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Calendrical savants: Exceptionality and practice

Cowan, Richard and Carney, Daniel (2006) Calendrical savants: Exceptionality and practice. Cognition, 100. B1-B9. ISSN 0010-0277

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Abstract

The exceptionality of the skills of calendrical savants and the role of practice were investigated. Experiment 1 compared four autistic calendrical savants to Professor Conway, a distinguished mathematician with calendrical skills. Professor Conway answered questions over a greater range of years but some savants knew more calendrical regularities. Experiment 2 studied the development of a calendrical savant's ability to answer date questions for very remote future years. He started by making written calculations and progressed to mental calculation. His variation in response time for remote dates was similar to that for near dates. The findings are consistent with the view that calendrical savants develop their skills through practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: a. Savant syndrome b. Cognitive psychology. c. Only study comparing calendrical savants with normal adult subject with calendrical skills and showing the improvement of calendrical skills with practice. d. Professor Mehler (Editor of Cognition) considered the paper a ‘remarkable achievement’. Cognition has an impact factor of 3.780 (2005 Thomson Journal Citation reports) e. Comparison of normal subject with calendrical savants using tasks developed by author. Case study of development of calendrical skills with practice. f. Double blind peer-reviewed g. The study was designed, conducted, analysed and the paper written by first author. Second author included because an earlier draft included study he conducted for his master’s dissertation.
Controlled Keywords: Adults; Cross-national; Special educational needs; Numeracy; Savant; autism; practice; intelligence
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2009 13:36
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:51
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/399

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