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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Pretty interesting article ... seeing numbers as images (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

John C
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Eternal Order
I THINK therefore I wrote
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The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
Mr. Mindbender
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Inner circle
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I think the film they mention in the article was turned into a TV show for the Science Channel (owned by Discovery), called Brain Main. It was a fascinating show. It followed him as he traveled across the US, meeting other savants, until he was tested in San Diego. One interesting point, he really hated NYC because it was so visually stimulating, over-stimulating in his case. It makes sense. The guy sees numbers as images, so all of the activity of New York must have really freaked him out.

A fun side note -- after watching it, my 10 year old daughter, Maggie, wanted to memorize Pi to 20 digits, so I taught her a quick memory peg system and in 15 minutes, she had it down. The next day in math class, the teacher talked about Pi and Maggie stood up and recited Pi to 20 digits. Not only was the teacher impressed, the other kids in class thought she was some kind of freak because as she recited the numbers, she kept turning herself around the room -- the peg system I taught her involved linking images for numbers to the various items in our living room, so she was spinning around as she visualized our living room in her mind -- she was quite the hit that day!
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Always has puzzled me as to why some of the simpler mnemonics systems aren't taught more explicitly in schools. As so much of earliest learning is remembering lists and rules, it would seem to be very helpful.
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That was a great read John, thank you for that.
Dick Christian
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Apart from the fact that he is autistic, the syndrome afflicting Daniel Tammett, while not exactly the same, is rather similar to a rare condition known as "synesthesia" which results in what can only be described as a "mixing" of the senses, e.g., sounds may be "seen" as colors, etc. There have been several TV shows dealing with the condition. As I recall, while some of those who experience it are autistic, many others are not.
Dick Christian
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