Once thought to be rare in people with ASD, research over the past few years suggests that savantism may be more common than previously expected. Exactly how and why some people develop extraordinary talents remains a mystery, but researchers are beginning to put together missing pieces of the puzzle, from genes to neurobiology.
In a recent article in “Spectrum News,” researchers characterize the prevalence of savant abilities in the ASD population and discuss the latest findings in genetics and neurobiology, which suggest a potential link between the two. Some neurological evidence suggests a compensatory effort by the brain to enhance hemisphere specific function as a result of lost or diminished function in other areas of the brain. This may involve a functional reallocation and/or recruitment of cognitive resources, leading to remarkable skills in working memory and heightened perception. In addition, genetic findings point to a potential link between prodigies and people on the autism spectrum. To learn more and read the entire article, visit Spectrum News.