Prodigies display exceptional ability at a specific skill. Researchers recently discovered a genetic variation shared by those who are prodigies and those who have autism. The research was conducted by Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
A previous study shows that half of all prodigies have either a first or second degree relative with autism.
Scientific Daily published a detailed article about the conducted research.
Both prodigies and those with autism score higher on tests for attention to detail. Prodigies test very high on tests for working memory. Working memory is short term memory applied to completing a particular task, such as solving a math problem.
Many individuals with autism excel at a specific skill set such as math, painting or reading music. They also express traits such as impaired social ability and communication skills.
Further research is needed to fully understand the genetic correlation between those with autism and those who become prodigies. It remains unknown exactly which genes may cause a person to become a prodigy without impairments and with which genes a person develops autism.