There are a number of intriguing examples of notable creative ability and expression related to changes in brain structure and function from disease, stroke, injury, developmental disability or other conditions.
Darold Treffert, M.D., one of the foremost experts on savantism notes, “Savant syndrome is a rare but remarkable condition in which people with developmental disabilities, including autism or other central nervous system disorders, have some remarkable islands of genius that stand in stark contrast to their overall handicap.”
He refers to three levels of savant syndrome: “splinter skills…youngsters, or adults, who memorize sports trivia or birthdays or may even do some calendar-calculating…Then there’s a second level of savants that I call talented savants…Generally, they are more highly honed into one particular skill, such as music or art, for example.
“And then there’s a third level, which I call prodigious savants. These are people whose skills are so spectacular that, if they were not disabled, they would be at a genius level.