Savant Syndrome, What's the best explanation?

#1
Leigh Erceg, 47, was a ranchworker in Colorado when she tumbled into a ravine, causing terrible spine and head wounds which left doctors in fear for her life.

But as she recovered, she found she had become a gifted poet and artist, as well as a maths whizz, with no memory of her former life - even her mum.

Leigh is thought to be the only person on the planet with acquired savant syndrome - where cognitive ability in certain areas is vastly enhanced in later life.



http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/nascar-loving-cowgirl-woke-up-genius-5714168

Apparently not the only one.


A self-described 'woman chaser' who woke up a math genius after he was knocked out during a mugging has said he would not change the brutal attack - even though it threw his life into turmoil.

After the 2002 assault, Jason Padgett, from Tacoma, Washington, suddenly understood complex math theories - but also developed obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and locked himself away for years as he struggled to cope with his new reality.

Still, he wouldn't change a thing, he said in an interview with KOMO this week, 'because the good far outweighs the bad'.

Padgett is one of just 40 people who have been diagnosed with acquired savant syndrome, in which a once-normal person suddenly becomes skilled in math, art or music after a brain injury.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ed-muggers-says-not-change-brutal-attack.html


What's going on
 
#2
A knock on the head can create a hole in the filter.
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_brain
Everyone knows that consciousness is influenced by the brain. For example, a brain injury can cause amnesia. However, this correlation between neurological states and mental states does not prove the brain produces consciousness (the production model of the brain). The same correlation would occur if the brain is a filter of non-physical consciousness (the filter model of the brain). In the filter model, the brain is said to filter some aspects of consciousness the way a colored glass can filter out some wavelengths of light. What passes through the brain filter is a restricted set of conscious faculties that we have while in the physical body. The production and filter models can both explain how brain injuries might cause loss of function like amnesia. However, the filter model can also explain how brain injuries can result in new mental capabilities that the production model cannot explain. This is because a filter can break in two ways: it can be clogged, or it can be punctured. According to the filter model of consciousness, when brain damage causes loss of function like amnesia, that is like a clog in the filter. When brain damage produces new mental capabilities, such as ESP or in Acquired Savant Syndrome (see below) that is like a hole in the filter. Furthermore, if you release the conscious mind from the brain as happens during a near death experience you should have expanded, unfiltered, consciousness. This is exactly what happens during a near death experience (see below). The production model cannot explain how injuries to the brain could produce new functions like ESP or Acquired Savant Syndrome, or how expanded consciousness could occur during a near death experience, therefore the filter model is a better explanation of how the brain functions. A skeptic may incorrectly say that the filter model is not a scientific theory because it is not falsifiable, since the filter model can explain any change in brain function, loss of function, or gain of function, there is no way to test it. This is a misunderstanding of falsifiability, it is like saying that the theory of buoyancy is unscientific because it explains why some objects float in water and other objects sink in water.
 
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#3
I knock on the head can create a hole in the filter.
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_brain
Everyone knows that consciousness is influenced by the brain. For example, a brain injury can cause amnesia. However, this correlation between neurological states and mental states does not prove the brain produces consciousness (the production model of the brain). The same correlation would occur if the brain is a filter of non-physical consciousness (the filter model of the brain). In the filter model, the the brain is said to filter some aspects of consciousness the way a colored glass can filter out some wavelengths of light. What passes through the brain filter is a restricted set of conscious faculties that we have while in the physical body. The production and filter models can both explain how brain injuries might cause loss of function like amnesia. However, the filter model can also explain how brain injuries can result in new mental capabilities that the production model cannot explain. This is because a filter can break in two ways: it can be clogged, or it can be punctured. According to the filter model of consciousness, when brain damage causes loss of function like amnesia, that is like a clog in the filter. When brain damage produces new mental capabilities, such as ESP or in Acquired Savant Syndrome (see below) that is like a hole in the filter. Furthermore, if you release the conscious mind from the brain as happens during a near death experience you should have expanded, unfiltered, consciousness. This is exactly what happens during a near death experience (see below). The production model cannot explain how injuries to the brain could produce new functions like ESP or Acquired Savant Syndrome, or how expanded consciousness could occur during a near death experience, therefore the filter model is a better explanation of how the brain functions. A skeptic may incorrectly say that the filter model is not a scientific theory because it is not falsifiable, since the filter model can explain any change in brain function, loss of function, or gain of function, there is no way to test it. This is a misunderstanding of falsifiability, it is like saying that the theory of buoyancy is unscientific because it explains why some objects float in water and other objects sink in water.

I kind of get it, it may take a while to digest,

Maybe consciousness become separated from the brain when it takes a knock and becomes more lucid, just as when people who live their lives in a vegetative state through severe brain damage, which is irreversible, but just before death, they display a very lucid consciousness with crystal clear clarity.
 
#4
I just asked my Dad if he heard about the woman who took a knock on the head and woke up a genius.
He chuckled and laughed, and then went on to suggest,

We best go round knocking people on the head then.
 
