Human Body Month: My Brilliant Brain: Accidental Genius - Friday 16 November

NZTV Premiere: Human Body Month: My Brilliant Brain: Accidental Genius

National Geographic – Friday 16 November, 10.30pm

Learn how remarkable talents can emerge as a result of disability or trauma, not just in birth, but even quite late in life. George Widener is autistic, but he knows the day of the week for any date in history and thousands of years into the future with lightning speed. He is a prodigious savant, one of about a hundred people in the world with a serious disability but also a seemingly superhuman mental power. Ex-convict and former heroin addict, Tommy McHugh, also boasts a talent of inexplicable origin. For decades he had no interest in art until a near-fatal cerebral haemorrhage led to spontaneous bouts of artistic creativity during his recovery. Allan Snyder, an Australia scientist, has devised a controversial experiment in which he applies magnetic stimulation to the brain to trigger savant-like powers of perception in normal healthy people. Such research into the savant brain may lead to a revolution in understanding intelligence and brain function. It could even be the first step towards building a creativity machine.

Subscribe to our mailing list

About the author