Skip to comments.Australian "Thinking Cap" Stimulates Creativity
Posted on 04/20/2002 7:33:20 PM PDT by prisoner6
Australian "Thinking Cap" Stimulates Creativity April 19, 2002 8:30 CDT
Autistic savants have long fascinated the medical profession. The rest of their lives profoundly impaired by autism, these amazingly resilient individuals have found a skill they excel at to such a degree that to call them "gifted" does them an injustice.
Savant Syndrome is a disorder in which individuals with neurological developmental delays in socialization and communication possess astonishing islands of brilliance that stand in stark, markedly incongruous contrast to the over-all handicap.
All forms of Savant Syndrome are associated with a phenomenal memory, which aids in the recognition of patterns in everything from musical rhythms to calendar counting. Lengthy passages and minute details can be recalled after only being exposed once to the work or route, often with a sensitivity to detail that reaches levels of artistry.
Some physicians believe that all humans have the innate ability to access such dizzying skills, but we lack the ability to awaken the dormant parts of our brain that would allow us to utilize them. Scientists in Australia believe that they may have finally done just that.
Professor Allan Snyder and his co-worker Elaine Mulcahy were able to improve the drawing skills of their subjects in less than fifteen minutes by using magnetism to stimulate certain areas of the subject's brains. Professor Snyder is widely respected in his field.
Professor Allan Snyder and colleague Elaine Mulcahy say tests on 17 volunteers show their device can improve drawing skills within 15 minutes. He told BBC News Online: "This shock finding that everyone might possess unconscious skills that can be 'switched on' with magnetic stimulation will challenge many of our conventional views regarding creativity."
According to BBC, the inspiration for the device comes from savant syndrome, a condition portrayed in the Hollywood film Rain Man. Savants are extraordinarily gifted. They may have amazing memories or excel at maths, music or art. But they also have developmental disorders such as autism.
Colleagues have expressed their anticipation to read the complete scientific paper. Early reports on the study and the subsequent findings can be found in the current issue of Chemistry and Industry magazine and are being warmly albeit cautiously received by fellow experts in the United Kingdom.
Does polarity matter?
Please stay out of my data center. With the magnets, I mean. ;>)
Good God!!! People, having their intelligence sucked out?