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Psychotic savants


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Contributor(s): Dr Christopher Badcock

Released on 1 June 2009.

In his new book, 'The Imprinted Brain', Dr Christopher Badcock (LSE, Sociology) presents a radical revision to the current classification of mental disorders. His proposal is that we might understand disorders with reference to their position on a "mentalistic spectrum," which arrays mental disorders according to the degree to which sufferers have beliefs about the thoughts and intentions of other minds. In this film, Dr Badcock discusses one of the curious implications of his theory: the notion that along with the more familiar autistic savants, there may be "psychotic savants" - individuals who possess severe mechanistic deficiencies, but such an excess of "people skills" that they go through life undetected, and "deeply embedded in critical social institutions".

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