Is There A Link Between Artistic Talent In ?savant? Artists And Putative Differences In Visual Processing Associated With Autism Spectrum Disorder? | 12500
Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
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Savants are individuals who display a striking ability in a particular area (e.g. mathematics, arts), such as extraordinary memory
for facts, numbers, calendar calculations, or absolute pitch. In relation to visual art, the phenomenal talent that characterizes
savant artists is their ability to draw astoundingly accurate naturalistic drawings/paintings. That seems to suggest that savant
artists process perceptual information in a distinctively different way than non-gifted individuals. According to Treffert (2009),
such phenomenal drawing abilities are far more common among people with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD; i.e. autism
and Asperger?s syndrome), although not necessarily confined to ASD diagnosis. What is more, neither do all ASD individuals
demonstrate such exceptional abilities. However, research over the past years has suggested that ASD savants possess superior
visuospatial skills that could theoretically explain, at least in part, the artistic talent of savant artists. This paper will present
theories of visual processing in ASD and will discuss specific examples of differential perceptual processing in ASD in order to
demonstrate how these can lead to the manifestation of talent in savant artists.
Stamatis Beltsos has completed his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with the Honours at St. Andrews University and he is doing postgraduate
studies at Cambridge University School of Education. He has published in reputed journals and international conferences and he is an accredited
meber of the British Psychological Society.
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