The Savant Syndrome and people with unique abilities

The name of this phenomenon was given by John Langdon Down- "Savant Syndrome", but in 1879 the father of American psychiatry Benjamin Rush noticed and described a strange symptom - a young man with mental retardation had extraordinary mathematical abilities - he could calculate how many seconds a person will live for any given him a period of time.

What is savantism?

Savant is a person who, along with certain mental abnormalities or organic lesions of the brain, has genius abilities. It can immediately calculate on what day of the week the specified number will drop out after thousands of years, recite any text by heart, seeing or hearing it once. All savants have a phenomenal memory. The syndrome has a long history, but only in 1888 J. Down, recognizing their idleness, revealed and the ability to learn with the right approach. The savant syndrome is a paradox, a genius and a limitation in one bottle.

The savant syndrome is good or bad?

The question "savannism is good or bad" is hard to answer unambiguously. People-savants suffer a serious mental disorder and are often very helpless in their daily life. They are difficult to communicate, elementary household functions. Buttoning up the buttons or turning off the light for them is a difficult test. Does it compensate for that "island of genius" that exists in their brains? With such outstanding abilities, the coefficient of mental development in them is rarely above 40.

Savant abilities

The term "island of genius" was introduced by Deroldt Traffett. It really is so - super-capable abilities against a background of general helplessness. Talents of savants are truly boundless. The following abilities are currently described:

  1. Mathematical . It can easily produce mathematical operations with six-digit numbers.
  2. Musical . Those who do not have a musical education, the savants, after hearing the melody once, are able to accurately reproduce it on a musical instrument.
  3. Overmemory - remember huge amounts of information.
  4. Drawing - can create masterpieces of fine art.
  5. Linguistics - they know a lot of foreign languages.

How to get Savant Syndrome?

The savant syndrome is congenital, genetically conditioned. It is often found in people with autism or Asperger syndrome, sometimes it is caused by violations in the intrauterine development of the child. However, people with acquired Savant Syndrome are known. These are people who have suffered craniocerebral injuries or CNS diseases with subsequent complications on the brain. In the savants, the hemispheres of the brain are unevenly developed - the right is anomalously developed, to the detriment of the left. Explain this by the increased production of the hormone testosterone, which suppresses the development of the left hemisphere.

Famous savannahs

Currently known:

  1. Kim Peak . He was born with the pathology of the brain - the right and left hemispheres were not divided at all. Has super memory. I read over 10,000 books and could reproduce anything from memory.
  2. Stephen Walshere is a savant artist with a phenomenal memory . Can reproduce any landscape, only once glancing at it.
  3. Ben Underwood - diagnosis of retinoblastoma, removed from the eyes, however, using echolocation, he perfectly oriented in space.
  4. Derek Amato - at the age of 40 received a concussion with 35% hearing loss and partial memory. As a result, he gained the ability to "see" music and became the most brilliant pianist of our time
  5. Daniel Tammet suffered an epileptic seizure in four years, after which he had mathematical abilities. It can produce any calculations with any numbers in a second. But we need to understand that it does not perform calculations in the usual sense of this action. The very process of calculation is completely unconscious for him. He "sees" him. The figures in his mind are certain shapes and colors, when two different forms merge into the third, with their color and unique shape.