Visual arts talent among adolescents with intellectual disability: The global domain approach

Hefziba Lifshitz, Keren Berko, Shlomit Shnitzer-Meirovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Talent in the population with intellectual disability (ID) has to date been investigated in the context of the phenomenon of the idiot savant (Miller, 2005). This pioneering study examined talent in a population with ID through the prism of giftedness and talent theories in the typical population. The goals were to examine: (a) whether the talent of adolescents with ID is expressed only in their drawing ability (specific domain) or whether they would demonstrate high cognitive abilities compared to adolescents with ID without this talent (global domain); (b) the contribution of the participants’ endogenous background characteristics (fluid intelligence, cognitive flexibility and creative thinking) as well as the contribution of an exogenous factor (participation in an art class) to their art measures. An intelligence and cognitive tests battery was administered among adolescents with ID with drawing talent (N = 29) and without such talent (N = 26). Morphological Structural Conceptual Analysis (Elkosho, 2007) was used to assess the drawing ability of students with/without drawing talent as well as their level of commitment to visual arts. The ANOVAs indicated that adolescents with ID with artistic talent exhibited relatively higher drawing skills as well as fluid intelligence, cognitive flexibility and creative thinking. Regression analyses indicated that participation in an art class contributed to the explained variance of the art measures. The findings support the global domain approach and the nurture thesis in visual arts (drawing) in the population with ID. Renzulli's (2020) three-ring model of giftedness might be applicable for the population with ID.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101523
Number of pages15
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
StatePublished - Jun 2024

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  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Creative thinking
  • Crystallized/fluid intelligence
  • Drawing talent
  • Intellectual disability


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