By People Staff
March 12, 2007 12:00 PM

>DANIEL TAMMET, AUTISTIC SAVANT

He sees numbers as colors and can perform advanced mathematical calculations in an instant. But Tammet’s most extraordinary gift may be his ability to tell the rest of us how that feels. From his bestselling memoir, Born on a Blue Day: “Emotions can be hard for me to understand or know how to react to, so I often use numbers to help me. If a friend says they feel sad or depressed, I picture myself sitting in the dark hollowness of number 6 to help me experience the same sort of feeling…. If I read in an article that a person felt intimidated by something, I imagine myself standing next to the number 9. Whenever someone describes visiting a beautiful place, I recall my numerical landscapes and how happy they make me feel inside…. Numbers actually help me get closer to understanding other people.”

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