A Beautiful Mind and Genuises alike.

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dodamaksoud | 18:53 Wed 20th Sep 2006 | Science
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I watched A Beautiful Mind (An Excellent Film!!) and it got me thinking, not just about John Nash but also about other geniuses like Einstein and so I came to this: Is it alright to say (and if I'm totally worng then sorry!) but is it alright to say that ultra intelligence causes maybe the brain to work places it didn't work before, in a sense it overloads its capabilities or specifically our capabilites as humans and so it makes us "crazy" or in this case, Schizophrenic just as Einstein's son for example, however maybe it seems to trigger only certain candidates. Now what I need is closure, or is it just a coincidence? How many incidences have happened like it or how does the brain work exactly?, even why does it happen? Thanks


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I don't think you can generalise that all "geniuses" are in some way mentally different from us.

Einstein is famous for a number of reasons but probably has no more right to the title than somebody like Bohr or many other less well known scientists.

However there is such a thing as Savant sydrome, usually autistic sufferers who can do stunning mathematical tricks, tell you which day of the week any date is and things like that.

Daniel Tammant is an interesting example though because unusually he can communicate and function fairly normally living an independant life and has recently published an autobiography - he famously learnt Icelandic in a week for a television program.

On the other hand Kim Peek has severe disabilities but has some ofthe most startling abilities able to read two books at a time for example with incredible recall (he was the inspiration behind the Rain Man film).
Unlike Dainel Tammant and most autistic savants he has structural brain irregularities.

So I'd say that most people regarded as geniuses are not that different from you or I but there is a sub group - the savants who are.
.beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are many forms of genius: art, literature, science, acting, sports, inspirational leaders, etc, etc. the list is endless. Perhaps as this is the science section we should mention that there is no established test for what constitutes genius. It is a highly subjective label. Because we don�t know what genius is we cannot measure it. Einstein, by all accounts, was not an exceptional student nor an especially gifted mathematician. He was however sane and rational. Newton was very odd.

There are obviously very many sane and rational people throughout history who could be regarded as genius. Perhaps we notice the eccentrics more because they are atypical. Perhaps it is defensive on our part to label exceptionally gifted people as different so as to avoid comparisons with ourselves.

A theory i once heard is that intelligent people think more about thier mortality and the world and this has an affect on their metal stability. Also people with very good memories can suffer from certain mental conditions due to all the bad experiences they remember building up over time. NOt sure how much scientific proof there is for this if any.
Birt, that sounds pretty interesting...and a bit worrying since I have a decent memory ;-) Can you perhaps remember anymore about that theory?


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A Beautiful Mind and Genuises alike.

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