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Daniel Tammet is a high-functioning autistic savant. He can calculate huge sums in his head in seconds and instantaneously recognise prime numbers, but he finds emotions difficult to understand and has trouble telling left from right. One of fewer than fifty such people living worldwide, Daniel is unique in his ability to articulate his savant experience. He describes his visual experience of numbers as complex synaesthetic shapes with colour, texture and motion. Thirty-seven is lumpy like porridge, while eighty-nine reminds him of falling snow. Sequences of digits form visual landscapes in his mind. In March 2004, Daniel set a European record when he recited the famous mathematical constant Pi to 22,514 decimal places in a time of 5 hours. He has been extensively studied by scientists at California’s Center for Brain Studies and at the Cambridge Autism Research Centre UK and has been described as autism’s ‘Rosetta Stone’.
Books:Thinking In Numbers, August 2013
Born On A Blue Day, January 2007