Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet of Broomfield, England, is another extraordinary memorist with synesthesia and durable imagery. He has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, and is one of 100 or so autistic people around the world categorized as "prodigious savants" or people with spectacular and unusual skills.

For Daniel, numbers evoke colors, scenes, and even personalities. For example, when bored, he will work out in his head the values of powers of 2, all the way up to 2 to the 20th power (1,048,576). This results in "bright silvery sparks" in his visual imagination.

How do Daniel Tammet's abilities resemble those of S?

Daniel's images, like those of Luria's mnemonist, can be retrieved and used as memory aids. In a public fund-raiser for an epilepsy foundation, Daniel recited from memory, without error, the value of pi to 22,514 digits. This took over five hours. Daniel has a lot of insight into his own mind and has written about his life in a book titled, "Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant" (2007).


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Copyright © 2007 Russ Dewey