Savants and The Genius Inside Us All

A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London
A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do we all possess latent genius that is held captive by our brain’s left hemispheres? In many cases, either in childhood (congenital savant) or later in life (acquired savant or “paradoxical functional facilitation” by a blow or seizure or lightning) the damaged left brain “releases” musical or mathematical or artistic or poetic genius.

The intriguing question is: are such amazing skills and talents within each of us, and is there a way, short of a baseball beaner, to bring these talents to the surface?

Oh no. Here’s another storyline. Mad scientist perfects instant savants to order and a super-race is born. B-movie to follow.

Here are some links I read this morning on the topic, except I’ve saved “My Beautiful Brain” for watching this evening over dinner. Bon Appétit

â–º Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned – Scientific American

â–º The ‘Acquired’ Savant–’Accidental’ Genius – Wisconsin Medical Society

â–º The Amazing Stories of 6 Sudden Savants | Mental Floss

â–º Accidental Genius: My Brilliant Brain | Watch Documentaries Online | Promote Documentary Film

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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