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Kim Peek (born November 11, 1951) is a prodigious savant known as a megasavant. He has a photographic or eidetic memory, but also social developmental disabilities, possibly resulting from congenital brain abnormalities. He was the inspiration for the character of Raymond Babbit, played by Dustin Hoffman, in the movie Rain Man. He is not autistic and likely has FG syndrome. Kim Peek was born with macrocephaly, damage to the cerebellum, and, perhaps most important, agenesis of the corpus callosum, a condition in which the bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain is missing; in Peek's case, secondary connectors such as the anterior commissure are also missing. There is speculation that his neurons make other connections in the absence of a corpus callosum, which results in an increased memory capacity. Peek did not walk until the age of four and still walks in a sidelong manner. He cannot button up his shirt and has difficulty with other ordinary motor skills, presumably due to his damaged cerebellum, which normally coordinates motor activities. In psychological testing, Peek, with an IQ of 73, has scored below average on general IQ tests. According to Peek's father, Fran, Peek was able to memorize things from the age of 16-20 months. He read books, memorized them, and then placed them upside down on the shelf to show that he had finished reading them, a practice he still maintains. He reads a book in about an hour, and remembers almost everything he has read, memorizing vast amounts of information in subjects ranging from history and literature, geography, and numbers to sports, music, and dates. His reading technique consists of reading the left page with his left eye and the right page with his right eye and in this way can read two pages at time with a rate of about 8-10 seconds per page. He can recall the content of some 12,000 books from memory. Kim also enjoys approaching strangers and showing them his talent for calendar calculations by telling them on which day of the week they were born and what news items were on the front page of major newspapers. Peek has also appeared on television. He travels with his father, who takes care of him and performs many motor tasks that Peek finds difficult. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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