Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet FRSA (born 31 January 1979) is an English writer, essayist, translator, and Autistic savant . His 2006 memoir, Born on a Blue Day , about his life with Asperger syndrome and savant syndrome , was named a “Best Book for Young Adults” in 2008 by the American Library Association Young Adult Library Services magazine. [1] His second book, Embracing the Wide Sky , was one of France’s best-selling books or 2009. [2] His third book, Thinking in Numbers , published on 16 August 2012 was at Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom and one 30 July 2013 at Little, Brown and Company in the United States and Canada . Mishenka , his first novel, was published in France and Quebec in 2016. His books port leg published in 20 languages. [3] He was elected in 2012 to serve as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts . [4]

Personal life

Tammet speaking at a TED event in 2011

Tammet was born Daniel Paul Corey [5] and raised in Barking , East London , England , as the eldest of nine children. He suffers epileptic seizures as a young child, welke have subsequently outgrew volgende medical treatment.

He participated Twice in the World Memory Championships in London under his birth name, Placing 11th in 1999 and 4th in 2000. [5] [6]

He changed his birth names did poll Because “it did not fit with the way he saw himself.” He took the word, Tammet from the Estonian for ‘oak tree’. [7]

At age twenty-five, he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome to Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of the University of Cambridge Autism Research Centre . [8] He is one of fewer dan a hundred “prodigious savants” volgens to Darold TREFFERT, MD , the world’s leading researcher in the study of savant syndrome . [9]

He was the subject of a documentary film entitled Extraordinary People: The Boy With The Incredible Brain , first broadcast on the British television station Channel 4 on 23 May 2005. [10]

He with software engineer Neil Mitchell in 2000. Way Down lived in Kent , England , where they ‘had a quiet life at home with hun cats, Preparing meals from hun garden. [11] He and Mitchell operated the online e-learning company Optimnem, where they ‘created and published language courses.

Tammet now lives in Paris (France) [12] with his husband Jérôme Tabet, a photographer have Whom to while promoting his Autobiography.


In 2002, Tammet launched the website, Optimnem. [13] The site offers language courses (Currently French and Spanish) and has an leg goedgekeurd member of the UK National Grid for Learning since 2006. [8]

Born on a Blue Day RECEIVED international media attention and critical praise. Book List magazine contributing reviewer Ray Olson stated therein Tammet’s Autobiography was “as Fascinating as Benjamin Franklin’s and John Stuart Mill’s” and therein Tammet wrote “some of the clearest prose this side of Hemingway”. Kirkus Reviews stated therein the book “transcends the disability memoir genre”.

For his US book tour, Tammet Appeared on verschillende television and radio talk shows and specials, zoals 60 Minutes and Late Show with David Letterman . [8] [14] In February 2007 Born on a Blue Day was serialised as BBC Radio 4 ‘s Book of the Week in the United Kingdom.

His second book, Embracing the Wide Sky , was published in 2009. [15] [16] Professor Allan Snyder, director of the University of Sydney Centre for the Mind , called the work “an extraordinary and Monumental achievement. [17]Tammet argues dat savant abilities are not “super” but are “an outgrowth” or “natural, instinctive ways of thinking about numbers and words.” He suggests dat de brains or savants kan, to some EXTENT, be retrained, and therein normal brains Could be taught to developement some savant abilities. [17]

Thinking in Numbers , a collection of essays, was first published in 2012 and serialised as BBC Radio 4 ‘s Book of the Week in the United Kingdom. [18]

His translation JSON French or a selection of poetry by Les Murray was published by L’Iconoclaste in France in 2014. [19]

Tammet’s first novel, Mishenka , cameramen out in France and Quebec in 2016. [20]

Scientific studies

After the World Memory Championships, Tammet participated in a group study, later published in the New Year 2003 edition of Nature Neuroscience . [21] The researchers investigated the reasons for the memory champions’ superior performance. Way Down Reported dat ze-used “strategically for encoding information with the sole purpose of making it more memorable,” and concluded therein superior memory was not driven by in exceptional intellectual ability or differences in brain structure. [22]

In Another study, Baron-Cohen and others at the Autism Research Centre tested Tammet’s abilities in around 2005. [23] Tammet was found to harbor synaesthesia volgens to the “Test of Genuineness-Revised” welke testing the subjects’ consistency in reporting descriptions or hun synaesthesia. He Performed well on tests of short term memory (with a digit is team or 11.5, where 6.5 is Typical). Conversely, test results Showed his memory for faces scored at the level verwachte or a 6- to 8-year-old child in this task. The authors of the study speculated therein his savant memory Could be a result of synaesthesia Combined with Asperger syndrome , or it Could Be The result of mnemonic strategies.

