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Rare condition wherein a person of subnormal intelligence or severely limited emotional range has prodigious intellectual gifts in a specific area. Mathematical, musical, artistic, and mechanical abilities have been among the talents demonstrated by savants. Examples include performing rapid mental calculations of huge sums, playing lengthy compositions from memory after a single hearing, and repairing complex mechanisms without training. About 10% of autistic people are savants; mentally retarded people may also be savants, though the incidence is much lower. See alsoautism.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on savant syndrome, visit Britannica.com.
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