Kim Peek

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Over the past few weeks we had briefly discussed Kim Peek who is known as "the real rain man" and how great his memory was. In this article "Kim Peek, Inspiration for 'Rain Man', Dies at 58" Published by the magazine "Times" discusses this phenomenon. As mentioned in class, Kim had such a great memory he was able to do calendar calculations which is when someone tells Kim a date and he is able to tell you what day of the week that date falls on. However, what I thought was interesting was that the article states that Kim had a damaged corpus callosum and cerebellum; which are important for connecting the two brain hemispheres, regulating attention and language, and coordinating body movements. Although, this area was damaged his memory was above average. This is a great mystery to many doctors and scientists. After reading more about the brain I am still unsure how exactly Kim was able to have such a miraculous memory. Another thing I have found interesting is that even though he was extremely smart, he was unable to pick up social cues. Interestingly, doctors speculate that his neurons made unusual connections due to the absence of the corpus callosum; which increased his memory capacity. These special connections are probably also responsible for his ability to retain information as early as from 16 to 20 months of age, while normally, we learned in class that individuals are able to remember information/memories from age 4 and up. This article was very interesting and left me amazed with the complexity of brain's function. It helped me recognize the brain's pluripotent abilities and emphasized, why even today brain's function is not fully understood.

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