Ever considered taking a knock on the head or two to up your math scores?
Well, it might not be the safest way, but in case of Jason Padgett, a furniture salesman in Tacoma, Washington, it got the job done!
Having sustained severe injuries after he was assaulted outside a bar in 2002, Padgett turned out to see the world around him in an entirely new way.
Brain injuries often lead to complicated results that stump even the best of experts in the field. In case of Padgett, his new found mathematical ability has been attributed to an increased activity in the parietal cortex region of his brain.
Having sustained a severe concussion and gone through post-traumatic stress disorder, Padgett realized that he saw the world around home filled with geometric shapes, in a way he never saw before.
Having noticed his ability, a physicist persuaded him to join college and soon, his new found math skills were there for all to see.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of Padgett’s brain showed that his left parietal cortex lit up the most, while other areas also showed activity that was above most people’s normal capacity.
Scientists believe that when brain cells die they release chemicals in increase activity in the other areas around them. This could well be the reason for the change in Padgett’s math skills.
Obviously this does not mean we all start getting hit on the head with a rod to up our SAT scores. But it does show that each of us have latent ability that can be harnessed by training the brain in the right fashion.