What if we all have great skill trapped deep inside of our brains that just needs a push to reveal itself?

The brain is one of the systems of the body that remains mostly a mystery to us. It’s something we all have, just sitting there, making us possible. Yet, we still know relatively little about how this organ works. It’s constantly surprising us with what it’s capable of. For example, one of the biggest surprises may just be when, after an injury, a new ability suddenly emerges.

It’s been noted that there are individuals who, when dementia sets in, have gone from having no interest in the arts to creating masterpieces like they’ve been honing their craft for years. There’s a child who suddenly knew exactly what day of the week any given date would fall on after a knock in the head with a baseball 1, and even a man who is able to draw complex fractals by hand after suffering a violent mugging. Today, we hear the story of that last man, Jason Padgett, and see how his life was changed seemingly overnight.

The way that Acquired Savant Syndrome works is still mostly unknown to science, but it’s believed that following a disturbance in the brain, the unaffected areas kick into overdrive, giving the person access to spaces that most others aren’t able to tap into. 2

ABC News quoted neuroscientist and philosophy professor, Berit Brogaard, who says “savant syndrome is the development of a particular skill, that can be mathematical, spatial, or autistic, that develop to an extreme degree that sort of makes a person superhuman.” 3

So, what is it be like to just become superhuman?

Here’s how Jason Padgett navigated the surprising side effects of his attack in 2002 in this beautiful film presented by Great Big Story and CNN titled, “The Acquired Savant”.

The thing is, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll suddenly become a savant because you’ve suffered a head injury (to be clear, we are in no way telling you to try). Is it possible that there could be a safe way to access these areas of our brains that show what we’re truly skilled in? Or would that ruin the beauty in the process of figuring it all out ourselves throughout life?

Or maybe, is becoming a savant one of the only positive outcomes from the otherwise troubling circumstances that these individuals are working through?

Furthermore, if you want to hear more about Jason Padgett’s experience, he gave a wonderful TED talk on the Alternate Realities from Relativity that you can find here!

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” – Albert Einstein

How weird is it that we don’t really know how our brain works?

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Notes:

  1. Treffert, Darold, MD. “The “Acquired” Savant.” Wisconsin Medical Society. Wisconsin Medical Society, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2018. <https://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/professional/savant-syndrome/resources/articles/the-acquired-savant/>.
  2. Knaub, Kelly. “Health News.” ABC News Radio. ABC News, 28 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2018. <http://abcnewsradioonline.com/health-news/tag/jason-padgett#ixzz2DBskZmPr>.
  3. Knaub, Kelly. “Health News.” ABC News Radio. ABC News, 28 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2018. <http://abcnewsradioonline.com/health-news/tag/jason-padgett#ixzz2DBskZmPr>.
  4.  “Meet the Accidental Genius.” YouTube. Great Big Story, 13 Dec. 2016. Web. 09 Feb. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H6doOmS-eM>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.

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