Kim Peek (1951-2009)

Kim Peek (1951-2009) was an American man, diagnosed with Savant syndrome, a condition in which a person with serious mental conditions (such as autism) is gifted with prodigious capacities in specific areas such as calculation, memory or musical ability. You might have never heard about him but you saw his story played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rain Man. Kim Peek’s special abilities started early, as at the age of 16 months he could read two pages of an open book at the same time, each page using one eye. He could also retain 98% of the information he read and for instance as he read hundreds of maps and encyclopedias, he could provide directions for about any city in the world. At the age of three he consulted a dictionary for the first time, to clarify the meaning of the word “confidential”. Later, neuroscientist conduced tests on Peek’s brain and discovered that he had no corpus callosum, the membrane that separate the two hemispheres of the brain and filters
information. What this meant is that basically “his brain was the equivalent of a giant databank”, making people call him “the living google”. He died of a heart attack in 2009 leaving his father who always took care of him. Check out this video about him!


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