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#6
Its sure a fascinating topic. The same goes for Xenoglossy and Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD).
Regarding MPD; I believe I've read somewhere that some women who have MPD had different menstruation cycles depending on which personality that was "active" at the time. Handwriting and voice-pattern show changes as well.

Here is a documentary about the savant Stephen Wiltshire.

Stephen Wiltshire is a British architectural artist. He is known for his ability to draw from memory a landscape after seeing it just once. His work has gained worldwide popularity.
 
#7
Another fascinating story about autism is this one;

Autism Breakthrough: Girl's Writings Explain Her Behavior and Feelings.

Carly Fleischmann has severe autism and is unable to speak a word. But thanks to years of expensive and intensive therapy, this 13-year-old has made a remarkable breakthrough.

Two years ago, working with pictures and symbols on a computer keyboard, she started typing and spelling out words. The computer became her voice.

"All of a sudden these words started to pour out of her, and it was an exciting moment because we didn't realize she had all these words," said speech pathologist Barbara Nash. "It was one of those moments in my career that I'll never forget."

Then Carly began opening up, describing what it was like to have autism and why she makes odd noises or why she hits herself.
"It feels like my legs are on fire and a million ants are crawling up my arms," Carly said through the computer.

Carly writes about her frustrations with her siblings, how she understands their jokes and asks when can she go on a date.

"We were stunned," Carly's father Arthur Fleischmann said. "We realized inside was an articulate, intelligent, emotive person that we had never met. This was unbelievable because it opened up a whole new way of looking at her."

This is what Carly wants people to know about autism.
"It is hard to be autistic because no one understands me. People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can't talk or I act differently than them. I think people get scared with things that look or seem different than them."
"Laypeople would have assumed she was mentally retarded or cognitively impaired. Even professionals labelled her as moderately to severely cognitively impaired. In the old days you would say mentally retarded, which means low IQ and low promise and low potential," Arthur Fleischman said.

Therapists say the key lesson from Carly's story is for families to never give up and to be ever creative in helping children with autism find their voice.

"If we had done what so many people told us to do years ago, we wouldn't have the child we have today. We would have written her off. We would have assumed the worst. We would have never seen how she could write these things — how articulate she is, how intelligent she is," the grateful father added.

"I asked Carly to come to my work to talk to speech pathologists and other therapists about autism," said Nash. "What would you like to tell them? She wrote, 'I would tell them never to give up on the children that they work with.' That kind of summed it up."

Carly had another message for people who don't understand autism.

"Autism is hard because you want to act one way, but you can't always do that. It's sad that sometimes people don't know that sometimes I can't stop myself and they get mad at me. If I could tell people one thing about autism it would be that I don't want to be this way. But I am, so don't be mad. Be understanding."


http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Story?id=4311223&page=1
 
#8
Based on his descriptions of his process, Tesla had easy access to his super-normal abilities. He describes completely constructing machines "in his head" and leaving them running for weeks/months to test how they held up under prolonged usage.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#10
Based on his descriptions of his process, Tesla had easy access to his super-normal abilities. He describes completely constructing machines "in his head" and leaving them running for weeks/months to test how they held up under prolonged usage.
And how can we possibly know if the simulations were correct?

~~ Paul
 
#13
You have doubt, not skepticism. A real skeptic has curiosity and would look them up and explore them in depth so that they could understand them.
You make an important distinction that bears repeating.

Skepticsm has come to have multiple meanings.

One meaning is basically synonymous with doubt.

Another is the method related to not accepting claims absent suitable evidence.

While Paul's use was a fine application of the former, I tend to avoid using it in that way because I think the more important (especially to this forum) use is the second.

And we should employ skepticsm to most claims.(although that is difficult to do in practice, there are just too many claims to personally evaluate, on a practical level)
 
#14
You make an important distinction that bears repeating.

Skepticsm has come to have multiple meanings.

One meaning is basically synonymous with doubt.
No. That's nonsense. Doubt is not skepticism, it is doubt. It is incorrect to call doubt skepticism because they are different. Skeptic is a label that some people incorrectly apply to themselves as an ego boost to mask the fact they are just doubters. Doubt + curiosity + investigation + objectivity = skepticism. Doubt - curiosity - investigation - objectivity = doubt.
 
#15
Leigh Erceg, 47, was a ranchworker in Colorado when she tumbled into a ravine, causing terrible spine and head wounds which left doctors in fear for her life.

But as she recovered, she found she had become a gifted poet and artist, as well as a maths whizz, with no memory of her former life - even her mum.

Leigh is thought to be the only person on the planet with acquired savant syndrome - where cognitive ability in certain areas is vastly enhanced in later life.



http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/nascar-loving-cowgirl-woke-up-genius-5714168

Apparently not the only one.


A self-described 'woman chaser' who woke up a math genius after he was knocked out during a mugging has said he would not change the brutal attack - even though it threw his life into turmoil.

