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Publisher's Summary

Daniel Tammet has memorized the number pi into the tens of thousands of digits. He's learned new languages in a few weeks. He describes the gift - and the burden - of being an autistic savant.

Psychiatrist Darold Treffert regards savants as "islands of genius". He talks about a lifetime of studying savant syndrome.

Aubrey Ralph is an audio engineer and radio producer. He's also bipolar. Having a mental illness has made him acutely aware of how schizophrenics can shape and distort reality.

Long before Timothy Leary's study of LSD, psychiatrist Stanislav Grof launched his own investigation of psychedelics. Since then he's devoted his life to exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Some of the world's most celebrated scientists and artists have been dyslexic. Cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf says dyslexia can be a gift, but schools must learn how to teach dyslexics to read.

Ray Kurzweil believes we'll soon have tiny computers embedded in our brains. He says we're on the verge of a new era in evolution - a fusion of biology and machine technology. [Broadcast Date: December 5, 2012]

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