I'm a firm believer in the analogy of brains being 'wired'. It quite neatly sums up the situation in my opinion. You're not 'born' with your brain, it's built up consciously and subconsciously over time. The process is like wiring because it's all about creating connections. Yes, this is happening on a scientific level but I'm in no way qualified to talk about that. What I mean is the more tangible evidence of this sort of thing- people whose brains are wired differently from other people's.
I know this because I'm one of them. And it's not just a case of being naturally a different kind of person, it's actually about how your brain is wired to perceive the world and react to it. Obviously people with clinical or physical dispositions have more obvious issues with their wiring, but there are those that, for one reason or another, are just different to everyone else. When you talk about 'normal' people, thinking in terms of a bell curve, the ones at the thin end are these sorts of people.
When it comes to people who are incredibly intelligent, like the Stephen Hawking, Einstein types, they are obviously wired completely differently. They perceive things in such a way that makes it easy to do and think what seems extraordinary to a 'normally' wired person. Moving down the scale, there are those people who are naturally 'gifted' and think in a slightly different way to others, but not to the extent of the afforementioned genuises. Then there are those who by experience and focus have wired their brains to be exceptionally good at certain things- it could be playing computer games, memorising sequences or playing chess- they've trained their brains so as to wire them in that way. It's a similar thing with physical activity and the idea of 'muscle memory', which is important for sports requiring precise movements repeated many times (e.g. darts, cricket etc).
Then there are those whose brains aren't wired very well and are slow on the uptake, in varying degrees. But by virtue of wiring, it may just be in relation to one thing. For instance the people who are fine at everything except maths- their brains just never quite got that bit. So you can see how this all fits in, especially with intelligence. A good way to think about this process is to consider this: if I told you a list of 20 names now, just the once, and a while later gave you 2 whole days to try and write them down, you would probably struggle and take most of that time to do it. If on the other hand I told you the list ten times and only gave you 2 minutes, you'd probably do better. That's because the repetition is wiring your brain; that's why scientists stress the amount of times you need to take in information to learn it properly. In my example, the length of time you get to try and work it out won't be any help if you just didn't form the proper links. You'll never work it out, no matter how hard you think. Most people don't really understand memory properly.
Memory and intelligence is only one part of it though; we are wired to do so much more. How to breathe is so ingrained it's subconscious. How to walk and talk and so on become very instinctive early on. How to react to the world, however, is something we develop continuously. The same people who are at the high end of the intelligence bell curve are also usually at the end of the 'normal' bell curve when it comes to social ability. This is no coincidence; that's not to say that intelligent people are just naturally awkward and anti-social. Because their brains get wired differently, they don't relate so well to people. Because they don't relate so well to people, they tend to be left on the outer in social circles and so on, leading to less social experience- and here's the key part- because they get less experience, their brains miss out on the key 'normal' brain wiring.
When people come together, they unknowingly form a collective- of ideas, opinions, culture and so on. They may have many different, individual elements, but society both finds common elements out of their own ones, and gives them common ones to share. This process is amazingly important in human life, yet it is hardly thought about. It is when people's brains are wired to be 'normal'. When people are left out of this- the anti-social, the outcasts etc- they are left without this wiring, which makes it progressively harder to fit in. The result is a spiral effect which is very hard to break. However, because this is becoming more prevalent and recognised, these people sometimes form their own culture, where they find their own grounds to relate on; or 'normal' people go out of their way to accept them in one way or another, usually on account of their skills. This allows them, if they want, a chance to break out of the circle. But it's not easy; you can't re-wire your brain overnight.
For their part, a lot of people on the outer, so to speak, are blissfully unaware of this. Often you find incredibly smart people are very awkward and difficult to deal with, yet they have no perception of this and are not troubled in any way. Unfortunately for others, they are all to aware of it and it makes life very difficult. That's the position I find myself in. I reached the point in my life where I realised how far into the spiral I was and I've been trying to break out of it. But as I say, it's just not that easy. You're not wired like most people and you can't change that quickly. You need to find people who are very patient and understanding, and hope they can help you. But it's very difficult to get outside your comfort zone, when in the past all that has brought for you was pain.
I use the term 'normal' being fully aware that it is an artificial construct; what I do mean by it is the general theme of behaviour, culture and thought that the majority of people are wired into, and those left out miss out on. It may be hard to conceptualise if you're on the inside. I'm not talking about most people here; you may think I mean people who are just different, but it's more than that. It's having a brain that is wired very differently. I envy those on the inside, I envy those who live their lives blissfully unaware that they're not. I believe that I am wired in such a way as to be very perceptive of what is real; I can't come to think of things that aren't real as if they were real- when I was a child, I never 'got' what an imagination was. I couldn't believe toys were anything other than bits of plastic that looked like other things. I couldn't imagine stories without reference to things I knew. And I can't see beyond the literal facts of religions and beliefs. It's a curse and a blessing. I can see everything that I've written about here very clearly; but that makes life very difficult to deal with at times. So that's why I thought I'd share this with you.