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Published on Aug 22, 2015
An extraordinary documentary on the brainpower of Daniel T, the young Englishman who could be the world’s greatest mental athlete. Daniel is not just a calculating wizard, but also a memory champion and super linguist.
He speaks nine languages. Daniel, the oldest of seven children, has been able to do amazing calculations after an epileptic fit when he was 3 years old. He was even able to remember over 22,000 numbers in a public display of his ability. But how does he do it? Leading scientists explore the extraordinary world of this real-life Rainman. Daniel’s psychological make-up is explored by Cambridge University autism expert Professor Simon Baron Cohen who delves into his childhood experiences in an effort to explain his remarkable abilities. In America Daniel meets other extraordinary people like himself, known as “savants” --- including Kim Peek, whose story was the basis of the movie “Rainman”. Brain scientists at the Salk Institute in San Diego, including Professor V S Ramachandra, are astounded at his skills and discover the key to Daniel’s ability is his visual imagery which his brain “sees” when he hears a number, this condition is known as synaesthesia. To show it’s not just numbers Daniel can remember -- he also learns one of the world’s hardest languages, Icelandic, in just one week --- and gets interviewed on Icelandic TV after only 7 days of learning to speak it.