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Thread: Amazing Brains

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    Amazing Brains

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    A Few Amazing Brains: Geniuses with Savant Syndrome

    If you happen to meet Kim Peek, a man from Arlington, Texas, he'll probably ask you when you were born. Then he'll tell you the year, and the exact day of the week, that you'll turn 65, just in case you want to consider retiring. He can also tell you what zip code you live in, and which highways to take to get to your house, no matter how far you are from home. Peek, nicknamed "Kim-Puter," knows as much about the Revolutionary War as any history professor and has memorized all of Shakespeare's soliloquies. His knowledge of NASA could rival John Glenn's.

    One thing he can't do? Drive a car.

    If Peek's amazing abilities sound strangely familiar, they should: He was the inspiration for Dustin Hoffman's card-counting autistic character in the movie Rain Man. Like Hoffman's character, Peek has what's known as "savant syndrome" – a rare condition, generally found in people with autism and other developmental disorders, in which individuals have high levels of proficiency in certain fields. Many autistic people have some level of savant syndrome, but Peek has what's known as "prodigious savant syndrome," marked by seemingly superhuman abilities, which would be astonishing even in a person without disabilities.

    Kim Peek has an extraordinary ability to memorize everything he comes across. He has read thousands of books, and has memorized every single word of them, along with huge amounts of sports trivia, directions, and much more. But he's not the only spectacular savant around – from music to art to math, here are a few other amazing individuals you may not know about.

  2. #2
    Member Acarson's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Homeless in North Carolina
    I have wondered about this since I heard many times as a child that we only use of very small percentage of our brains (I will take the position that they were not just talking about me). Do you have any belief if, based on those anomalies, we will one day evolve into humans with the brains to work at that level?

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  4. #4
    and this one's great too...

    Daniel Tammet - The Boy With The Incredible Brain
    Last edited by cljanney; 02-05-2008 at 05:13 AM.

  5. #5
    the system just had an epileptic hiccup...

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