Boy with the Incredible Brain

Boy with the Incredible Brain

What goes on inside the head of savant Daniel Tammet, who can calculate Pi to 22,500 digits and learn a language in a week?

KarmaTube features an in-depth look at the astonishing mental capabilities of savant Daniel Tammet, born in Britain, and from a young age able to do extraordinary calculations in his head. Skeptics have thrown a number of challenges at him, for instance testing his ability to recite to 22,500 decimal points the calculation of Pi. His language proficiency is similarly astounding: he is fluent in nine languages. Challenged to appear on an Icelandic talk show in one week, with no previous knowledge of the language, Tammet mastered it well enough to conduct an intelligent discourse, completely in Icelandic.

This documentary follows Daniel as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced that his ability to perceive numbers as textures, shapes and forms may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in everyone. He also meets the world’s most famous savant, Kim Peek, who inspired Dustin Hoffman’s character in the Oscar-winning film “Rain Man.”

Tammet, in his gentle unassuming way, has passed all the tests, including besting chess hustlers at memorizing the positions of chess pieces on the board. This video does a superb job of trying to get inside Daniel’s brain, to perceive the world as he does. While scientists study the correlation between his mild autism, childhood epileptic seizures, and phenomenal brainpower, Daniel offers this concluding statement about the phenomenon of savants: “The line between profound talent and profound disability is a surprisingly thin one.”

Length: 47:32

Writer, Director: Steve Gooder