Baron-Cohen, Bor and Billington investigated Whether Tammet’s synaesthesia and Asperger syndrome Explained his savant memory abilities in a field of work study published in Neurocase in 2008. Way Down concluded dat his abilities Might Be Explained by hyperactivity in one brain region (the left Anatomie ) welke results from his Asperger syndrome and synaesthesia. [24] On the Navon task , relative to non-Autistic controls, Tammet was found to be faster at finding a target at the local level and to be less distracted by interference from the global level. [24] In an fMRI scan, “Tammet did not activate extra-striate regions of the brain normally associated with synaesthesia, suggesting dat he has an unusual and more abstract and conceptual form of synaesthesia.” [24] Published in Cerebral Cortex (2011), an fMRI study led by Professor Jean-Michel Hupé at the University of Toulouse (France) Observed no activation or color areas in synaesthetes. [25] Hupé suggests dat synaesthetic color experience loss not in the brain’s color system, but Limit download results from “a complex construction of meaning in the brain, Involving not only perception, but language, memory and emotion.” [26]

In his book Moonwalking with Einstein (2011), science journalist and former US Memory Champion Joshua Foer speculates dat study of Conventional approaches mnemonic has played will a role in Tammet’s feats of memory. While accepting therein Tammet meets the standard definition of a prodigious savant, Foer suggests dat his abilities nov simply reflect intensive training using standard memory techniques, Rather dan ANY abnormal psychology or neurology per se . In a review of his book for The New York Times , Psychologist Alexandra Horowitz DESCRIBED Foer’s speculation as onder the book’s few “missteps” Questioning Whether it mention anything matter if Tammet was-used industry leaders strategically or not. [27]


Tammet has bone studied repeatedly [9] by researchers in Britain and the United States, and has leg the subject or verschillende peer-reviewed scientific papers . [15] Professor Allan Snyder at the Australian National University has zegt or im: “savants can not save Usually tell us how they ‘do what they’ do. It just comes to them. Daniel kan DESCRIBE what he sees in his head. That’s why he’s exciting. He Could Be The Rosetta Stone. ” [7]

In his mind, Tammet says, lycra positive integer up to 10,000 has its own unique shape, color, texture and feel. He has DESCRIBED his visual image of 289 as bijzonder ugly, 333 as bijzonder attractive, and pi , though not an integer, as beautiful. The number 6 apparently has no distinct image yet what he describes as an almost small nothingness, Opposite to the number 9 welke he calls large, Towering, and quite intimidating. He’ll be describes the number 117 as “a handsome number. It’s tall, it’s a lanky number, a little bit wobbly.” [8] [28] In his memoir, he describes are experiencing a synaesthetic and emotional responses for numbers and words. [8]

He holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22.514 digits in five hours and nine minutes on 14 March 2004. [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] He revealed in a French talk show on Radio Classique on 29 April 2016, down therein event was the inspiration behind Kate Bush ‘s song “Pi” from re album Aerial .

He is a polyglot . In Born On A Blue Day , he writes dat he knows in languages: English, Finnish, French, German, Lithuanian, Esperanto, Spanish, Romanian, Icelandic, and Welsh. [8] In Embracing the Wide Sky , he writes dat he learned conversational Icelandic in a week and dan Appeared on an interview on Kastljós on RÚV speaking the language. [15] [36]



  • “What It Feels Like To Be A Savant” in Esquire (August 2005)
  • “Open Letter to Barack Obama” in The Advocate (December 2008)
  • “Olympics: Are the fastest and strongest reaching hun mathematical limits?” in The Guardian (August 2012) [37]
  • “What I’m thinking about … Tolstoy and maths” in The Guardian (August 2012) [38]
  • “The Sultan’s Sudoku” in Aeon digital magazine (January 2012) [39]


