Published November 22, 2013
Can a concussion rewire the brain to make you more talented?
That’s what one high school junior is saying happened to him – crediting his newfound musical ability to a series of concussions he suffered in middle school, CBS Denver reported.
When Lachlan Connors was younger, his mother said he had no talent or passion for music at all, noting that he preferred playing in sports instead.
“He really had no talent,” his mother Elsie Hamilton told CBS Denver. “I would say, ‘Can’t you hear what’s next?’ with something like ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ or ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and he’d say, ‘No.’ “
But in sixth grade, Connors sustained a concussion during a lacrosse game and started exhibiting odd behaviors. His parents took him to a doctor, but Connors was given the okay to return to sports.
Then, Connors suffered from one or two more head injuries and had to be admitted to the hospital for weeks. After he was released, doctors told him he couldn’t play contact sports anymore – which broke Connors’ heart.
But during his recovery, Connors found that he possessed a brand new talent: He could play music with ease. Though he can’t read music, Connors can play music effortlessly just by ear. Now a high school junior, Connors can play up to 13 instruments, including piano, guitar, mandolin, ukulele – and even bagpipes.
According to Connors’ physician Dr. Spyridon Papadopoulos, no one can decisively say whether the concussions led to Connors’ musical talents, but it’s possible that the injuries activated a dormant area of his brain.
“The thought is just a theory — that this was a talent laying latent in his brain and somehow was uncovered by his brain rewiring after the injury,’ Papadopoulos told CBS Denver. “Clearly something happened in his brain, and his brain had to recover from injury and change happened. And change may have uncovered this ability no one knew he had.”