Can Neuroscience Provide Empirical Support for MI Theory?

In March 2017, Dr. Branton Shearer and Dr. Jessica Karanian published a paper titled The Neuroscience of Intelligence: Empirical Support for the Theory of Multiple Intelligences? in Trends in Neuroscience and Education, Volume 6. In the paper, Dr. Shearer and Dr. Karanian use neuroscience to provide empirical support for the theory of multiple intelligences. The abstract for the article appears below:


The concept of intelligence has been strongly debated since introduction of IQ tests in the early 1900s. Numerous alternatives to unitary intelligence have achieved limited acceptance by both psychologists and educators. Despite criticism that it lacks empirical validity, multiple intelligences theory (Gardner, H. (1983, 1993) Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences, New York: Basic Books), has had sustained interest on the part of educators worldwide. MI theory was one of the first formulations about intelligence to be based on neuroscience evidence. This investigation reviewed 318 neuroscience reports to conclude that there is robust evidence that each intelligence possesses neural coherence. Implications for using MI theory as a bridge between cognitive neuroscience and instruction are discussed.


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