Savants

This is something I originally posted on another (now defunct) blog on the subject of savants, specifically autistic savants. Thought it might be of interest here.

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This month (Dec 2003), two publications – Wired Magazine and Scientific American – have articles on the subject [of savants].

The first, Wired 11.12: The Key to Genius, discusses Autistic Savants specifically, with the tag line, Autistic savants are born with miswired neurons – and extraordinary gifts. The breakthrough science behind our new understanding of the brain. The article focuses on the history of a single child, a jazz musician savant.

The other, an article entitled Islands of Genius, is in the Scientific American Mind Winter 2003 special edition available for purchase either online or at the newstand. The article discusses several different savants, with widely varying skills. One of the key things they address is the tendency for savant skills to diminish as the individual is “normalized” into society.
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For more info, you can also go to the Wisconsin Medical Society site on the subject.

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