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Encyclopedia > Autistic savant

An autistic savant (historically described as idiot savant) is a person with both autism and Savant Syndrome. Savant Syndrome describes a person having both a severe developmental or mental handicap but with extraordinary mental abilities not found in most people. This means a lower than average general intelligence (IQ) but very high narrow intelligence in one or more fields. Savant Syndrome skills involve striking feats of memory and arithmetic calculation and sometimes include unusual abilities in art or music. Savant Syndrome is sometimes abbreviated as "savantism" or "KC", and individuals with the syndrome are often nicknamed savants. This is a source of confusion since a savanter is a person of learning, especially one of great knowledge in a particular subject. Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all exhibited before a child is three years old. ... For other uses, see Mind (disambiguation). ... This article is about the philosophical concept of Art. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... Look up savant in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...



Savant Syndrome is usually recognized during early childhood and found in children with autism and other developmental difficulties. However, it can also be acquired in an accident or illness, typically one that injures or impairs the left side of the brain. Some research suggests that it can be induced, which might support the view that savant abilities are latent within all people but are obscured by the normal (i.e. majoritive) functioning intellect. Using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, Allan Snyder has found some evidence that savant-like skills can be improved in a healthy individual by a temporary disruption of the left front part of the brain - at least with some of the probates. [1] Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all exhibited before a child is three years old. ... A railing accidentally collapses at a college football game, spilling fans onto the sidelines An accident is something going wrong unexpectedly. ... Illness (sometimes referred to as ill-health) can be defined as a state of poor health. ... For other uses, see Brain (disambiguation). ... Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is the use of powerful rapidly changing magnetic fields to induce electric fields in the brain by electromagnetic induction without the need for surgery or external electrodes. ... Allan Snyder is recognised for discoveries in the fields of mind sciences, visual neurobiology, communications and optical physics. ...

Most autistic savants have very extensive mental abilities called splinter skills. However, it is important to notice that people with a high general intelligence can demonstrate the same skills; savant disabilities are not necessary for these skills. They can recall facts, numbers, license plates, maps, and extensive lists of sports and weather statistics after only being exposed to them once. Some savants can mentally note and then recall perfectly a very long sequence of music, numbers, or speech. Some, dubbed mental calculators, can do exceptionally fast arithmetic, including prime factorization. Other skills include precisely estimating distances and angles by sight, calculating the day of the week for any given date over the span of tens of thousands of years, and being able to accurately gauge the passing of time without a clock. Most autistic savants have a single special skill while others have multiple skills. Usually these abilities are concrete, non-symbolic, right hemisphere skills as opposed to left hemisphere skills that tend to be more sequential, logical, and symbolic. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Arithmetic tables for children, Lausanne, 1835 Arithmetic or arithmetics (from the Greek word αριθμός = number) is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. ... “Prime decomposition” redirects here. ...

Why autistic savants are capable of these astonishing feats is not quite clear. Some savants have obvious neurological abnormalities (such as the lack of corpus callosum in Kim Peek's non-autistic brain), but the brains of most savants are anatomically and physiologically normal; at least, there is no abnormality that modern science can detect. Some neurologists (see e.g., Oliver Sacks) theorize that those with savantism utilize an "innate" modular arithmetic to compute such complex problems as what day of the week a distant date (for instance, July 11th, 88182) will fall on. This article is about the branch of medicine. ... The corpus callosum is a structure of the mammalian brain in the longitudal fissure that connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres. ... Kim Peek (born November 11, 1951), is a savant with a photographic or eidetic memory and developmental disabilities, possibly resulting from congenital brain abnormalities. ... Oliver Sacks in 2005. ... Modular arithmetic (sometimes called modulo arithmetic, or clock arithmetic because of its use in the 24-hour clock system) is a system of arithmetic for integers, where numbers wrap around after they reach a certain value — the modulus. ...

There are only about 50 - 100 recognized prodigious savants in the world. [2]

