Of course he also suffers from PTSD/OCD but then again being a genius is so liberating that ….Padgett wouldn’t change his new abilities if he could. “It’s so good, I can’t even describe it,” he said“
have made some progress in figuring out how a man who received severe
brain injuries suddenly became a mathematical genius. They say that an
area behind the crown of the head, known as the parietal cortex, appears
to have become more active, according to a report in Live Science. This
region is known to combine information from different senses.
Jason Padgett was an ordinary furniture salesman in Tacoma, Washington,
US. In 2002, he was assaulted by two men outside a karaoke bar resulting
in severe concussion and an injured kidney. As Padgett recovered, he
suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, a psychological condition
usually seen in war veterans.
As he progressed, Padgett
realized that he was seeing the world differently – everything looked
like it was made up of geometrical shapes. He saw a circle as made up of
overlapping triangles. He could draw complex geometric shapes. He saw
shapes when shown mathematical equations, a condition known as
synesthesia where two senses get mixed up – you see a particular color
when you sense a particular smell, and so on.
One day a
physicist saw him making these shapes in a mall and was struck by
Padgett’s abilities. He persuaded Padgett to join college, where he is
studying number theory. As his abilities and how he acquired them got
known, brain scientists got interested in finding out what had happened
in his brain.
Berit Brogaard, a philosophy professor now at the
University of Miami and her colleagues used functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) to study Padgett’s brain, according to Live
Science. The scans showed that the left parietal cortex lit up the most,
while areas involved with visual memory, sensory processing and
planning also showed activity, according to Live Science.
transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) the scientists zapped specific
areas with a magnetic pulse which either activates or inhibits the area.
When the parietal cortex was thus zapped, the synesthesia faded.
According to Live Science, Brogaard has earlier shown that when brain
cells die, they release chemicals to increase activity in surrounding
areas. This may have happened in Padgett’s case.
that abilities like Padgett’s may be dormant in every brain and they got
released after the injury. However, Padgett has suffered other
consequences too – the PTSD, an obsessive-compulsive disorder and high
social anxiety, Live Science reports.
Yet Padgett wouldn’t change his new abilities if he could. “It’s so good, I can’t even describe it,” he said.