Thursday, October 06, 2011

A quote from savantism expert Dr Darold Treffert about Daniel Tammet/Corney

"His digit span memory exceeded that of any one I had ever tested before and other tests of recall were, of course, entirely accurate."

I wonder whether the "other tests of recall" included any test of face memory?


Anonymous said...

Baron-Cohen reports Tammet's visual digit span as 11 (where controls score 6.5). The "Routes to remembering" study in which Tammet and 9 other leading memorisers participated report digit spans for the superior memorisers in the range of 11 to 19.

There is nothing here to suggest that Tammet's digit span is anything out of the ordinary for trained memorisers. This is one of many examples of Treffert and others making the mistake of comparing Tammet with untrained, rather than trained, memorisers, and reaching the erroneous conclusion that there must be something extraordinary about Tammet.

Mr Anon

Lili Marlene said...

Judging by what Treffert republished from Tammet's website at his own (Wisconsin Medical Society) website, he knew that Tammet had been a memory championship competitor, but I find it hard to tell whether Treffert appreciated that the competitors would have trained their memories, as Treffert referred to the study of the memory champions as a "study of prodigious mental ability". My grasp of the idea of the prodigy is that it is an extreme untrained talent, similar to savantism. Treffert loves to flog the idea of mysterious natural talent in his popular writings.

Lili Marlene said...

Oh no, my mistake, the quote with the word prodigious was presumably a quote originally taken from Tammet's website.