Dr. Montessori points out how “intelligence” is not a “hard-wired” aspect of our consciousness, but is affected by how well-ordered our memory is (and, I’d say, also by how efficiently our subconscious functions):
The swift reactions among our children are not merely an external manifestation of the intelligence. They are related not only to the exercise, but also to the order which has been established within: and it is this intimate work of re-arrangement which is in itself a more exact indication of intellectual formation.
Order is, in short, the true key to rapidity of reaction. In a chaotic mind, the recognition of a sensation is no less difficult than the elaboration of a reasoned discourse. In all things, social as well as others, it is organiztion and order which make it possible to proceed rapidly.
(p. 156, The Advanced Montessori Method – I (formerly Spontaneous Activity in Education) by Dr. Maria Montessori, trans.s Florence Simmonds and Lily Hutchinson, Clio Press, Oxford, (c) 1991 Montessori-Pierson Estates, ISBN 1-85109-114-9.)