Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 364 (1522), 1351-7

The Savant Syndrome: An Extraordinary Condition. A Synopsis: Past, Present, Future


The Savant Syndrome: An Extraordinary Condition. A Synopsis: Past, Present, Future

Darold A Treffert. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci.


Savant syndrome is a rare, but extraordinary, condition in which persons with serious mental disabilities, including autistic disorder, have some 'island of genius' which stands in marked, incongruous contrast to overall handicap. As many as one in 10 persons with autistic disorder have such remarkable abilities in varying degrees, although savant syndrome occurs in other developmental disabilities or in other types of central nervous system injury or disease as well. Whatever the particular savant skill, it is always linked to massive memory. This paper presents a brief review of the phenomenology of savant skills, the history of the concept and implications for education and future research.

Similar articles

  • [Neural Mechanism Underlying Autistic Savant and Acquired Savant Syndrome]
    K Takahata et al. Brain Nerve 60 (7), 861-9. PMID 18646626. - Review
    It is well known that the cases with savant syndrome, demonstrate outstanding mental capability despite coexisting severe mental disabilities. In many cases, savant skill …
  • Annotation: The Savant Syndrome
    P Heaton et al. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 45 (5), 899-911. PMID 15225334. - Review
    We thus conclude that autism (or autistic traits) and savant skills are inextricably linked and we should therefore look to autism in our quest to solve the puzzle of the …
  • Enhanced Perception in Savant Syndrome: Patterns, Structure and Creativity
    L Mottron et al. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 364 (1522), 1385-91. PMID 19528021. - Review
    According to the enhanced perceptual functioning (EPF) model, autistic perception is characterized by: enhanced low-level operations; locally oriented processing as a def …
  • Savant Skills in Autism: Psychometric Approaches and Parental Reports
    P Howlin et al. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 364 (1522), 1359-67. PMID 19528018.
    Most investigations of savant skills in autism are based on individual case reports. The present study investigated rates and types of savant skills in 137 individuals wi …
  • Savant Syndrome: Realities, Myths and Misconceptions
    DA Treffert. J Autism Dev Disord 44 (3), 564-71. PMID 23918440.
    It was 126 years ago that Down first described savant syndrome as a specific condition and 70 years ago that Kanner first described Early Infantile Autism. While as many …
See all similar articles

Cited by 37 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles