From one of my favorite blogs, which has a focus on looking at brain functioning to understand all sorts of issues in education, learning, and life, there is a wonderful post about mathematical minds.
Gifted math minds really do 'light up' differently than average math minds when looking at math-related problems. And because of the way the brain is organized and behaves for different mental tasks, gifted math students can be difficult to identify from commonly used assessments and classroom behaviors. For instance, many truly advanced math students are not strong verbally, which can make them difficult to pick out of a crowd, and many like to 'do their own thing' when it comes to math and not at all be interested in the rote math memorization so often done in school. And likely the single most common trait is the love of solving problems of any type. This shows up not just in the 'numbers people,' but also tinkerers. Can you relate to any of these traits?