artificially creating autistic savants

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artificially creating autistic savants

Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:19 am

A minority of people with autism have one or more extraordinary intellectual talents, such as the rapid ability to calculate the day of the week for a given date, or to count large numbers of discrete objects almost instantaneously - they're often called 'autistic savants' or 'idiot savants'. Now Allan Snyder and colleagues have shown that by placing a pulsing magnet over a specific area of the brain, these kind of abilities can, to some extent, be induced in people who aren’t autistic.

http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com ... ed-by.html
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Postby Drazo » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:52 am

This is a bit off topic, but.... http://www.msnbc.com/modules/newsweek/a ... efault.asp

I scored 32.....which according to it is pretty high.

But I don't possess any extraordinary talents....other than being a good PITA. (pain in the ass)
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:09 pm

I got a 27.

Of course, half of the questions, there, needed caveats to the answer.

For example, the one where it asked if you're good at doing multiple things at once. That, imho, depends on the time scale. I'm not good at watching TV while trying to do some serious coding, however, at the same time, I can be working on multiple multi-month long coding projects throughout the course of a month. I work on one for a week, go on to the next one for a week, and so on and so forth. I couldn't, even if I had two computers, do them at the same time, but... blah.

Caveats, indeed.
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Postby OmegaFrost » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:48 am

-.- Ever since they figured out that they could turn off/on certain parts of the brain with emp they have been doing some of the most psychotic stuff. I personally would like to hear more articles about them testing the emp technique for safety, I'm sure they did it some but I would like to know more.
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Re: artificially creating autistic savants

Postby TerraFrost » Sun May 18, 2008 5:15 pm

Words failed me. I stuttered as Prof Vincent Walsh turned off the speech centre of my brain for a few thousandths of a second to demonstrate the power of transcranial magnetic stimulation, a popular way to interfere with the most complex known object in the universe.


Intriguingly, I could still sing Humpty Dumpty as he buffetted my Broca's: it turns out that singing is controlled by the right side of the brain, the opposite hemisphere to the one he stimulated.


But Prof Walsh is highly sceptical. "Brain stimulation does not release hidden talents and when it is used to improve things in patients, it comes at the cost of blocking some nerve pathways to encourage others."

source

Here's the wikipedia article on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcrani ... timulation
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Re: artificially creating autistic savants

Postby Catgirl » Sun May 25, 2008 2:11 pm

that's really bizarre... it did say that the effects completely disappeared after an hour or so, but the same could be said of several psychotropic illegal drugs. I wonder if they're doing any long term follow-up on the test subjects to see if there are any permanent effects?
the counting effect is quite interesting though, as most people can only instantly gauge the number of a collection of discrete objects accurately up to about 7 of them.

i got a 37 on that test thing... 0_o
not sure its completely fair or accurate though as there isn't a "neutral" option
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Re: artificially creating autistic savants

Postby Nuxius » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:49 am

I got a 23 on the testy thinger.

Some of those there was no real answer I could give though, like the "Would you rather go to a party or the library?" one, there wasn't a "neither" option. :p
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