Television

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta Unravels the Mystery of Genius

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Airtimes: Indian Standard Times

Sat, October 14 at 1130am and 1930hrs

Sun, October 15 at 1130am

CNN’s senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta examines the mysteries behind genius and attempts to answer the classic nature/nurture question of whether high intelligence is inborn or the product of environment in a special one-hour program, GENIUS: QUEST FOR EXTREME BRAIN POWER.

A practicing neurosurgeon, Gupta starts with a look inside the brain and a discussion with scientists who are using cutting-edge brain imaging to find remarkable differences in the brains of highly intelligent people. Gupta’s quest takes him from the physiology of genius to the links and differences between intelligence and creativity.

In defining what a genius is, he meets savants – people with severe mental limitations who possess breathtaking talent – and gifted students, whose educational needs are often unmet. GENIUS visits Matt Savage, a 14-year-old autistic boy and two-time winner of ASCAP’s Young Jazz Composer award, and a mentally impaired young man with the ability to draw whole cities from memory after seeing them only one time.

GENIUS also explores the age old question of ‘Nature versus Nature’.

“As a new parent myself, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the best ways to nurture intelligence and creativity, especially in children,” Gupta said. “From that starting point, we’ve met all sorts of remarkable people, from those you might call geniuses or prodigies to the people who study the concept of genius from all sorts of perspectives. Hopefully, we’ll shed some light on the meaning of genius and the way great ideas are born.”

In seeing if biology or environmental stimulus is the key to succeeding, Gupta meets eccentric entrepreneur Robert Graham as he attempted to resolve this debate by creating a sperm bank with donations from Nobel Prize winners and viewers are given a unique opportunity to meet one of the offspring from this unusual experiment.

GENIUS’ journey then continues with a rare visit to a prodigy school where kids are offered a radically individualized curriculum and viewers get to go to “nerd camp” for summer school at America’s prestigious Johns-Hopkins University.

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