Boy with the Incredible Brain
A remarkable young man, exhibiting stunning mental abilities. Daniel Paul Tammet born 31 Jan 1979 claims to see colours and sparks, which he can somehow relate to words and numbers. Scientists consider him a gold mine to further investigation into the understanding of brain activity and potential.
Daniel claims that since the age of four, he has been able to do huge mathematical calculations in his head. So the makers of this documentary put him to the test, asking him to calculate 37 raised to the power of 4. He completed this in less than a minute, giving the correct answer of 1,874,161. While considering the question, it was observed that, he appeared to be drawing shapes on the table with his finger. When asked about this, he explained that he could see the numbers as shapes and colours in his mind. This breakdown or confusion of the senses is known as synethsesia.
Next he was asked to divide 13 by 97. This time the researchers had the answer to 32 decimal places, Daniel gave the answer and continued beyond 32. He claims he can do the calculations to 100 decimal places.
He appears to be doing the mathematical calculations without actually thinking about it, which seems preposterous, but if true, blows away scientific theory.
Daniel's talents do not stop at numbers. He is very gifted with words and speaks nine languages and claims to be able to learn a new one in just seven days. To put this to the test, the documentary team shipped Daniel off to
In March of 2004 Daniel had his own surprise, in
His childhood holds a clue to his unbelievable brain. As a small child he suffered a number of severe seizures which were later diagnosed as epilepsy. Ever since this time he has been able to see the patterns in numbers. While this is rare, there are other cases where individuals have suffered injury to the brain only to emerge with a similar startling talent. Orlando Serrill was just 10 years old when he was hit, hard, on the side of the head by a baseball. Since when, he has been able to recall the day, date and weather of every day since the accident.
The scientific community refer to people with these extraordinary memory skills as savants of which there are only a handful in the world. The condition is often associated with autism. Professor Simon Baron-Cohen a
Daniel can describe what he is experiencing, making him very valuable to science.
Next in Daniel's travels is a trip to
We finish by visiting