According to https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/brain-gain-a-person-can-instantly-blossom-into-a-savant-and-no-one-knows-why/, sometimes somebody suddenly becomes a savant. I don't know how it works. Since probably nobody knows the answer, I was wondering if somebody could give me a theory on how it happens that researchers determined were a reasonable theory. I believe some people already have theories on why Kim Peek's brain worked the way it worked so maybe it's a similar explanation to that.

Here's my theory. I think everybody's brain is destined to have megasavant skills after enough time goes by and is slowly getting closer to it although their brain might be forgetting everything from more than 30 seconds before while they're part way there because it's the one and only true energetically favourable state of the brain, provided that other factors such as a change of the circulatory system in the brain caused by failing organs or the aging of individual brain cells doesn't occurr. I think a brain closely resembles a bounded 3D Conway's game of life and I have a reason to think it's probable that almost all of them are destined towards megasavant tendencies although they get low scores on an IQ test because they don't have one and only one way of thinking that matches a universal human intuition, but it's too long to describe here.

I think that some day, the evolutionary learning laboratories will suddenly have the research results to start a self sustaining research technique with a complex state that's destined to continually rapidly self evolve into higher and higher complexity. Maybe a similar effect can happen to the brain of an individual human. I already feel like I'm very slowly and sluggishly getting closer to starting sudden savant syndrome which gives me optimism that it might some day happen to me. From what this question says, I think that forgotten memories are still in the brain with the theoritical capability to recall them again after they were previously hopelessly forgotten, and people might stop being locked out of their account as a result. I also saw a YouTube video about somebody who got a seizure then could remember really well from then on but probably could not remember all those details from before the seizure. I feel like I'm recalling more fragments of my past than I could have before and recalling old ones is probably a more complex task than remembering really well from then on. Also, I used to not be one speck perfect pitch then over time, I started being able to correctly recall the pitch of something I heard a few hours earlier a bit more often and then after season 2 of the show "The Worst Witch," I heard it's introduction a few more times and then for quite a while, I was perfect pitch for the introduction of the show "The Worst Witch" almost all the time. I think I was about 30 at that time. That appears to be a sign that I'm sluggishly getting closer to starting sudden savant syndrome. I'm saying all this not because an answer you help me improve my personal life but because I think the information about myself can help research on how sudden savant syndrome occurs.

Update: Some time after I posted this question, I look at the image with a hidden dog which appeared at http://www.illusions.org/dp/1-18.htm or another image that was exactly the same and I saw the hidden dog right away. Once when I was a kid, I looked a picture with a hidden dog that I think was the same one and I couldn't find the dog at all. I believe I never looked at the image at all between those two times.

  • $\begingroup$ This seems like more of a rant than a question. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not really seeing an answerable question here, at least in the context of SE. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ @HalfwayDillitante I think this question might be suitable for ResearchGate but I'm not a researcher so I can't ask it there. It might also be suitable here for the following reason. Someobdy else who can ask questions on Research Gate could read this question and ask a question on ResearchGate based on it. $\endgroup$
    – Timothy
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ The fact you saw the dog is because you've seen the illusion before; I saw the dog within a fraction of a second after opening your link, simply because I know the illusion. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


Savant syndrome can be congenital or acquired.[1,2] The acquired savant syndrome can occur in people with stroke, head injury, and even some degenerative diseases (such as dementia) that affect the left fronto-temporal lobe. [1] Transcranial magnetic stimulations of this area, which can cause inhibition in this area, can also elicit these kinds of unusual capacities too, even though only transiently. [3-5] So, there is a theory that the extraordinary skills of savants, such as calculating, memorizing, and performing music, exist latently within us all but are not normally accessible because there is inhibition from some areas, especially the left fronto-temporal lobe.

Snyder and Mitchell (1999) have argued that the extraordinary skills of savants, including mathematics and drawing, are within us all but cannot normally be accessed without some form of brain damage. It has also been argued that such skills can be made accessible to normal people by switching off part of their brain artificially using magnetic pulses (Carter, 1999). Using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to interrupt the function of the frontotemporal lobe, a region of the brain implicated in the development of savant skills (Miller et al., 1996,1998), we tested this hypothesis. Here we show that savant-type skills improved in 5 out of 17 participants during the period of stimulation.[4]

So, lesions at the left fronto-temporal lobe can cause disinhibition of neural processes in some other areas and enable those areas to function with extraordinary capacities [3,4]; thus, some people can suddenly develop savant syndrome because there is an acute lesion, such as stroke, head trauma, and even transcranial magnetic stimulation, at the left fronto-temporal lobe (or other yet-undiscovered inhibiting areas) thereby releasing the latent savant skill.


  1. Treffert DA. The savant syndrome: An extraordinary condition. A synopsis: past, present, future. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 May 27; 364(1522): 1351–1357doi: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0326.

  2. Wikipedia. Savant syndrome.

  3. Snyder A. Explaining and inducing savant skills: Privileged access to lower level, less-processed information. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 May 27; 364(1522): 1399–1405. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0290.

  4. Young RL, Ridding MC, Morrell TL. Switching skills on by turning off part of the brain. Neurocase. 2004 Jun;10(3):215-22.

  5. Snyder A, Bahramali H, Hawker T, Mitchell DJ. Savant-like numerosity skills revealed in normal people by magnetic pulses. Perception. 2006;35(6):837-45.

  • $\begingroup$ I had no interference with my brain like magnetic stimulation or brain damage, yet I gained the abilities of absolute pitch and seeing the hidden dog right away. That shows that it is possible for people to gain them that way. It may be useful to say how that's possible. I don't think the answer to that is known. $\endgroup$
    – Timothy
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think we completely know about how people acquire savant abilities yet. The theory in the answer is just one theory that is based on clinical and experimental evidence. There may be other mechanisms that require other theories to explain. In your case, it would be a great boon to the scientific community if you went to meet doctors or neuroscientists to verify and document your abilities. We may understand this syndrome more from that, and you'll likely become famous for that too. $\endgroup$
    – user287279
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 6:48
  • $\begingroup$ I think lots of people are like me. Maybe it really is the case that not one of them had their abilities verified. I have no way to prove that I one day after never having found the hidden dog before looked at the image again and then saw it right away. $\endgroup$
    – Timothy
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know if there're a lot of people like you or not. It'd be good if you and people like you come to the attention of doctors or neuroscientists so that together we can learn about your abilities, understand more about them, and answer your question better. $\endgroup$
    – user287279
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 5:19

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