Exploring the link between synesthesia, savant syndrome and autism may advance our understanding of cognitive talent and lead to a cure.
We are a group of researchers in St. Louis with collaborators in Denmark, Finland, London and Vancouver. Our research seeks to understand the connection between the three related neurological conditions of synesthesia, savant syndrome and autism. Synesthesia involves a mixing of the senses—stimulation in one sensory or cognitive stream involuntarily, or automatically, leads to associated internal or external (illusory or hallucinatory) experiences in a second unstimulated sensory or cognitive system. Savant syndrome is a condition whereby an individual gains abnormal skills limited to one particular domain. Autism is a disorder that involves deficits in social interaction and communication. Although an individual may have only one of these conditions, many savants are synesthetes and exhibit autistic traits. Likewise, savantism is highly prevalent among autists. We believe that exploring the link between synesthesia, savant syndrome and autism may advance our understanding of cognitive talent and lead to a cure.Read More
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