The Brain That Remade Itself

Brain Image.jpeg

Doctors removed one-sixth of this child’s brain — and what was left did something incredible

(One Zero) – I put my hand on a bishop and slide it several squares before moving it back. “Should I move a different piece instead?” I wonder to myself.

“You have to move that piece if you’ve touched it,” my opponent says, flashing a wry grin. Fine. I move the bishop. It’s becoming increasingly obvious to me now — I’m going to lose a game of chess to a 12-year-old.

My opponent is Tanner Collins, a seventh-grade student growing up in a Pittsburgh suburb. Besides playing chess, Collins likes building with Legos. One such set, a replica of Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter books, is displayed on a hutch in the dining room of his parents’ house.

He points out to me a critical flaw in the design: The back of the castle isn’t closed off. “If you turn it around,” he says, “the whole side is open. That’s dumb.” CONTINUE