Savant For A Day

from the fascinating dept

An absolutely fascinating article from the latest NY Times Magazine looking into some research being done on getting more out of people’s brains by shutting down parts of the brain. The idea is to basically mimic the brain patterns of autistic savants. The theory is that by shutting off certain parts of the brain (for limited periods of time!) using electrical stimulation, you can unleash some fairly stunning results. Apparently the researcher has had some success in his experiments – and even the reporter for the article had some impressive results. I’m always skeptical of these sorts of things, and there are plenty of skeptics quoted in the article. However, it seems like an area that probably deserves more attention. The article also suggests that everyone has some savant nature in them, and that these experiments might explain why children have the ability to learn a language fairly easily – but lose that as they reach adulthood.

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