and is related to the activity of the occipital and parietal cortex.

"Mathematics is a place where you can do things you can't do in the real world."

-Marcus du Sautoy-

In older children the use of the fingers will be very important to add and subtract. The motor and sensory cortices they will be important as well as the listening and language areas (Cantlon, 2012). In the beginning, the brain uses the viso-spatial sense of quantity, and little by little it combines it with mathematical symbols that it learns and that are related to language. Exact calculations depend on left frontal lobe. The mathematical approximations or estimates employ the right hemisphere, although the left one also has participation.

Brain regions associated with mathematical processing

  • The frontal lobe. The prefrontal cortex, the premotor cortex and the primary motor area are highlighted.
  • Parietal lobe. The primary somatosensory area and the association cortex of the parietal lobe participate.
  • Occipital lobe. The primary visual cortex and the association cortex of the occipital lobe are involved.
  • Temporal lobe It includes primary auditory cortex, temporal superior cortex and the temporal cortex association cortex.

Brain regions and abilities

These areas are maturing little by little. The child activates some of these areas and others develop depending on the stimulus received through education. The areas that mature first are motor, somatosensory, visual and auditory. The areas that are still maturing are the secondary motor and sensory. Subsequently the areas of association. Some of the last areas to mature are the prefrontal cortex and superior temporal cortex responsible for integrating information from different sensory modalities. They end their maturation at the end of the second decade of life (Serra, Adan, Pérez-Pámies, Lachica and Membrives, 2010).

"Without math, there is nothing you can do. Everything around you is math. Everything around you is numbers."

-Shakuntala Devi-

The ability to read and produce the signs of mathematics it is more often a function of left hemisphere. While understanding the relationships and numerical concepts seems to understand the participation of right hemisphere. The whole brain functions as a joint because if there are difficulties in language, it can cause problems in numerical understanding.

There is some consensus that certain areas become important in logical and mathematical matters: left parietal lobes and temporal and occipital association areas that are adjacent to the lobes. It is concluded that mathematical intelligence is not a system as autonomous as other types of intelligences, but that it would be a more general intelligence.

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  • CANTLON, J. F. (2012). Math, monkeys, and the developing brain. Proceedings ofthe National Academy of Sciences, 109 (1), 10725-10732.
  • GARDNER, H. (1993).Multiple intelligences. The theory in practice. Barcelona.
  • GARDNER, H. (1996).Emotional Intelligence. Barcelona. Kairos.
  • GARDNER, H. & LASKIN, E. (1998).Leading minds. An anatomy of
    leadership. Barcelona. Paidós
  • GARDNER, H. (2001).Reformulated intelligence: Multiple Intelligences in the
    XXI century. Barcelona. Paidós
  • GARDNER, H. (2005). Multiple intelligences.Journal of Psychology and Education, 1,17-26.
  • LOURENCO, S. F., & LONGO, M. R. (2010). General Magnitude Representation in Human Infants. Psychological Science, 21 (6), 873-881.
  • SERRA-GRABULOSA, J. M., ADAN, A., PÉREZ-PÀMIES, M., LACHICA, J., & MEMBRIVES, S. (2010). Neural bases of numerical processing and calculation. Journal of neurology, 50 (1), 39-46.
  • WOOD, J. N., & SPELKE, E. S. (2005). Chronometric studies of numerical cognition in fivemonth-old infants. Cognition, 97 (1), 23-39.
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