Multiple Intelligences Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Basil Manning
Multiple Intelligences Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

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

The 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 since it covers a great variety of aspects. On the one hand it encompasses 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.


  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  • Characteristics of people who excel in Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  • A little bit of logic
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence, development and brain
  • Brain regions associated with mathematical processing
  • Brain regions and capabilities
    • Bibliography

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Logical-mathematical intelligence encompasses many factors related to analytical and synthetic development and the integration of the mind. It goes from an analysis of concrete objects to an 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 moves to an abstract level. In this way the information is mentally manipulated. 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 excel at this type of intelligence tend to think in a more conceptual and abstract way. 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 affirms that mathematics helps in the development of logical-mathematical intelligence.

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

Characteristics of people who excel in Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

  1. They enjoy the process of understanding things.
  2. They are usually orderly people.
  3. They like to ask themselves questions.
  4. They work with numbers, measurements, degrees, dimensions, angles, etc..
  5. Scientific experiments in a logical way usually like them.
  6. Explore patterns and relationships.
  7. 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 often wonder 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 for X to occur? What can you do about it?
  15. They have a good capacity for abstract thinking.

A little bit of logic

Although it is encompassed within the same intelligence, Gardner remarks that someone who excels in logical ability does not have to be very advanced in mathematics. While mathematics is dedicated to the study of abstraction and the relationships of elements through numbers, logic would carry out the same process without the use of these. Although the objective and the methodology would be the same. As described by philosophy, 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 the study of the methods and principles used to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning..

Logical-mathematical intelligence, development and brain

Both in infants and young children there is evidence of concepts about estimates and basic mathematical operations (Wood and Spelke, 2005). Children who are not yet speaking can distinguish between a few objects, that is, this leads them to think that they innately possess a sense of quantity. We share this characteristic with primates. However, symbolic and verbalized mathematical thinking is acquired and only appears in the human being with learning.

Children also have the ability to estimate (Lourenco and Longo, 2010). Visuospatial capacity is closely related to estimation and is related to the activity of the occipital and parietal cortex.

"Mathematics is a place where you can do things that you cannot 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 will be important, as well as the areas of hearing and language (Cantlon, 2012). At first, the brain uses the visual-spatial sense of quantity, and little by little it combines it with mathematical symbols that it learns and that are related to language. The exact calculations depend on the left frontal lobe. Mathematical approximations or estimates use the right hemisphere, although the left also plays a role.

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. Includes primary auditory cortex, superior temporal cortex, and temporal lobe association cortex.

Brain regions and capabilities

These areas mature 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 the motor, somatosensory, visual and auditory areas. The areas that continue to mature are the secondary motor and sensory areas. Later the association areas. Some of the last areas to mature are the prefrontal cortex and the superior temporal cortex, which is responsible for integrating information from different sensory modalities. They finish 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 math signs is most often a function of the left hemisphere. While understanding number concepts and relationships seems to understand right hemisphere involvement. The whole brain works as a whole 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 the temporal and occipital areas of association that are contiguous to the lobes. It is concluded that mathematical intelligence is not as autonomous a system as other types of intelligences, but that it would be a more general intelligence.

Discover the Multiple Intelligence Test


  • CANTLON, J. F. (2012). Math, monkeys, and the developing brain. Proceedings of the 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 the
    leadership. Barcelona. Paidós.
  • GARDNER, H. (2001). Intelligence reformulated: 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 five-month-old infants. Cognition, 97 (1), 23-39.

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