Automatic cognitive processing in gifted and non gifted students

Juan Montero-Linares, Jose I. Navarro-Guzman, Manuel Aguilar-Villagrán


The traditional gifted children assessment model has several insufficiencies. It is based on IQ data as a main definition of giftedness. However this paper proposes other perspective from the processing information theory. We studied other cognitive variables that could be used for gifted children’s assessment. A syllabic segmentation skills test was designed after the working memory’s Baddeley and automatic and controlled processes models by Shneider y Shiffrin. The syllabic segmentation skills test allows learning more about the routine information processing, and it is able to prove its predictive capacity identifying gifted students. A total of 480 primary school children from 6 to 9 years old participated in this study. After IQ were assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), students were distributed in two different groups (gifted and non gifted). All participants were also assessed by the syllabic segmentation skills test. Different measurements for syllabic segmentation skills test’s standardization were collected. Results shown that gifted children had significant higher scores on syllabic segmentation than non gifted. This suggests that children with a IQ over 130 were able to make routine information processing faster than lower performers, and the syllabic segmentation skills test was able to discriminate gifted and non gifted students.


Gifted; high intellectual abilities; working memory; information processing; automatic process; controlled process

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