Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Memory characteristics in individuals with savant skills

By Linda Pring

Abstract

In this chapter it is argued that memory performance provides a coherent picture of savant abilities, even though the talents displayed make different demands on memory and learning. The chapter opens with an introduction to savant talent, to issues in relation to domain-specificity and modularity, as well as the role of practice and implicit memory. These topics have been picked out because of their relevance to memory and also because of associations with autism. Three sections then follow which focus on savant memory performance amongst numerical and calendar calculators, musicians and artists, where the evidence from empirical studies is placed in the context of the issues raised in the Introduction. Finally, a theoretical interpretation is presented which, it is argued, provides a convincing account of the development of savant abilities

Topics: C850, C810, C800
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.gold.ac.uk:2534

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1999). A date to remember: the nature memory in savant calendrical calculators. doi
  2. (1999). A pseudo-savant: a case of exceptional musical splinter skills. doi
  3. (1996). A savant poet. doi
  4. (1999). A specific calculating ability. doi
  5. (1993). A study of perceptual analysis in a high-level autistic subject with exceptional graphic abilities. doi
  6. (1999). A visually impaired savant artist: interacting perceptual and memory representations. doi
  7. (1994). Absolute memory for musical pitch: evidence from the production of learned memories. doi
  8. (2004). Absolute pitch in blind musicians. doi
  9. (2004). Absolute pitch, speech and tone language: some experiments and a proposed framework. doi
  10. (2003). Absolute pitch: a model for understanding the influence of genes and development n neural and cognitive function. doi
  11. (2001). Absolute pitch. doi
  12. (1997). Acquisition of expertise in music: efficiency of deliberate practise as a moderating variable in accounting for sub-expert performance.
  13. (1985). An exceptional musical memory. doi
  14. (1975). An investigation of calendar calculating by an idiot savant. doi
  15. (1991). An investigation of the calendar calculation ability of a Chinese calendar savant. doi
  16. (2003). Arithmetical savants.
  17. (1988). Art and illusion: a study in the psychology of pictorial representation. doi
  18. (2004). Artistic scientists and scientific artists: the link between polymathy and creativity. doi
  19. (1998). Autism and pitch processing: a precursor for savant ability? doi
  20. (1999). Autism: cognitive deficit or cognitive style? doi
  21. (1989). Autism: explaining the enigma. doi
  22. (1992). Beyond modularity: a developmental perspective on cognitive science. doi
  23. (2001). Bright splinters of the mind. doi
  24. (2004). Concept formation: ‘Object’ attributes dynamically inhibited from conscious awareness. doi
  25. (1999). Creativity and knowledge: a challenge to theories. doi
  26. (1996). Creativity in context. doi
  27. (1998). Cultural determinism is no better than biological determinism. doi
  28. (1974). Divergent abilities in the idiot savant. PhD thesis,
  29. (2006). Enhanced perceptual functioning in autism: an update, and eight principles of autistic perception. doi
  30. (2003). Exceptional memorizers: made, not born. doi
  31. (1989). Extraordinary people: understanding ‘idiot-savants’.
  32. (1990). Factors and primes: a specific numerical ability. doi
  33. (1989). Fragments of genius: the strange feats of idiots savants. doi
  34. (2000). Giftedness: current theory and research. doi
  35. (1990). How to build a connectionist idiot (savant). doi
  36. (1965). Identical twin – ‘idiot savants’ – calendar calculators.
  37. (1986). Idiot savant calendrical calculators: rules and regularities. doi
  38. (1998). Innate talents: reality or myth? doi
  39. (1978). Inside the mind of the antistic savant.
  40. (2004). Inventors: the ordinary genius next door. doi
  41. (2002). Lack of coherence and divergent thinking: two sides of the same coin in artistic talent? doi
  42. (2006). Learning and creativity in a musical savant. doi
  43. (2005). Learning and creativity in a prodigious musical savant. Edited summaries selected from the doi
  44. (1991). Linguistic modularity? A case study of a ‘savant’ linguist. doi
  45. (1995). Long-term working memory. doi
  46. (1988). Low intelligence and special abilities. doi
  47. (1991). Memory in individuals with savant skills 227//FS2/CUP/3-PAGINATION/BBM/2-PROOFS/3B2/9780521862882C11.3D 228 [210–230] 26.11.2007 7:31AM Howe,
  48. (2001). Modularity in musical processing: the automacity of harmonic priming. doi
  49. (1983). Modularity of mind. doi
  50. (2005). More than meets the eye: blindness, autism and talent.
  51. (1987). Musical inventiveness of five idiots–savants. doi
  52. (1989). Musical savants: exceptional skill in the mentally retarded. doi
  53. (1977). Nadia: a case of extraordinary drawing ability in an autistic child. doi
  54. (1997). Native savant talent and acquired skill. doi
  55. (1998). Natural talents: an argument for extremes. doi
  56. (2002). Numbers and letters: exploring an autistic savant’s unpractised ability. doi
  57. (1981). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – revised. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.
  58. (1995). Perspective production in a savant autistic draughtsman. doi
  59. (1993). Pring//FS2/CUP/3-PAGINATION/BBM/2-PROOFS/3B2/9780521862882C11.3D 227 [210–230] 26.11.2007 7:31AM Gobet, F.
  60. (2004). Procedural and declarative knowledge of word recognition and letter decoding in reading and spelling. doi
  61. (1998). Raven’s standard progressive matrices test. doi
  62. (2000). Savant syndrome. doi
  63. (1995). Savants, segments, art and autism. doi
  64. (1991). Semantic processing in the free recall of autistic children: further evidence for a cognitive deficit. doi
  65. (2002). Shape constancy in autism: the role of prior knowledge and perspective cues. doi
  66. (1988). Some observations concerning the musical education of blind children and those with additional handicaps.
  67. (1991). Talents and preoccupations in idiots– savants. doi
  68. (2003). tellusabouttheneuralbasisofautism? Autism: neural basis and treatment possibilities; doi
  69. (1994). The ‘intelligence’ of calendrical calculators.
  70. (1995). The abilities of a musical savant and his family. doi
  71. (1992). The cognitive unconscious: an evolutionary perspective. doi
  72. (2003). The creative and generative capacity of savant artists with autism. Unpublished PhD thesis,
  73. (1976). The creative vision: a longitudinal study of problem finding in art. doi
  74. (1979). The divine banquet of the brain. doi
  75. (1983). The great mental calculators. doi
  76. (1985). The man who mistook his wife for a hat. doi
  77. (1989). The memory structure of autistic idiot–savant mnemonists. doi
  78. (1985). The musical mind: the cognitive psychology of music. Oxford: doi
  79. (1998). The pictorial context dependency of savant artists: a research note. Perceptual and Motor Skills, doi
  80. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. doi
  81. (1999). The savant syndrome: intellectual impairment and exceptional skill. doi
  82. (1996). The structure and function of declarative and nondeclaritive memory systems. doi
  83. (1987). Visual memory and motor programmes: their use by idiot–savant artists and controls. doi
  84. (1985). Visual order: the nature of development of pictorial representation. Cambridge:
  85. (2003). What is specific to music processing? Insights from congenital amusia. doi
  86. (1988). What’s exceptional about exceptional abilities?
  87. (1993). Why do autistic individuals show superior performance on the Block Design task? doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.