Eric mentions the late and much missed Oliver Sacks. One of my favorite examples from the book cited speaks directly to a view that was widely held among analytic philosophers in the Anglo-American world back when I was younger. The view was that there were certain contrast dependent terms such as up/down, in/out, before/after, and right/left which could only be understood as a pair, so that it was, it was said, impossible to understand the concept "up" and yet not be able to understand the concept "down." Sacks offers the example of a patient who had suffered a traumatic brain injury which left her able to understand the concept "to the right" but not "to the left." If she was sitting at dinner and wanted her knife, instead of looking to her left she would do a complete 360° right turn until she came upon it.
This has nothing to do with that example, but since I am talking about favorite scientists, let me mention the only time I ever read anything by Stephen Jay Gould with which I disagreed. Gould argued that professional basketball players who talk about "being in the zone" so that they could not miss, were actually wrong.The likelihood of streaks of successful shots at the basket (or hits at the plate, for that matter) was much larger than people understood. He pointed out that a 300 hitter in baseball was actually more likely than we thought to have streaks in which he hit successfully in a remarkably large number of games. He then claimed that the only streak of which he was aware that was simply outside the realm of probability was Joe DiMaggio's famous 56 game hitting streak.
I understood Gould's point about statistical probabilities, \but I thought he should have paid more attention to players who were actually in the game.If Lebron James says he was "in the zone," we should pay attention to him. The description of a baseball player as a "300 hitter" is a summation of his batting performance, not a characterization of them such as "6 feet tall" or "having very good reflexes." It is quite possible, and in fact I think actual, that some players are better at concentrating on their hitting even in games where it may not matter whereas others bear down only when they think something depends on whether they get a hit. A story about the great old notoriously curmudgeonly player Ty Cobb makes the point. The first time an old timers' game was held, Cobb showed up together with a great many other famous ballplayers from an earlier era. Most of them were just there to have fun, but when Cobb got to the plate, he turned to the catcher, said solicitously, "you had better back up a step or two. I have not hit the ball in some years and I do not want to hurt you by mistake." The catcher dutifully backed up, whereupon Cobb laid down a perfect bunt and beat it out to first base. You will recall that in the great movie "Field of Dreams," the other players called back from heaven to play on the field say that they did not let Cobb come with them because they thought he was such a son of a bitch.