Segments in this Video

Effects of Brain Damage on Vision (07:15)


Jason Padgett sees movement frame by frame, and light as bursts of angles from pi. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin explains that damage to the V5 area of the visual cortex could be responsible. Padgett developed psychological disorders after an attack which led to brain injury.

Visual Experience (05:07)

After a traumatic brain injury, Padgett was fascinated by what he saw and began drawing and researching mathematical concepts. Berlin describes the organization of columns in the visual cortex. Padgett enrolled in algebra and found the equations he learned described the geometry he was seeing.

Causes of Acquired Skill (05:59)

Berlin speculates that injury can release implicit learning and allow the right hemisphere to dominate, although MRIs showed that Padgett’s left brain was more active while processing math. Padgett experienced a change in personality, becoming more introverted and interested in mental processes. He gained recognition for his experience and work at the Towards a Science of Consciousness conference.

Re-circuitry of the Brain and Origin of Skills (04:52)

Comparing Padgett’s brain with another mathematician to see if the same areas are active might shed light on the rewiring that occurred. Berlin states the idea that genius is latent in all of us is problematic. Padgett describes the grid-like images he sees, and how he discovered these could form the basis of calculus.

Brain Wiring (08:09)

Neuroscientists are learning that people with different abilities and perceptions have different wiring, showing that reality could be different from what we perceive. Padgett explains that though his obsessive compulsive disorder was a struggle, it helped him focus on creating extremely precise mathematical drawings.

Finding Beauty in Math (08:21)

Padgett does not regret the brain injury because it has allowed him to analyze and answer some of his main questions about the universe. He explains how he began to see symmetry in the visual illusions and found them beautiful. Berlin speculates there is a connection between emotional and reward centers of the brain.

Changes in Sensory Processing (05:12)

Berlin describes the process of obsessive compulsive disorder. Padgett’s sensory processing in the olfactory and visual realms changed immensely after injury. As senses change, cognition and perception of reality change as well.

Credits: Math Genius (00:04)

Credits: Math Genius

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Math Genius

Part of the Series : Brainwave: Mind Over Matter
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



When Jason Padgett was attacked by muggers outside a karaoke club ten years ago, he thought he was going to die. Repeatedly kicked in the head, his brain trauma caused him to develop a mysterious mathematical gift. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin, who studies war-related PTSD and brain trauma seeks to understand how this college drop-out became a math genius overnight.

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: BVL143699

ISBN: 978-1-64347-348-2

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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