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Mental calculator

Mental calculators are people with a prodigious ability in some area of mental calculation, such as multiplying large numbers together or factoring large numbers. Some mental calculators are autistic, with a narrow area of great skill and poor mental development in other directions (see savant), but many have simply developed skills in this regard. A good many are also experienced mathematicians, linguists, writers, and so on.

Mental calculators were in great demand in research centers such as CERN before the advent of modern electronic calculators and computers. See, for instance, the modern book The Great Mental Calculators , whose introduction was written by Eberstark (see below).

Michael O'Boyle, an American psychologist working in Australia, has recently utilized fMRI scanning of blood flow during mental operation in prodigies to display startling results. Mathematical prodigies achieve blood flow to parts of the brain responsible for mathematical operations six to seven times the typical flow.

Some mental calculators

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45