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Whether people acquire savant syndrome or are born with it, they exhibit a range of astounding skills. Most share one common thread: tremendous memory.
By Adam Piore Posted 03.11.2013 at 11:40 am 3 Comments

Pure Genius Paul Lachine and Graham Murdoch

The inspiration for Rain Man, Peek could read two pages of a book simultaneously (one with each eye) and instantly commit them to memory. His recall of more than 12,000 books made him a walking encyclopedia. Peek, who died in 2009, could also sum columns of numbers in the telephone book.

Wiltshire, who is autistic, was drawing buildings by age 8. As an adult, he has created stunningly accurate portraits of cities from memory. In 2007, he flew over the Thames for 15 minutes, then sketched seven square miles of London’s streets, rivers, and buildings, precise down to the windows.


Blind since birth, Lemke has a verbal IQ of 58. When he was 14, his family watched a movie featuring a Tchaikovsky piano concerto. Hours later, his mother awoke to the music and discovered Lemke playing it. He has performed around the globe and can reproduce thousands of songs from memory.

. and perform lightning -quick calculations. In one case Chet Atkins was reported to have completed a song that he never heard. Savants have the ability to re-wire their brains to such tasks.161). Carollo gained exceptional mathematic ability after recovering from a severe auto accident at age 14. He perceives numbers and days as having distinct colors and emotional tones.FLO AND KAY LYMAN The identical-twin autistic savants can name the day of the week for any date. what they were wearing. what the weather was like. I believe that we all have these abilities or the potential for them. you'd think that any person on earth has the chance to do it also. Just months later. Since you can see one person do it. Many of the best musicians can do things like "knowing" a song from hearing it only once.514 decimals. He later passed calculus exams. Read our feature on savants from the March 2013 issue. I'd suspect that the brains ability to re-wire to each task is the issue. and what they did that day. past or future. DANIEL TAMMET Tammet can recite pi to 22.874. he did so instantly. JIM CAROLLO An acquired savant. he achieved a perfect score on a geometry mastery test without having studied. master a new language in one week’s time. though he’d never taken trigonometry. Asked by one researcher to compute 37 to the power of 4 (answer: 1. They also have prodigious autobiographical memory and can recall what they had for dinner on any given night. Every time I see these feats by such people I am always amazed. Les Paul made statements that he knew a song the first time he heard it. It seems that these people can more easily do such feats. jefro03/11/13 at 5:06 pm I am more of an optimist.