The structure of savant calendrical knowledge

HEAVEY, Lisa, HERMELIN, Beate, CRANE, Laura and PRING, Linda (2012). The structure of savant calendrical knowledge. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 54 (6), 507-513.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04250.x
Link to published version:: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04250.x

Abstract

Aim - We aimed to explore the organization of the calendar knowledge base underlying date calculation by assessing the ability of savant calendar calculators to free recall a series of date lists.

Method - Four experiments are reported that assessed recall of structural and non-structural features of the calendar in eight savant calendar calculators (seven males; one female; median age 34y 6mo; age range 27–47y), five of whom had a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. The inclusion criterion was a genuine calculation ability rather than an interest in dates.

Results - Mean recall was facilitated for material organized according to the structural features of a calendar (leap years, dates falling on the same weekday, dates occurring at 28y intervals) but not for a non-structural calendar feature (Easter Sunday).

Interpretation - Distinctions are drawn between two sources of savant calendar-related knowledge, structural and event related. It has been suggested that structural knowledge plays a key role in the acquisition and operation of savant date calculation skills.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04250.x
Depositing User: Sam Wharam
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 09:29
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2012 09:29
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6207

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