The Savant Syndrome

The Savant Syndrome

The Savant Syndrome

intelligence

Rüdiger Gamm


Rüdiger Gamm (born July 10, 1.971) is a German "mental calculator". 

He attained the ability to mentally evaluate large arithmetic expressions at the age of 21. 

He can also speak backwards, and calculate calendars. 

Featured on the Discovery Channel program the Real Superhumans, he was examined by Allan Snyder, an expert on savants, who concluded that Gamm's ability was not a result of savant syndrome but connected to genetics.

In terms of mental calculations, Rüdiger's most notable talent is the ability to memorise large powers. 

In the 2.008 Mental Calculation World Cup in Leipzig, he recited 81100, which took approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. 

In the tournament itself, he performed strongly, finishing in 5th position overall.

They say we only use 10% of our brain. 

They may be right. 

If only we can figure out the strategies to tap into these mental capabilities. 

But even if you don’t figure it out, at least know that you are more extraordinary than you think you are. 

Rudiger, who regularly failed his math at school, has learnt at age of 21 how to activate the other 80 per cent of his brain, making him a modern day genius.

Also known as the Human Calculator, Rudiger Gamm was known in his school as being the worst one in math. 

As a matter of fact, Rudiger has failed his school six times because of his math. 

However, at age of 21, Rudiger discovered his mental abilities in memorizing and calculating the most complex mathematical problems. 

Soon, he became very demanded amongst scientist to study the anomalies of his brain. 

It didn’t take too long before he went to the biggest show in Europe (Wetten Dass), where he won the highest voting ever in the history of the show. 

In 2.006 Rudiger was part of the international documentation “Voyage Into The Brain”. 

In 2.007 he was documented in a Discovery Channel programme “Real Super Humans”. 

Rudiger published a book “Train Your Brain” in 2.008, and now for over 10 years works as a mental trainer for managers, sportsmen and schools.

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Elisabeth Sulser


In Zurich, there’s a woman with incredible sensory powers. 

When Elisabeth Sulser hears music, she can see it and taste it too

She is a synesthete. 

In the course of a 2.004 and 2.005 neuro psychological research project at the University of Zurich, in which she participated as a test subject.

Elisabeth Sulser was identified as having an uncommon form of synesthesia, a story which went through the international media.

Elisabeth Sulser is one of the “protagonists“. 

She tells of her life as a synesthete, meets with other synesthetes in England and is interviewed in the role of a test person by researchers at Oxford University.

Ralf Isau is an author and fantasist. In his new book about synesthesia, Die Dunklen, he has given Elisabeth Sulser's talent that of “seeing” musical tones to his main character.

What is synesthesia?

Synesthesia is a phenomenon whereby the direct or sympathetic excitation of a single sense organ simultaneously produces not one, but multiple sensations. 

In music : colour synesthesia, for example, one of the more common forms, aural sensations such as tones or words also produce visual perceptions. 

Similarly, visual stimuli may produce secondary auditory sensations, or sounds may actually be “felt”. 

Famous synesthetes

Numerous artists and musicians have been identified as possessing synesthetic abilities, including Alexander Scriabin, Frank Zappa, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.

What form does Elisabeth Sulser’s synesthesia take?

When Elisabeth Sulser hears music or even individual tones, she finds that what she is hearing is projected onto a “screen” in her head. 
The result is a constantly changing, kaleidoscopic painting. 

Colours change with the tempo, and the forms reflect musical figures: C – red, D – yellow, E – brown, F – green, G – dark blue, A – light blue, B – grey, C sharp – pink, D sharp – maroon, F sharp – violet, G sharp – turquoise, B flat – gold.

For Elisabeth Sulser intervals have a taste : that is, she perceives tones separated by less than an octave as a taste on her tongue. 

A minor second “tastes” sour; a minor third, salty; a major third, sweet; and a fifth like a glass of water. 

A minor sixth tastes like whipping cream, a major sixth like half-and-half; a minor seventh is bitter, similar to a major second; and a major seventh is sour, like a minor second.

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Eşref Armağan


Born in 1.953 in İstanbul, Turkey
Work field : painting

Eşref Armağan is a blind painter of Turkish origin. 

Born without sight to an impoverished family, he taught himself to write and print. 

He has painted using oil paints for roughly thirty-five years.

Using a braille stylus to etch the outline of his drawing, Armağan requires total silence to create art. 

Oil paint is then applied with his fingers and left to dry fully before a new color is applied. 

This unique method is used so that colors do not smudge. 

The art pieces themselves are created without help from any individual. 

He is also able to create art that has visual perspective.

In 2.008 two researchers from Harvard, Dr. Amir Amedi and Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, tried to find more about neural plasticity using Mr. Armagan as a study case.

