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7 examples of famous savants with incredible talents

7 examples of famous savants with incredible talents

January 15, 2023

Imagine a person capable of memorizing a book page in 10 seconds, who is also able to memorize 8,000 books and memorize all the postal codes of a country as large as the United States. He would have prodigious mental abilities, right? Well, that person exists, and along with other people that we are going to talk about in this article, he has the savant syndrome (or the "wise" syndrome).

The famous savants that we will see have extraordinary abilities or talents , especially related to the overdevelopment of the right hemisphere: artistic abilities (music, painting, sculpture), visuals, mathematical calculations, mechanical and spatial abilities, etc.

  • Related article: "Savant syndrome, people with superhuman cognitive abilities"

Examples of famous savants

Although surely there are many famous savants that we are going to leave to comment, we will make a recap of what are possibly the best known worldwide . We must clarify that only one savant woman is included in this list, since at an epidemiological level women have this syndrome much less frequently.

1. Kim Peek

Surely it is the most famous savant in the world, in fact, the film Rain Man was made in his memory to publicize the case. Kim Peek possessed an immeasurable memory capacity that allowed him to perfectly remember the almost 10,000 books he had read (he hardly took an hour to memorize them), as well as memorize all the US maps in detail. In addition, I could use each eye to read a different page. Paradoxically, he was a person highly dependent on others, because he was not able to take care of himself and needed the help of others for the basic activities of daily life.

As a curious fact, in 2004 NASA was interested in the case of Kim Peek and wanted to study the functioning of his brain and brain structure through the realization of magnetic resonances. Finally, it was concluded that Peek very possibly He had a strange genetic syndrome linked to the X chromosome which is related to macrocephaly and hypotonia. In 2009, Kim Peek died of a heart attack.

  • Related article: "Meet Kim Peek: the incredible case of the man who could memorize everything"

2. Daniel Tammet

This Briton has become a famous savant because of his great ability to learn multiple languages ​​with amazing ease (He learned Icelandic in one week and speaks 11 languages, including Spanish), as well as his ability to carry out really complex mathematical calculations.

Tammet has acknowledged in his memoirs (Born on a Blue day) that he has Asperger, epilepsy and synesthesia. This character has the record in Europe in memorizing the number Pi , reaching about 22,514 digits in less than five hours.

As a curious fact, Daniel Tammet has created his own language, called "Manti", similar to Finnish.

3. Matt Savage

This young American with 25-year-old Asperger's Syndrome learned to read before 18 months of age. He is known at the state level for his musical gifts , both at the level of execution and in the musical composition. He has released several solo albums and also as part of Matt Savage's Trio and has appeared on numerous well-known American television shows, such as Late Show with David Letterman.

4. Stephen Wiltshire

Wiltshire is a well-known London artist who has a great ability to draw landscapes and urban or architectural buildings with only having seen them once . According to Wiltshire, drawing has always been his preferred means of communication, since as a child he had difficulties when communicating (he was 3 years old and he did not speak) and began using the artistic medium to express himself.

On one occasion he accurately sketched the old town of London after flying over it in a helicopter. His work became so famous that even the famous writer Oliver Sacks wrote a chapter about him in one of his books: An anthropologist on Mars.

5. Tony Deblois

Tony Deblois was born blind in 1974, and began playing the piano at the early age of 2 years. He was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and is considered "savant" due to his incredible musical skills . Although he says to be specialized in the musical genre of Jazz, he is capable of playing any type of music.

He can play more than a dozen instruments, so he has a great musical versatility in all its precision. Further, has the ability to play more than 8,000 memory songs thanks to his prodigious abilities.Currently, he makes several international tours, both solo and with his music group Goodnuf.

6. Temple Grandin

This American woman is a psychologist, zoologist, ethologist and university professor at the University of Colorado. He has publicly acknowledged that he has Asperger's Syndrome and has shared his subjective experience worldwide, always fighting for the rights of people with this syndrome. As in the case of Stephen Wiltshire, Oliver Sacks dedicated a chapter of that same book to the history of Temple Grandin, being one of the first first-person accounts of someone who had Asperger's Syndrome .

He has always been concerned about animal exploitation in the United States and the cruel methods of death used on American farms and ranches. He has worked to maximize animal welfare by devising ways to reduce pain and cruelty in killing animals for meat consumption, applying his prodigious abilities to re-design slaughterhouses and ranches.

7. Alonzo Clemons

As a child, Alonzo Clemons suffered a brain injury that affected his normal development, but he has an extraordinary ability to create very detailed and precise animal sculptures. He is considered a great sculptor of animal figures , which can be sold for $ 45,000.

Clemons can reproduce an animal in a clay sculpture in less than an hour with only having seen it once. In parallel, he also makes sculptures in real size, highlighting among them the horse versions.


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