Does the human brain have hidden super-powers?

By Mark O’Neill

head_and_brain.jpgBeing epileptic, I have had a deep interest in neuroscience for almost twenty years, and one of the most common things we know about the brain is that there’s a lot of things we still DON’T know about it.

But thanks to some accident victims who have subsequently suffered severe brain trauma, scientists have been able to unlock multiple “super-abilities” of the brain, abilities that ALL of us may have lying dormant – and undiscovered – within our heads – Heroes style.

Not all of the test cases owe their remarkable abilities to head injuries though. Some of the people involved are autistic such as Stephen Wiltshire who can glance at something and then make intricate drawings of it. Or Daniel Tammet whose near-fatal epileptic seizures now give him stunning talents including the ability to learn perfectly one of the most difficult languages ever, Icelandic, in only 7 days.

But it is the head injury cases which have excited scientists the most. It seems that damage to the brain has activated these normally dormant abilities and we are then given a startling glimpse into what the human mind is capable of doing.

Watch the following YouTube video to see Daniel Tammet in action doing complex mathematical calculations in his head – and watch him beat the calculator!






31 Responses to Does the human brain have hidden super-powers?

  1. i caught most of this on tv when it aired. it was fantastic. and yes he does learn the language. he ends up going on the talk show and conversing with the hosts pretty darn well.

  2. i caught most of this on tv when it aired. it was fantastic. and yes he does learn the language. he ends up going on the talk show and conversing with the hosts pretty darn well.

  3. I've seen this episode on the Discovery channel a long time ago.It's amazing.I believe that every human brain has 'multiple special abilities' that are locked and there exists a hidden way to unlock them.

    • Hmmm, anyone remember the movie with John Travolta named "Phenomenon"? That was an awesome movie.. Travolta plays a guy who starts to have strong psychic powers, and he later discovers that these powers are the result of a cancerous brain tumor that was unlocking some dormant section of his brain..

  4. I’ve seen this episode on the Discovery channel a long time ago.It’s amazing.I believe that every human brain has ‘multiple special abilities’ that are locked and there exists a hidden way to unlock them.

    • Hmmm, anyone remember the movie with John Travolta named “Phenomenon”? That was an awesome movie.. Travolta plays a guy who starts to have strong psychic powers, and he later discovers that these powers are the result of a cancerous brain tumor that was unlocking some dormant section of his brain..

  5. Interesting topic for sure … let me add a second source of info along the same lines. Check out this 20-ish minute speech by neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor as she talks about the brain, and more incredibly, about her experience of going through a stroke while consciously cataloging and studying the symptoms she was experiencing. The final five minutes are some of the most amazing video I've ever seen, even given the fact that all it is is a woman standing on a stage and talking. It's well worth the 20 minutes, and it bears directly on this topic. The human brain is a pretty awesome piece of kit …

  6. I'm awed and feel way out of my league even looking at this site because I'm a newbie geek. The comments were as much fun to read as watching the videos.

  7. I’m awed and feel way out of my league even looking at this site because I’m a newbie geek. The comments were as much fun to read as watching the videos.

  8. Interesting topic for sure … let me add a second source of info along the same lines. Check out this 20-ish minute speech by neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor as she talks about the brain, and more incredibly, about her experience of going through a stroke while consciously cataloging and studying the symptoms she was experiencing. The final five minutes are some of the most amazing video I've ever seen, even given the fact that all it is is a woman standing on a stage and talking. It's well worth the 20 minutes, and it bears directly on this topic. The human brain is a pretty awesome piece of kit …

  9. The brain might have parts of alien brain cells in that humans cant detect with man made technology. Since they say that the brain got hidden parts that are unknown to us……………….think deep.

  10. yea, but think about it, if companys get knowledge of the brain, they'll try to use it to control people. like they did now, all the food u eat from macdonalds and chocolate and gums, they added a liquid that makes u want more of that food. that what makes people fat.

    trust me. they'll soon go overboard