Just as some people can demonstrate great feats of physical prowess, there are those who can perform phenomenal feats of brain power.
Read about Brad Williams, the "human encyclopedia" with photographic recall of autobiographical events who is being studied by University of California-Irvine neuroscientists.
Read about AJ's superior memory: this private woman is also being studied by the neurobiologists at the University of California-Irvine.
Some extraordinary demonstrations of brain power are actually due to malfunctions in the way the brain works, or are even a result of damage to the brain. Others are due to long-term practice to develop specific skills. However, even the average person can take steps to increase their brain power. You might not set any records, but you can definitely improve your memory, concentration, and maximize brain power.
Savant Brain Power
Savant brain power is often associated with brain disorders such as autism. While this phenomenon is not well understood, it involves a combination of severe mental disability in some areas with extreme mental capability in others. For example, someone with savant syndrome might have difficulty handling social situations or abstract concepts, but have amazing powers of memory or the ability to perform complex mathematical problems in his head.
Savant brain power occurs in approximately ten percent of people with autism, and is more common in males than females. Other abilities demonstrated by people with savant syndrome can include perfect pitch, the ability to accurately measure time without a watch, or photographic memory.
Savant brain power can also occur in people who have suffered head injuries. Somehow the damage done to the brain opens up areas of brain function that were previously unused, or used in a different way. Doctors and scientists continue to study these phenomena in the hopes of gaining a greater understanding of human brain power and how it works.
Several real-life feats of brain power have been documented, many of them classified as savant behavior. Daniel Tammet is one example. At the age of three, he suffered an epileptic seizure. Since then, he has been able to perform complex mathematical problems almost instantaneously and learn entire languages in a few days. Of even more interest to scientists is that he can explain how he does it--he sees the numbers as images, and these images resolve into another image that represents the solution. While scientists don't know the exact mechanism for his extraordinary abilities, they hope his explanations of his mental process might help in solving the mysteries behind the causes of autism.
Kim Peek - "Rain Man" inspiration
One of the most famous savants is Kim Peek, who inspired the movie Rain Man. Born with several defects in his brain, Peek exhibits phenomenal memory feats. He can read an entire book in an hour, with a retention rate of over 98%, and can recall over 12,000 books from memory. He can also memorize lists almost instantaneously and perform rapid calendar calculations. Yet in spite of this extraordinary mental ability, he tests far below average on standard IQ tests. Researchers believe his brain, faced with Peek's birth defects, has made new connections different from those made in a normal brain.
National Memory Championships
You don't have to be an autistic savant to display great feats of brain power. At the National Memory Championships, everyday people of all ages and backgrounds compete in complex memory tasks such as memorizing the order of a full deck of cards or a list of randomly generated numbers. These mental feats are, according to participants, achieved through mnemonics and hours of practice. With records broken at nearly every competition, the National Memory Championship proves that even ordinary folks can vastly increase their brain power.
Average human Brain Power
The actual capacity of the average human brain is unknown. It's commonly believed that the average person only uses ten percent of their actual brain power, but this assumption could be based on a misunderstanding of how the brain works and how information is processed. However, it's fairly certain that anyone can improve their brain power if they choose. Memory in particular can be greatly improved through concentrated practice.
Ways to increase your Brain Power
Various games and study techniques have been developed that can help improve recall, focus, concentration, and other aspects of brain power. The popularity of these brain games and books about helping strengthen brain power demonstrates the growing interest in these topics.
Other factors that can increase brain power include reducing stress and practicing good nutrition. Providing your body, as well as your brain, with the right about of exercise and the right nutrients can help you function at a higher level both mentally and physically.
In addition, several specific supplements have been discovered that can help improve brain power. Constant Focus combines several of these into one supplement specifically formulated to increase brain power. By providing the brain with compounds it needs to increase circulation to the brain, lower stress, and help prevent the loss of important neurotransmitters, Constant Focus can be an important component in your quest to increase your brain power.