Beautiful Minds: The Einstein Effect (2006)

Beautiful Minds: The Einstein Effect (2/5)

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Video Description

A fascinating look at the relationship between genius and autism, with particular focus on the phenomenon of savants; a small group of enigmatic talents with extraordinary mental abilities.

Savants number less than 100 worldwide. Some can work out five-digit multiplication in their heads, or recite thousands of books by heart. Others can play a piano melody after hearing it only once. Over half of savants are autistic; others develop these super human talents only after brain injury.

With scientists now able to see billions of neurons at work in the brain, experts are now investigating whether it is in fact a defect that turns a person into a genius. Could the giant minds of the past - from Newton, to Mozart, to Albert Einstein have been autistic?

Documentary Description

Howard Potter is not related to Harry Potter. And his conjuring tricks are real. Howard's talents were discovered while he was counting peas. He was still a child when, while having lunch at his home in Bournemouth on the British South Coast, he started to complain badly that his brother Duncan "had two more peas" - after a glance at both plates. His parents recounted the peas and noted astounded: Howard was absolutely right.
Howard Potter is not a sorcerer's apprentice: he is what neuroscientists call a "Savant", a "knowing one". There are around 100 gifted savants worldwide acknowledged by science. Their extraordinary abilities are mostly originated by a defect during birth - a faulty connection among neurons in the brain. Savants and their mysterious talents are the most fascinating objects of contemporary brain research.
Savants remember infinite numbers, dates or relations - as natural as we walk or ride a bike. At the age of 6 or 7 they can play the piano or compose like Moz... (read more)


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