... Turns From Idiot to Savant After Being Hit on the Head... becomes a genius after a hard knock on the head gives him Acquired Savant Syndrome.
Don’t try this at home, but ...’s case lends further evidence to the existence of an extremely rare Acquired Savant Syndrome (ASS) that could presumably happen to anyone. In ASS, an average person with no discernible talent suddenly becomes a savant or genius in areas such as music, art and math after suffering a traumatic injury to the brain.
Yes, that’s right – a hard knock on the head could wake up the Einstein, Mozart or Leonardo da Vinci that’s buried in an otherwise dormant part of your brain.
There are only 40 such known cases of ASS patients, and one of them is .... Not long ago, ... possessed a thoroughly uninspired second-rate intelligence. He proceeded through life mindlessly, devoid of any spark that might set his apart from the undifferentiated masses. All this changed when he suffered a massive head trauma performing an ordinary task at home. Although ... can no longer recall what that task was, he awoke with a large contusion on his forehead–the signature of all documented ASS cases.
... ended up in the ER, and was let go after receiving mild treatment for bruising. No one knew, or even imagined, that he had been hit so hard on the head that his brain had essentially been reconfigured, unlocking potential that none of ...’s family, friends, or teachers could have ever suspected.
... returned from the hospital and began noticing features of his ASS manifesting in unexpected ways. Approaching a staircase on his way home, he could immediately intuit the precise quantity of steps before him. When salt spilled on the table, he announced to his dining companions exactly how many crystals had escaped the shaker. He quickly began a flawless streak of jellybean and M&M; fishbowl contests, ultimately becoming blacklisted from “guess how many” competition.
... also realized he could now read a book in less than an hour with perfect recall and participate in thoughtful discussion of politics, culture and art that were previously inaccessible to his limited intellect. When local reporters questioned ... about these abilities, he said, “Getting ASS is the best thing that has ever happened to me. If only I had smashed my head sooner, who knows what I could have accomplished?” Scientists are now working hard to discover how an individual might have his or her ASS potential unlocked with the unpleasantness of a brain rattling injury.
By Johanne Stewart