Mathematical Savants The Link Between Numbers And Colored

Fiction Everyone has heard, at least vaguely, about phenomenal mathematical or memory feats executed by autistic or mentally-impaired individuals. The older generation will remember the Oscar-winning movie Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. The younger among us have heard about the new Touch TV series starring Kiefer Sutherland. The fact is that those exceptional individuals do exist outside of the entertainment industry, and that they are providing the scientists with clues about how our brain functions. Savantism is defined as a very rare condition in which people with autistic symptoms or a brain injury demonstrate prodigious but very narrow abilities. Kim Peek, the real Rain Man, had severe motor skills deficiencies and could not walk easily or button his shirt. But he could read two pages in three seconds, one page with each eye, and remember everything on them. In fact he remembered every word of the more than 12,000 books he had read. Jedediah Buxton, a young English villager who could not write, was tested by the Royal Society in 1754 and proved his mathematical brain was able to calculate numbers up to 39 figures. But it is with highly functioning autistic savants like Daniel Tammet that we can get a glimpse of how this happens. Tammet looks like a normally functioning individual, but he had to forcefully teach himself social behavior. Not only can he speak 11 languages, but he has a condition called synesthesia that allows him to see and feel numbers. He learned Icelandic in a week to answer a challenge from a TV show and he once recited from memory Pi to 22,514 decimal places. He explains that he sees numbers and results of mathematical calculations as a canvass of colors, textures and shapes. A Californian University has found links between Synesthesia and Savant Mathematical Skills. Another well-known and high functioning savant, artist and number theorist Jason Padgett, had been drawing fractal diagrams before he had any mathematical backgrounds. He also reinforces the hypothesis of a link between shapes, patterns, colors and numbers. This is a fascinating area of research, as it could lead the scientists to better understand our brain function, and maybe, improve it. Just as for autism, there is probably a whole range of savantism, from mild to severe. There must be many very gifted individuals around who could, in the right framework, benefit society and themselves in spite of social awkwardness. This interesting theme is the basis of the just-released thriller by Marc Brem: Rain Fund. Thought-provoking. About the Author: 相关的主题文章:

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