%A Michael J. A. Howe %A Jane W. Davidson %A John A. Sloboda %J Behavioral and Brain Sciences %T Innate Talents: Reality Or Myth? %X Talents that selectively facilitate the acquisition of high levels of skill are said to be present in some children but not others. The evidence for this includes biological correlates of specific abilities, certain rare abilities in autistic savants, and the seemingly spontaneous emergence of exceptional abilities in young children, but there is also contrary evidence indicating an absence of early precursors for high skill levels in young people. An analysis of positive and negative evidence and arguments suggests that differences in early experiences, preferences, opportunities, habits, training and practice are the real determinants of excellence. %K gift, talent, prodigy, expertise, exceptional ability, innate capacity, specific ability, potential, music %P 399-442 %V 21 %D 1998 %L cogprints656