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Savantism

  • Date Submitted: 10/25/2010 09:38 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.9 
  • Words: 409
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An eidetic memory. Perfectly accurate human calculators. And a severe mental disorder. What makes some minds so perfect? Read on…

A rare medical condition. Unrecognized syndromes. An amazing mind. Savants belong to the handful of people worldwide who have some of the most amazing abilities. Savantism, as the condition is commonly called is a disorder which enhances a certain feature in a person’s brain. A problem, either genetic or acquired, the Savant syndrome is usually related to or is a result of autism, severe brain injuries or genetic disorders.

Take Steven from London for example. Known commonly as The Human Camera, he possesses a memory people will die for. Born autistic, he boasts of a perfect photographic memory. So, what’s so amazing about this? I can myself remember pretty much everything I see. Steven, is different. Unable to speak a word till he was five, and with difficulty in communication, he drew a perfect aerial view of London after just one helicopter ride when he was eleven. Also, after just a forty-five minute ride, he drew a five and a half yard picture of the ancient city of Rome.Perfect pictures. Accurate to the most minute detail. The best part? This was his first visit. Unbelievable, right?

So, how does this happen? Savants, already born or with acquired mental disorders, to make up for the impaired social skills, unconsciously notice the surroundings and take deep interest in them. May it be numbers, patterns, art or psychology, savants play close attention and learn a lot.

With the reasons unknown to modern day scientists, most of the Savants usually have an enhanced memory and are exceptionally brilliant at mathematics. Laurence Kim Peek, on whom the bestseller Rain Man is based, was an American Savant. Although not autistic, he did have a rare genetic disorder related to the X-chromosome. According to reports, Peek could memorize things from the age of one and a half years, could read books with the rate of eight to ten...

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