Hyper-Plasticity and Savantism
Doctor Gul Dolen postulates on a potential relationship between savantism and hyper-plasticity.
It would be speculation to say that hyper-plasticity could account for savant-like characteristics in autism, but certainly when we speak about mental retardation we are relying on I.Q. testing, which really has been developed to determine who is normal. I.Q. tests are not very good at parsing out whatâ€™s different about people who are in the sort of abnormal end of the spectrum. So, when we say that somebody has mental retardation, it may be that they are actually very good at some things and not so good at other things and that itâ€™s not just one unified entity I.Q.. In fact it seems unlikely that itâ€™s one unified entity, and thatâ€™s why I think a lot of people are so interested in savantism, because it really suggests that intelligence is a multi-factorial trait. There are multiple components to it, and being really, really good at one might hamper your ability to be good at something else. I think the idea with savants is that they are very good at being able to remember specific facts and not so good at being able to see the big picture if you will. That may be because they are drawing too strong of a connection, their plasticity is too strong for these details and that prevents them from being able to make broader connections across brain regions. But this is just speculation, so I canâ€™t say for sure thatâ€™s whatâ€™s going on, but itâ€™s an intriguing possibility.
plastic, plasticity, autism, savant, savantism, iq, intelligence, i.q., brain regions, mental retardation, gul, dolen
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2371. Autism - A Synapse-Opathy
Doctor Gul Dolen defines synapse-opathies as disease where the synapse is the part of the brain that is disrupted. Fragile X and autism are examples.
2365. Fragile X Syndrome - A Cause and Cure?
Doctor Gul Dolen explains that Fragile X syndrome can be considered a disorder of plasticity, mediated by metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors, and potentially treatable with pharmaceuticals.
884. Background to Autism
Autism is a disorder in brain development that becomes apparent in earliest childhood. It is defined by problems in socialization, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
2363. Fragile X Syndrome
Doctor Gul Dolen describes the key characteristics of Fragile X syndrome, which can include problems with language, mental retardation, and symptoms of autism.
2369. The Visual Cortex and Plasticity
Doctor Gul Dolen describes how the brain learns through plasticity, making particular reference to the visual cortex.
2367. Biochemical Treatments for Autism?
Doctor Gul Dolen discusses how new biochemical treatments for Fragile X Syndrome may be used to treat autism.
839. Plasticity and Intelligence
According to a recent study, the way the cortex develops over time is a better predictor of intelligence.
881. Hotspot for Autism Genes
Several lines of research are converging to show how opposing genetic pathways can lead to autism.
1079. Autism and Mental Retardation
Portia Iversen explains that it is a misconception that the majority of autistic individuals are mentally retarded.
An overview of thinking-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.