An engineering geologist who no longer can read the numbers.

The researchers reported an unusual case in the journal PNAS: RFS, a 70-year-old engineering geologist, began experiencing headaches, amnesia, tremors and difficulty walking in October 2010. Doctors have difficulty diagnosing the cause, and they suspect a stroke. Then they found out that he had cerebral cortex hypothese, a disease that kills brain cells. Then the numbers became increasingly unfamiliar with RFS.

It’s a disaster for a man who has been working in digital-related jobs all his life. He can no longer read price tags or speed limit signs except that work is affected. In the hotel he must mark the room door frame with a chameleon. But he was still able to do mind arithmetic and other math. He can’t recognize the numbers 2 to 9, but 0 and 1 can be recognized, either because they are similar to letters, or they may be related to deeper concepts.

An engineering geologist who no longer can read the numbers.

He mastered a new digital system, such as L for 2, ⌈ for 8, and so on. In 2011, a team of neuroscientists tested him and found that his problems were not related to visual impairment, but to the brain’s interpretation of numbers: once his unconscious brain circuit recorded a number, everything became chaotic.

An engineering geologist who no longer can read the numbers.

Scientists believe his flaws may help shed light on how consciousness is created. As his health deteriorated, it was difficult for scientists to continue their research on him.