Balanced vs Unbalanced Genius
The brain breeds two types of geniuses – one comes from an incredibly balanced and integrated mind and the other from a brain with a disabilities where giftedness is limited to certain abilities.
In the case of balanced genius, the brain is so finely tuned and perfectly balanced that it works as a whole seamlessly, easily, and flexibly. This person has a strong left brain and a strong right brain and can use it in a way that few people can. Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest geniuses of all time, trained himself from a young age to have a perfectly balanced brain. He could write and paint equally well with his left and right hands. He could write right side up and upside down and forwards and backwards equally well. He was a master of fine art but was also inventive and abstract. He had the perfect balance of science and art.
This is a person who is incredibly gifted at certain abilities, but also clearly deficient in others. These are typically people with autism.
A left-brain genius may excel in academics but are equally as bad at social skills and nonverbal communication. Isaac Newton is a perfect example of a left-brain genius, who is considered by many to be the greatest scientist who ever lived but personally was not well liked and was considered arrogant by many. Though brilliant, he was obsessive and compulsive, especially about numbers. He was socially inept and did not like being around or talking to people.
A perfect example of right-brain genius was Albert Einstein. He was a big picture thinker, seeing the whole universe better than anyone in history. However, he was a poor student all the way through postgraduate school and was not a great mathematician by nature. He was great at the concepts of physics. He was a likable guy and reportedly had many romantic relationships. He loved people and liked the limelight.
Understanding the functional responsibility of the two sides of the brain can help you figure out which side of your brain is stronger. With rare exceptions, we are all better at some things than others due to slight imbalances in the brain that label us either right-brained or left-brained. The true balanced geniuses of the world like Leonardo da Vinci are truly remarkable and very rare.
Want to learn more about the mind of a genius? Check out pages 145-149 of my book Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders–and What Parents Can Do Now.