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Friday, August 29, 2014

CAN YOU GET SMARTER AFTER A CONCUSSION?

When I was four years old I fell through a window down to a concrete pavement and suffered a concussion.  I think I was told I landed on the top of my head.  I don't remember any pain or anything, except that all through my upbringing one of the family stories many times retold was this accident, usually accompanied by some statement about why I was so smart.  Which caused more laughter than anything else, but might have convinced me that I  was, indeed, kind of smart.

The downside to this mishap was that I regularly got headaches.  After a while Empirin seemed to work best.  However, while I was in college, I heard that this form of aspirin was soon to be discontinued.  Interestingly enough, when they stopped selling Empirin, my headaches went away.  I today searched through the internet to find out why sales of this pill was halted, but only could now find Empirin Codeine.  So if my headaches return, I might have a possible remedy.  That photo to the right is a really old bottle that shows an expiration date of 1980.  Interesting that eBay sold an old bottle of Empirin, without the pills, for $122.50.

I bring up this subject because I just read the latest issue of Scientific American where there was an article entitled Accidental Genius.  If you can't access this article, click on The Acquired Savant--Accidental Genius.  The stories are similar.

The operative medical term, acquired savant syndrome, is the process by which a blow to the head or another insult to the brain (as through meningitis) can stimulate various types of genius capability:
  • Orlando Serrell (above right) is knocked unconscious by a baseball, and suddenly can now remember the activities and weather for any date after the accident.
  • Jason Padgett (right, visit his web page, very interesting) becomes a victim of a brutal mugging and became an expert on fractals (has to do with mathematical patterns).
  • Derek Amato, while diving to catch a football, slammed into a pool's concrete floor while in high school, lost some hearing, had headaches and some memory loss. He awoke from nearly four days of sleep, with his friends in the room, spotted a cheap electric keyboard, and was able to produce rich chords.  He had never before played any keyboard instrument.
Males outnumber females 6:1 in autism and savant syndrome, which appear to be somewhat linked.  The genius act performed is not comprehensive, as this special ability has a narrow range.

It is not a sure thing that a concussion can jiggle you into brilliance.  Football players and boxers, for example, are not known to now and then become geniuses.  What exactly is happening anyway?
There are numerous examples of such aftereffects, but the cardinal point is:  Can medical science devise a means of accessing what possibly must be in the minds of all, without having to suffer through anything like a concussion?  

I debated getting into the details, but to reveal the depth to which research is delving:
  • There is a technology called Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.
  • A coil is placed over the left temple.
  • A pulsed magnetic field is delivered.
  • This charge shuts off the brain circuits on the left.
  • However, the right side, which is dedicated to spatial tasks, now prevails, and the patient  can better guess how many objects are in a bottle.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could someday walk into a brain doctor's office, get strapped into something like a CAT scan type device and walk out the world authority on "something?"  Sure, at this point of knowledge you won't know what you'll become, and you could well be ruined for life, but the potential of perfecting a process to create geniuses is something that has been on my mind since....well...

Actually, I did not acquire any savant capability when I fell 70 years ago.  If I have any special skill, it is not recognized by the authorities.  It turns out that what I'm best at is bringing together disparate concepts and people with varied skills and personalties toward the development of extraordinary opportunities that, to me, is obviously fabulous, but no so for most.  Part of the strategy is to not take credit for anything, and instead, pass on the benefits to those who participate.  Unfortunately the one flaw in my multidisciplinary efforts thus far is that nothing has really yet attained any kind of success.  But I continue to work on them.  My legacy someday will hopefully find reality in the Blue Revolution, Rainbow Colored Pearl Necklaces, Hawaiian Geo-Spas, The Venus Syndrome, BioMethanol Economy, Three Strikes and You're Dead, the Planetary Abstracting Trinterferometer and a full range of clever systems you can read about in my books (there are more, but three SIMPLE SOLUTION books are to the right above).

So, well, can you get smarter after a concussion?  Not impossible, but don't try it.  Someday medical science could well, though, find a way to tap your inner genius.

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