Unlocking the Inner Genius Within

Main Article Content

Shireen Aydogan


People with savant syndrome are characterized by rare intellectual gifts in one or more specific areas. Acquired savant syndrome occurs, in most cases, after a Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is associated with the development of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Specifically damage to the left temporal lobes caused by FTD has been linked to the acquisition of savant skills. The left-right compensation theory explains the process responsible for acquiring new abilities. It explains that the inhibition of pathways on the left side of the brain, specifically the temporal lobes, can cause compensatory growth on the right side of the brain. Allan Synder's experiment utilizing transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) demonstrates this theory utilizing low levels of electrical current targeting the left region of the brain to stimulate the formation of new neural connections on the right side. Relatively new technologies and current research is promising to understanding acquired savant syndrome and gives light to possibilities of unlocking one's inner genius.

Article Details

Author Biography

Shireen Aydogan, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Shireen Aydogan is a sophomore majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology on a pre-med track and exploring the possibility of an Arabic and Communications minor. She devotes time to teach English to refugees and volunteer at the free health clinic in the community throughout the school year as well. In her free time she enjoys playing the guitar, and spending time with her family. She also likes to stay active by playing basketball and snowboarding. She hopes to increase awareness in neuroscience through her writing and as Social/Advertising Chair for brain matters.