After the 2002 assault, Jason Padgett, from Tacoma, Washington, suddenly understood complex math theories - but also developed obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and locked himself away for years as he struggled to cope with his new reality.

Still, he wouldn't change a thing, he said in an interview with KOMO this week, 'because the good far outweighs the bad'.

Padgett is one of just 40 people who have been diagnosed with acquired savant syndrome, in which a once-normal person suddenly becomes skilled in math, art or music after a brain injury.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ed-muggers-says-not-change-brutal-attack.html


What's going on
It's an interesting question. Where did the knowledge come from if it wasn't learned? High level skills take many years to acquire and there is no materialistic model that accounts for a very sudden transfer of vast amounts of information into a person's mind -literally out of nowhere.- We've already seen the materialistic response. "Well, it must not have really happened." Followed by an utter lack of curiosity. In other words, they don't have an answer, and how could they?

A concussion or similar blow or brain damage of any sort cannot itself be the cause of this sudden acquisition. It has to trigger a different and very specific cause in an unusual way, otherwise this would be common. So we're left with two possible conclusions:

The blow caused the information to be acquired from somewhere else. But where from?
The blow caused information that an individual already had to be fully accessed. But why suppress it in the first place? That would seem to be a genetic disadvantage.
 
#16
It's an interesting question. Where did the knowledge come from if it wasn't learned? High level skills take many years to acquire and there is no materialistic model that accounts for a very sudden transfer of vast amounts of information into a person's mind -literally out of nowhere.- We've already seen the materialistic response. "Well, it must not have really happened." Followed by an utter lack of curiosity. In other words, they don't have an answer, and how could they?

A concussion or similar blow or brain damage of any sort cannot itself be the cause of this sudden acquisition. It has to trigger a different and very specific cause in an unusual way, otherwise this would be common. So we're left with two possible conclusions:

The blow caused the information to be acquired from somewhere else. But where from?
The blow caused information that an individual already had to be fully accessed. But why suppress it in the first place? That would seem to be a genetic disadvantage.
I know that some speculate that there is some form of Akashic Records at play here. I think it perhaps is so, that our eyes and subconsciousness do record and register exactly everything we come in contact with during our lifespan, and that our subconsciousness do comprehend all those things (advanced drawing, advanced mathematics, music, etc), but our conscious part of the brain cant tap in to that resource in its fullest capacity. Some can do it more than others, but generally we cant connect with it. So for example; if we ever have seen somebody played a certain piece on the piano we "know" exactly how to do it, but are unable to perform it. And people who by accident, with a blow to their head, suddenly show great skill in some area that they never had before, it could be that the "pathways" for that particular talent was "shook open".
 
#18
It's an interesting question. Where did the knowledge come from if it wasn't learned? High level skills take many years to acquire and there is no materialistic model that accounts for a very sudden transfer of vast amounts of information into a person's mind -literally out of nowhere.- We've already seen the materialistic response. "Well, it must not have really happened." Followed by an utter lack of curiosity. In other words, they don't have an answer, and how could they?

A concussion or similar blow or brain damage of any sort cannot itself be the cause of this sudden acquisition. It has to trigger a different and very specific cause in an unusual way, otherwise this would be common. So we're left with two possible conclusions:

The blow caused the information to be acquired from somewhere else. But where from?
The blow caused information that an individual already had to be fully accessed. But why suppress it in the first place? That would seem to be a genetic disadvantage.
I totally agree, and I do wonder if some or all of these fascinating cases (which remember are very rare) are the result of the person obtaining access to one of their own previous lives! I say that because even if the Akashic records exist, these people don't seem to just obtain a random chunk of that information, they seem to acquire a set of skills that a gifted person might acquire naturally after many years of study.

We seem to have lots of data that rules out conventional materialist explanations, but homing in on the new theory is a lot harder!

David
 
#19
No. That's nonsense. Doubt is not skepticism, it is doubt. It is incorrect to call doubt skepticism because they are different. Skeptic is a label that some people incorrectly apply to themselves as an ego boost to mask the fact they are just doubters. Doubt + curiosity + investigation + objectivity = skepticism. Doubt - curiosity - investigation - objectivity = doubt.
What is it with so many people lately objecting to using dictionary defined terms?

Do a google search for "skepticism definition." or "skepticsm synonym"

Happy to continue the discussion of how skepticism should be defined but should probably move it to its own thread.
 
#20
Leigh Erceg, 47, was a ranchworker in Colorado when she tumbled into a ravine, causing terrible spine and head wounds which left doctors in fear for her life.

But as she recovered, she found she had become a gifted poet and artist, as well as a maths whizz, with no memory of her former life - even her mum.

Leigh is thought to be the only person on the planet with acquired savant syndrome - where cognitive ability in certain areas is vastly enhanced in later life.
Can you view the video of Leigh Erceg, because it won't seem to load here in the UK. I am interested to know what exactly is meant by "maths whiz" - does it just mean that she can do arithmetic faster and more accurately, or does it mean she has acquired knowledge of more advanced maths?

David
 
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