Dr. Darold Treffert: Savant-Syndrome (english) [10/2016]

00442jDr. Darold Treffert is an American psychiatrist who was been researching Savant Syndrome for over 50 years. This is a condition where people with an severe disability show unusual talents in a particular field (e.g. math, art or music). His recent book "Islands of Genius" won several awards and it is the first book that summarizes what is known about this fascinating condition.
In this interview Dr. Treffert talks with Jason Padgett - who has become a savant after suffering a severe head trauma.


Dr. Treffert's website:  http://www.daroldtreffert.com
Several of Jason's pictures can be found here:  https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jason-padgett.html 


Time stamps for this interview:

  • 00:05 Introduction to the subject of Savant Syndrome
  • 03:00 Jason's earlier life, his life-changing head injury
  • 10:40 Jason running into a physicist while shopping, new understanding through math classes
  • 12:25 Alienating change in preceiving reality, reassurance that Jason is not the only one
  • 14:25 Characteristics of people with aquired savant syndrome, trade-off, controlling the new abilities
  • 19:30 The 3 R-factors, savants know and can do things which they never learned, "pre-installed" knowledge
  • 23:20 How are the new abilities stored in the brain? Getting access to "pre-installed" knowledge
  • 27:50 Meditation and breathing techniques, reaching different states of consciousness
  • 30:30 Using the right side of our brain, gaining holistic understanding
  • 33:15 How did Jason use his new abilities? Keeping kids interested in math
  • 35:35 Jason's learning process, Mathe-Lernprozess, vermittelte Denkstrukturen, neue Herangehensweisen
  • 38:20 How did Jason share his insights? New math book, new movie about Jason's life
  • 40:45 Non-verbal learning disorder, different learning styles,
  • 43:45 Autistic kids at the Treffert Center, Jason's perceived kinship with autism
  • 45:50 Sensory overload of autistic children, savant talents depend on location of head injury
  • 49:50 Crash course on relativity, dealing with infinity
  • 55:40 Helping kids at the Treffert Center

Additional information:

I short documentary on Jason Padgett that tells his story in a professional way:


It is recommended to have a look at this article on Jill Price a woman with high unusual memory skills. Also recommended is the documentary "The Boy who can't forget" you find at the bottom of the Jill Price article.