There are savants in the world who are capable to great skills and memories like the artist savant who memorized what all of NYC looked like and sketched it out from memory. Are non-savants capable of things like this or do savants brains work differently due to being on the spectrum?

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There are savants in the world who are capable to great skills and memories like the artist savant who memorized what all of NYC looked like and sketched it out from memory. Are non-savants capable of things like this or do savants brains work differently due to being on the spectrum?

In: Biology

Not all savants are on the autism spectrum. But all savant have abnormal brains in some manner. So no, a non-savant person is not capable of doing what they do.

There’s probably plenty of things you do daily that to someone else, if they had never seen or experienced it before, would think it’s a savant like ability. Remembering a recipe, instinctively knowing how much pasta to add without it overflowing, remembering what all your guests are allergic to. With all the millions of things to remember over our lives, how do people remember all the things essential to a good dinner party.

It would appear that in general people have amazing genius-level latent abilities, but all but a few are able to use those abilities. Congenital savants – those born that way – are able to access those abilities from the outset. Many of these natural savants are on the autism spectrum, but some are not. [Acquired savants](https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/brain-gain-a-person-can-instantly-blossom-into-a-savant-and-no-one-knows-why/?redirect=1) are “regular” people who acquire savant-like abilities typically after a brain injury. **This suggests that savant-like abilities exist in everyone**, but in “normal” people some region of the brain works to restrict those abilities, and when that control region is damaged, the savant abilities are “allowed” to emerge. But no one knows why or how this phenomenon happens.