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The savant syndrome is a condition wherein a person is mentally retarded for most areas of intelligence that are commonly measured, but demonstrates an outstanding ability in a specific topic. An example of this is Stephen Whiltshire. He can hardly speak coherently, but can draw intricate scenes after just one glance. Other examples come from autistic people who have the ability to calculate almost instantaneously without the aid of even pencil and paper.
This condition goes against Charles Spearman's theory of the g factor, or general intelligence. The theory of intellegence it supports more is the theory of multiple intelligences, introduced by L.L. Thurstone and developed more thoroughly by Howard Gardner. For this reason, the savant syndrome has added more credibility to the theory of multiple intelligences.
The people with this syndrome are sometimes called autistic savants, and more on the particulars of the syndrome can be found at that node.

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