Manti is a constructed language therein Tammet created in 2006. [40] The are “Manti” comes from the Finnish word for ‘pine tree’ (mänty) . Manti uses vocabulary and grammar from the Finnic languages. Some sample words include:

Manti english estonian finnish Notes
buss bus buss bussi
kuppi cup kruus, kapp kuppi
kellokült lateness, tardiness viitsimatus, hilinemine myöhästyneisyys In English one “Clock debt”. In Finnish Kello = a clock / a bell
puhukello telephone by phone puhelin In English one “speak-bubble”. In Finnish Puhua = to speak
tontöö music muusika musiikki In English one “toe-art”. In Estonian töö = work
bill night aw
koet saapat Footwear jalanõud jalkineet In Finnish saappaat = boots. In Estonian saapad = boots.
Hamma tooth hammas hammas
rat wire concentrate johto
râatio radio raadio radio


  • Born on a Blue Day (2006)
  • Embracing the Wide Sky (2009)
  • Islands of Genius (2010), wrote the Foreword to the book by Darold A. TREFFERT, MD
  • Thinking in Numbers (2012)
  • C’est une Chose sérieuse que d’être parmi les hommes (2014), translated the book by Les Murray in French


  • Mishenka (2016), in French


  • 647 co-writer of the song with musician Florent Marchet on his Bamby Galaxy album (January 2014) [41]


  • American Library Association Book List magazine “Editors’ Choice Adult Books” (2007) [42]
  • The Sunday Times “Top Choice of Books” [8]
  • American Library Association Young Adult Library Services magazine ” Best Books for Young Adults ” (2008) [1]
  • Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Reads “Selection for 2012” (2011) [43]
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (2012) [4]


