This article is about a man named Patrick Fagerberg, whose life was changed when a 30-foot steel camera boom fell directly on his head and caused a traumatic brain injury during a concert in Texas. Remarkably while recovering, Patrick began to pick up painting and was surprisingly good at it. Patrick had been a successful lawyer for 13 years before and was never interested in the arts nor had any artistic skills until this sudden incident. Art began to become a part of him, so much that it became his life and it would be on his mind every hour of everyday. The phenomena where a significant increase of artistic, memorization, or reasoning ability caused by a traumatic injury to the head is known as “savant syndrome.”
Those with savant syndrome usually had severe injuries to the left side of the brain which was the logical reasoning and mathematical side. By damaging it, it gave more room for the creative and artistic right brain side to become more dominant, which was the case for Patrick. There have been many other instances where people with savant syndrome have experienced a sudden significant increase in artistic and musical talent, lightning fast calculation speed, the ability to read and write and translate several languages, and superior memorization ability. It’s amazing to think that a talent had come to Patrick so easily by being traumatically injured. It’s also interesting to see what parts of the brain control what aspect of thinking for us as well as the hidden things it can unlock by altering it in such a way, making us almost superhuman. In the future, it may be possible to purposely change the physical aspects of the brain by small details in order to enhance our thinking and give us abnormal abilities and talents.
1. What exact parts of the brain would we have to alter to give us certain superhuman-like abilities or talents?
2. After all of these years of evolution, why weren’t we already born with our brain altered in such a way to have these amazing abilities hard-wired into us?
3. How does our brain even have the capacity for these abilities?