In the field of brain research there is no subject more intriguing than the savant – an individual with mental, behavioral, or even physical disability who possesses acute powers of observation, mathematical aptitude, or artistic talent. This three-part series provides an enthralling look into the psychology and neuroscience of the savant’s mysterious world. 3-part series, 53 minutes each.
Memory Masters: How Savants Store Information. Reudiger Gamm performs complex arithmetic instantly and without help – his brain stores numbers like a calculator. Orlando Sorrel remembers exactly what he was doing on any date, at any hour, and can accurately predict the day of the week thousands of years in the future. Kim Peek– the original Rain Man – has read 12,000 books and hasn’t forgotten a single word.
The Einstein Effect: Savants and Creativity. Mute until the age of nine, Stephen Wiltshire learned to communicate through realistic, richly detailed drawings. Alonzo Clemens sculpts clay animal figures with great precision, even though he can barely form a sentence. Matt Savage faced extraordinary developmental problems as a child but has become a teen prodigy among jazz musicians.
A Little Matter of Gender: Developmental Differences among Savants. One of the great success stories from the world of autism, Temple Grandin revolutionized the field of livestock management, empowered by her sensitivity with animals. Tommy McHugh displayed no such sensitivity – until a brain hemorrhage transformed him from a brawler into a gentle soul.
Watch the full documentary (158 minutes)