3What Is Science?Science is the study of how things work, how things are made and how we live our life.Science is all around us, because even air has lots of chemicals in it and chemicals is science.Neurology (our science) is in our everyday life because your brain is responsible for everything we do. Even watching this presentation uses your brain to process the information.
4Everyday UseDo you know your parents phone number? Do you know the street you live in? Do you know your own name? This is all thanks to memory. Memory everyday lives, because even knowing how to put on your shirt is memory related. We will give you a challenge. We want you to try and memorise a random 7 letter sequence. We will test you at the end of our presentation. Ready? Here it is. MIWNVNM. Got that? Try and remember it.
5History of NeurologyIn the early days, scientists didn’t know much about how the human brain works, due to the fact that they didn’t have modern day technology. In more recent times, technology has developed enough so that the understanding of the brain has developed. They were able to make machines that could monitor our brains harmlessly, and allowed them to read magnetic fields and other areas in our brains.
6SavantsHas anyone heard of a savant? Savants are people with extraordinary abilities, which to most would seem humanly impossible. Scientists diagnose savants with ‘Savant Syndrome’. This syndrome was created by the same person who came up with Down Syndrome. Scientists are trying their best to work out the savant’s brain and give us regular people their extraordinary abilities. There is just one problem. 75% of savant’s are severely autistic and disabled. This makes them an extremely hard subject to work on.
7Savant’s AbilitiesSavants have many unique abilities. There is no definition to what abilities you need to be classified a savant. The abilities that have been recorded that they have are;Musical abilities: Being able to play any piece of music flawless after hearing it only once.Calendar Counting: Being able to recall any day on any date around years in the past and the future.Mathematical: Being able to do extremely hard mathematical equations in a matter of seconds e.g. being able to do 36 to the power of 7 in a flash.Literacy: There has only a few recordings of literature savants, but one has the ability to read the left page of the book with his left eye and the right page with his right eye. It is estimated that a page that would take us 3 minutes to read, would take him 10 seconds!Telepathy: This is not a skill that is proven, but many people have reported a girl that could read their mind, and had the ability to predict small things, like a phone call that would be coming soon!
8The Rain ManHas anyone heard of the Rain Man? His real name is Kim Peek, and is classified by scientists as a ‘mega savant’. Well was. He died 5 years ago at the age of 58. He was the only savant in history with a literature ability. He could read the left page of the book with his left eye and the right page with his right eye. He also knew all the zip codes of San Francisco, which were all around 6 numbers long. Kim Peek had severe autism and relied on his 80 year old dad to look after him, after his parents divorced. When Kim was born, the doctor was late for a golf match and spent 5 minutes with Kim’s parents, telling them to leave him in an institution because he wouldn’t be able to learn or do anything by himself. He didn’t even have the courtesy to talk Kim’s parents through his thoughts, he just said chuck him in an institution and forget about him! Kim’s parents didn’t agree with the decision of the doctor and raised him on their own, but divorced later. Growing up was tough for Kim because of his autism, and didn’t have the courage to look anyone in the eye. Then, in 1987, a movie director called Barry Morrow wanted to make a movie about him, after he met him. After the movie premiered, Kim was no longer scared of meeting and talking to new people. He would talk to anyone he met, and enjoyed showing off his amazing knowledge of anyone. His most famous quote was, ‘You don’t have to be disabled to be different because we are all different.’
10Daniel TammetDaniel Tammet was born on the 31st of January He is 35 and lives in London, United Kingdom. He is a math savant with a twist. He has autism but is seemingly not active. Doctors can’t explain it very well but his autism has no effect on him, so he is practically a gold mine for scientists, because he can be tested and experimented on without him minding. His most famous for (as you saw) saying the first digits of pi. Pi is an infinite number with no pattern, and the closest fraction approximation is 22/7.
11Daniel Tammet Continued… When Daniel was young, he suffered from a severe seizure, which landed him in hospital. After that, everywhere he went he saw maths. Daniel suffered from synaesthesia, which links two parts of the brain that don’t normally link. The most common case is normally something like if you smell something, you will “see” a colour. Daniel has a rare condition that links shapes and numbers together. It still doesn’t explain how his brain does super fast calculations, but it explains why he sees shapes for numbers. So, if he sees something tall, it will remind him of the number 9. If he sees something empty, it will remind him of 6. These are just some examples of the thousands of numbers that he sees in his head.
12Dane BottinoDane Bottino is a self-taught artist. He started drawing when he was two years of age. He is autistic and lost his beginning language about the same age. He instead spent every waking moment drawing to express his emotions, desires and thoughts. Surprisingly, even at three years of age, he could draw with accurate precision. Scientists say it would be very interesting if he could tell them how he sees the world, but due to his autism, he can’t.
14Memory Test Did you remember the 7 letter sequence? Here it is: MIWNVNMDid you remember it? Scientists say it is hard to remember because you can’t visualise it well, because all the lines are too close together.