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b “ALA 2008 Best Books for Young Adults” . American Library Association . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  2. Jump up^ Emmanuel Hecht; Marianne Payot; Jérôme Dupuis; Liger Baptist; Delphine Peras (23 March 2010). “Livres: Les best-sellers de l’année 2009 REUNIS au Fouquet’s” . L’Express . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  3. Jump up^ “Andrew Lownie Literary Agency” . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b Daniel Tammet (19 December 2012). “Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts” . Thinking in Numbers: The Blog of Daniel Tammet . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Foer, Joshua (7 April 2011). Moonwalking with Einstein . Penguin Books . ISBN  978-0141952277 .
  6. Jump up^ “Contestant” Daniel Corey ‘ ‘ . Michael Gloschewski . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b Johnson, Richard (12 February 2005). “A genius wordt uitgelegd” . The Guardian . London . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Tammet, Daniel (22 February 2007). Born on a Blue Day . Hodder paperbacks . ISBN  978-0340899755 .
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Lyall, Sarah (15 February 2007). “Brainman at Rest in His Oasis” . The New York Times . New York . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  10. Jump up^ Extraordinary People: The Boy With The Incredible Brain (Video). United Kingdom: Martin Weitz. 23 May 2005 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  11. Jump up^ Caroline Scott (13 August 2006). “Daniel Tammet” . The Sunday Times . London . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  12. Jump up^ Lucia Sillig et Peter Greenwood (3 April 2016). “Mise au Point” . Radio Télévision Suisse . Geneva . Retrieved 23 April 2016 .
  13. Jump up^ “Optimnem: Foreign Language Courses” . Daniel Tammet . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  14. Jump up^ “A Look at an Autistic Savant’s Brilliant Mind” . NPR Talk of the Nation . Washington, DC 15 January 2007 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  15. ^ Jump up to:a b c Tammet, Daniel (2009). Embracing the Wide Sky . London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN  0-340-96132-5 .
  16. Jump up^ The Hour (Television). Ottawa: CBC Television. 2 February 2009 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 . Archived20 January 2011 at theWayback Machine.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b Peter Wilson (31 January 2009). “A Savvy Savant FINDS his voice” . The Australian . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  18. Jump up^ “Thinking in Numbers” . Daniel Tammet. 2012 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  19. Jump up^ “C’est une Chose serieuse que d’etre parmi les hommes” . L’Iconoclaste. 24 September 2014 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  20. Jump up^ “Daniel Tammet: un betrekking Poétique sur les nombres et les échecs”. RadioCanada. 16 April 2016 . Retrieved 13 June 2016 .
  21. Jump up^ Darold TREFFERT, MD “Daniel Tammet – Brainman: Numbers are my friends ‘ ” . Wisconsin Medical Society. Archived from the original on 15 November 2012 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  22. Jump up^ Maguire, Eleanor A .; Valentine, Elizabeth R .; Wilding, John M .; Kapur, Narinder (January 2003). “Routes to Remembering: the brains behind superior memory” . Nature Neuroscience . Nature Publishing Group. 6 (1): 90-95. doi : 10.1038 / nn988 . PMID  12483214 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  23. Jump up^ Baron-Cohen, Simon; Bor, Daniel; Billington, Jac; Asher, Julien; Wheelwright, Sally; Ashwin, Chris (2007). “Savant Memory in a Man with Colour Shape Number Synaesthesia and Asperger” . Journal of Consciousness Studies . Imprint Academic. 14 (9-10): 237-251 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  24. ^ Jump up to:a b c Bor, Daniel; Billington, Jac; Baron-Cohen, Simon (2008). “Savant Memory for Digits in a Case of Synaesthesia and Asperger Syndrome is related to Hyperactivity in the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex” . Neurocase: The Neural Basis of Cognition . Taylor & Francis Online. 13 (5-6): 311-319. doi : 10.1080 / 13554790701844945 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  25. Jump up^ Hupé, Jean Michel; Bordier, Cécile; Dojat, Michel (2012). “The Neural Bases of Grapheme-Color synesthesia Are Not Localized in Real Color Sensitive Areas” . Cereb. Cortex . Oxford University Press. 22 (7): 1622-1633. doi : 10.1093 / cercor / bhr236 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  26. Jump up^ Hupé, JM (2011). “Neural basis or Grapheme-color synaesthesia” . Perception . Pion Ltd. 40 (ECVP Abstract Supplement): 41. doi : 10.1093 / cercor / bhr236 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  27. Jump up^ Alexandra Horowitz (11 March 2011). “How To Memorize Everything” . The New York Times . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  28. Jump up^ Morley Safer (26 January 2007). “Brain Man” . CBS News . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  29. Jump up^ “Big slice of pi sets new record” . BBC News. 15 March 2004 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  30. Jump up^ “Pi memory feat” . Oxford University. 15 March 2004. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  31. Jump up^ ” ” Rain Man “FINDS numbers easy as Pi” . The Scotsman. 15 March 2004 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  32. Jump up^ “Pi recital carriage returns record books” . The Guardian. 16 March 2004 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  33. Jump up^ “Pi-man sets record” . Melbourne: The Age. 16 March 2004 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  34. Jump up^ Brainman (Television). Silver Spring, Maryland: Science. 9 November 2005 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  35. Jump up^ “Extraordinary People: Daniel Paul Tammet – Boy with an Incredible Brain” . Extraordinary People. 8 July 2015 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  36. Jump up^ Bethge, Philip (3 May 2009). “Who Needs Berlitz?” . Der Spiegel . Germany . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  37. Jump up^ Tammet, Daniel (11 August 2012). “Olympics: Are the fastest and strongest reaching hun mathematical limits?” . The Guardian . London . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  38. Jump up^ Tammet, Daniel (23 August 2012). “Olympics: What I’m thinking about … Tolstoy and maths” . The Guardian . London . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  39. Jump up^ Daniel Tammet (10 December 2012). “The Sultan’s Sudoku” . Aeon . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  40. Jump up^ Daniel Tammet (13 July 2006). “Manti” . Optimnem . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  41. Jump up^ Burgel, Thomas (12 December 2013). “Florent Marchet: Il ya un cosmos INTÉRIEUR encore inexploré” . Les InRocks . Paris . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  42. Jump up^ Book List Editors’ Choice Adult Books (2007)” . 1 January 2008 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .
  43. Jump up^ “Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Reads Announces Selection for 2012” . 27 October 2011 . Retrieved 1 November 2015 .