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Savant syndrome - Theories and Empirical findings

by Darius, Helene

Abstract (Summary)
Savant syndrome is a rare condition in which some people have extraordinary talents despite some serious mental or physical disability. It is a syndrome with remarkable features, standing in stark contrast to a person’s overall character. The term savant, or idiot savant, describes a person who, in spite of low intelligence, has a skill in some specific narrow area. Savants can have a specific talent in, for instance, music, art, calendar calculation or foreign language but whatever the specific talent is, it is always connected to extraordinary memory. Savant syndrome seems to be also connected to autism or autistic characteristics. In this paper I aim to give a clear description of the savant syndrome and explain its connection to autism. Further, I present how specific theories try to describe the causes of savant syndrome, and connect the theories to results of empirical research in order to give an overall view of the syndrome’s appearance. I will also compare the theories and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses with respect to the discoveries and progress that has been made within the area of savant syndrome research.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Skövde

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:savant syndrome autism left brain injury right compensation theory weak central coherence hyper systemizing

ISBN:

Date of Publication:06/08/2007

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