Famous autistic savants

Jedediah Buxton (1707-1772), was a noted English mental calculator, born at Elmton, near Chesterfield, in Derbyshire. ... Alonzo Clemons is a U.S. autistic savant clay sculptor. ... Tony DeBlois is a US blind autistic savant and musician. ... Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the more successful adults with autism. ... Leslie Lemke (born 1952) is a blind American autistic savant who is most notable for his work as a musician. ... Jonathan Lerman (born 1987) is a US autistic savant artist Jonathan Lerman began to lapse into long silences at the age of two, and the next year he was diagnosed with autism. ... Gottfried Mind (1768-1811) was a German autistic savant who specialized in drawing. ... Oe Hikari (大江 光) (1963-) is a Japanese composer who has autism. ... Derek Paravicini (b. ... Kim Peek (born November 11, 1951), is a savant with a photographic or eidetic memory and developmental disabilities, possibly resulting from congenital brain abnormalities. ... Eidetic memory, photographic memory, or total recall, is the ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory with extreme accuracy and in seemingly abundant volume. ... Rain Man is a 1988 film which tells the story of a selfish yuppie who discovers that his father has left all of his estate to the autistic brother he never knew he had. ... James Henry Pullen (1835–1916), also known as the Genius of Earlswood Asylum, was a British autistic savant, probably suffering from aphasia. ... Matt Savage (born 1992) is an an American autistic savant musician. ... Serrell is an acquired savant or someone who exhibits savant skills after suffering a head injury or a stroke to the left hemisphere of the brain. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The poor poet A poet is a person who writes poetry. ... A writer is anyone who creates a written work, although the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ... The definition of an artist is wide-ranging and covers a broad spectrum of activities to do with creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. ... Daniel Paul Tammet (b. ... Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia, plural synesthesiae or synaesthesiae)—from the Ancient Greek (syn), meaning with, and (aisthēsis), meaning sensation—is a neurologically based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. ... Gilles Trehin (b. ... Richard Wawro (born 1952, died 2006) was a British autistic savant artist who lived in Scotland. ... Memory plays a dominant role for George Widener, both in his personal life and his artwork. ... Thomas Blind Tom Wiggins (May 25, 1849 - June 13, 1908) was an African American autistic savant and musical prodigy. ... Stephen Wiltshire Stephen Wiltshire: Times Square - oil on canvas Tokyo skyline Stephen Wiltshire MBE, (born 1974) is an accomplished architectural artist who has been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. ...

Case histories of autistic savants

An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales is a 1995 book by neurologist Oliver Sacks consisting of seven medical case histories of individuals with neurological conditions such as autism and Tourette syndrome. ... Neurology is the branch of medicine that deals with the nervous system and disorders affecting it. ... Oliver Sacks in 2005. ...

See also

Fictional characters described by the authors as having conditions on the autistic spectrum. ... This is a list of noteworthy people known to have a condition on the autistic spectrum. ... A number of famous people have been speculated by reputable sources to have had autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome. ...

Further reading

  • O'Connor N., Cowan R., & Samella K. (2000) "Calendric Calculation and Intelligence." Intelligence 28, 31–48.
  • Pearce J.C. (1992) Evolution's End: Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence, HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco. ISBN
  • Snyder A.W. et al. (2003) "Savant-like skills exposed in normal people by suppressing the left fronto-temporal lobe." J. Integrative Neuroscience 2, 149–158.
  • Snyder A.W. (2001) "Paradox of the savant mind." Nature 413, 251–252.
  • Snyder A.W., & Michell D.J. (1999) "Is integer arithmetic fundamental to mental processing?: the mind's secret arithmetic?" Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 266, 587–592.
  • Tammet Daniel (2006)Born On A Blue Day, Hodder & Stoughton, London.
  • Treffert D.A. (2000) Extraordinary People, Bantom Press, London.
  • Treffert D.A. (1988) "The Idiot Savant: A review of the Syndrome." Am. J. Psychiatry 145, 563–572.

Intelligence is a psychology journal that addresses intelligence and psychometrics. ... Joseph Chilton Pearce is the author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child, Magical Child Matures, Bond of Power and Evolutions End. ... Nature is a prominent scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. ... kkdkd ...


  1. ^ Unknown. Original author provided website to Wisconsin Medical Society, [1]
  2. ^ Martin, D. (2006). "Savants: Charting Islands of Genius," CNN Health, September 18, [2]
  3. ^ Pesenti, M., Zago, L. Crivello, F., Mellet, E., Samson, D., Duroux, B., Seron, X., Mazoyer, B., & Tzourio-Mazoyer, N. (2001). Mental calculation in a prodigy is sustained by right prefrontal and medial-temporal areas. Nature Neuroscience, 4(1), 103-107.

External links

  • Wisconsin Medical Society: Savant Syndrome

  Results from FactBites:
The Savant Academy (1070 words)
A savant is someone with a mental/cognitive disability who, at the same time, demonstrates special skills, intelligence, or aptitudes.
Savants may demonstrate, for example, an ability to recite pages of text on a single hearing, to multiply six-digit numbers in their head, or to memorize and perform any song played for them just once.
Savant Syndrome should be regarded as a ‘spectrum’ diagnosis, encompassing many levels of competence.
Autistic savant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (839 words)
An autistic savant (historically described as idiot savant) is an autistic person with extraordinary mental abilities not found in most people [1], often in arithmetic calculation and memory feats but sometimes in art or music.
True savantism is usually recognized during childhood and is found in children with autism and occasionally in children with other developmental difficulties.
Some savants have obvious neurological abnormalities (such as the absent corpus callosum in Kim Peek's non-autistic brain), but the brains of most savants are anatomically and physiologically normal; at least, there is no abnormality detectable by modern science.
  More results at FactBites »



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