Both scientists had evidence that in cases of blindness, the "visual" cortex acts differently than how it acts with the non-blind. 

Pascual-Leone has found that Braille readers use this very same area for touch. 

Amedi, together (with Ehud Zohary) at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, found that the area is also activated in verbal memory tasks. 

When Amedi analyzed the results, however, he found that Armagan's visual cortex lit up during the drawing task, but hardly at all for verbal recall, meaning that some unused visual areas might be used in collaboration with ones needs from the brain. 

Moreover in scans that were held while Armagan drew, his visual cortex signals seemed as he was seeing to the extent that a naive viewer of his scan might assume Armagan really could see.

Mr. Armagan is married with two children. 

He has displayed his work at more than 20 exhibitions in Turkey, Italy, China, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. 

He has appeared several times on television and in the press in Turkey and has been on programs on BBC and ZD. 

In 2.004, he was the subject of a study of human perception, conducted by the psychologist John Kennedy of University of Toronto.

In 2.009 Armağan was invited by Volvo, to paint the new model S60. 

As it was not meant for a TV-commercial, more of a community "PR-trick", Volvo made a series of documentaries, posted on Volvo's Facebook page, where Armağan paints the S60, as well as single parts, wished by community.

The painting was for sale on Ebay, and sold for US $3,050. 

The Canadian non-profit charity organization World Blind Union (WBU) was the benefactor of the auction.

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Scott Flansburg


Pen name : The Human Calculator
Occupation :Mental Calculator
Language :English
Nationality :American
Notable work(s) : Math Magic
Math Magic for Kids
Notable award(s) : Guinness World Record 2.001

Scott Flansburg is an American man often called a mental calculator. 

Dubbed "The Human Calculator" by Regis Philbin, in 2.001 he was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for speed of mental calculation. 

He is the annual host and ambassador for World Maths Day, and is a math educator and media personality. 

Flansburg has appeared on shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Larry King Live, and Stan Lee's Superhumans, and has published the books Math Magic and Math Magic for Your Kids.

Early life

Scott Flansburg was born on December 28, 1.963, in Herkimer, New York. 

Scott has stated that he was nine years old when he first discovered his mental calculator abilities, after he was able to solve his teacher's math question without needing to write down the calculations. 

Afterwards he would keep a running tally of his family's groceries at the store, so his father could give the cashier an exact check before the bill had been rung up. 

In his youth he also began noticing that the shape and number of angles in numbers are clues to their value, and began counting from 0 to 9 on his fingers instead of 1 to 10.

Early career

Flansburg can subtract, add, multiply, divide, and find square and cube roots in his head almost instantly with calculator accuracy. 

Around 1.990 he began using his ability in an entertainment and educational context.

He was dubbed "The Human Calculator" by Regis Philbin after appearing on Live with Regis and Kathy Lee.

The Guinness Book of World Records listed him as "Fastest Human Calculator" in 2.001 and 2003, after he broke the record for adding the same number to itself more times in 15 seconds than someone could do with a calculator.

In 1.999 Flansburg invented a 13 month calendar that uses zero as a day, month, and year alternative to the Gregorian calendar that he called "The Human Calculator Calendar."

In 1.998 he published the book Math Magic for Your Kids: Hundreds of Games and Exercises from the Human Calculator to Make Math Fun and Easy on Harper Paperbacks. 

A revised edition of his book Math Magic: How to Master Everyday Math Problems was published in 2.004.

As an educator

Since about 1.990 Flansburg has regularly given lectures and presentations at schools. 

He has appeared as a presenter at institutions such as NASA, IBM, The Smithsonian Institute, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Mental Calculation World Cup. 

The latter has described Flansburg as "more an auditory than a visual [mental] calculator."

According to Flansburg, one of his personal missions is to use education to elevate mathematical confidence and self-esteem in adults and children, stating "Why has it become so socially acceptable to be bad at math? 

If you were illiterate you wouldn’t say that on TV, but you can say that you are bad at math. 

We have to change the attitude.

" He is a proponent of students becoming comfortable with calculation methods instead of relying on table memorization.

Flansburg is the annual host and ambassador for World Maths Day.

He is also an official promoter of the American Math Challenge, a competition for students preparing for World Math Day.

Media appearances

Flansburg has appeared on television shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Larry King Live. 

On April 26, 2.009, while on the Japanese primetime show Asahi's Otona no Sonata, he broke his own world record with 37 answers in 15 seconds.

He was featured as The Human Calculator in the first episode of Stan Lee's Superhumans, which aired on The History Channel on August 5, 2.010. 

Part of the episode analyzed his brain activity.

An Mri scan while he was doing complex calculations revealed that his brain activity in the Brodmann area 44 region of the frontal cortex was absent. 

Instead he showed activity somewhat above area 44 losser and closer to the motor cortex.

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