Idiot Savant. A Good Research Paper Of Savant Syndrome

1906 words - 8 pages

The Idiot SavantA little boy quietly sits in front of a piano, with his fingers poised over the bright whitekeys. His teacher, seated beside him on the bench, plays a complicated series of chords,filling the air with a beautiful melody. After a single hearing, the boy begins to play,perfectly reproducing the song he has just heard. As the last notes fade away, the boy sitsstill for a moment and then begins to rock gently back and forth, only stopping once themusic begins again.... (Sural Shah)This is an example of Savant Syndrome. This child could be labeled as a genius or aprodigy, but it is shown it is Savant Syndrome by the child's expressions. After playing the boyhas no reaction except a cold unexpressive look on his face. The boy will not even respond tothe commotion around him. Savant Syndrome is almost always connected with low social andcommunication skills. That is why the boy will not do anything except for rock in his chair.Why this happens is unknown. Despite studies and years of studies with savants and autisticpeople, there still is no explanation of how it happens, or why it happens. However, in recentyears more and more scientists seem to be addressing the issue. This seems to be because thetalents of savants have become a huge interest to the scientific world. One of those phenomenaltalents is the ability to paint pictures while being unable to see. This is such a significant skill,but there is no way to explain how it is accomplished.Around the Eighteenth century, cases of people with low a IQ that demonstratedextraordinary talents began to get recognition. Before this time, the syndrome had goneunnoticed. We know that there are traits amongst savants that appear regularly. Characteristicssuch as virtuosity in a musical instrument, and showing photographic memory skills are verycommon in savant syndrome. We know that a savant's brain functions differently than a"normal" humans brain. Savants show skills of quick calculations and photographic memories.Calendar memory is also common. (This is where someone can recall the day of the week frombeing given the day number and the year.) While having these extraordinary talents, savantstend to have a lower IQ than most people. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,savants were often called Idiot Savants because of there low IQ as well as an ability to have suchadvanced skills in select tasks. In French, the term Idiot Savant is translated as a "smart fool".However, the term idiot in Psychology meant for a person to have an IQ of 25. This is notalways true. In most cases, Idiot savants have a IQ of around 50 - 70. An IQ of 70 is on thescale as the lowest to be "normal". Both the mildly retard and savants fall in the same IQ range.Persons previously defined as Idiot Savants are now said to have Savant Syndrome. This termwas clinically identified in the nineteenth century. It is recognized as a distinct psychoneurological syndrome because its symptoms are usually...

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