How Alonzo Clemons Overcame A Brain Injury To Become A World-Class Sculptor

You've probably dabbled with Play-Doh as a kid. Most people's sculpting experience ends around there, but that wasn't the case for Alonzo Clemons. Severely disabled as a young child, Clemons could barely speak, nor could he feed himself or tie his own shoes. But his disability brought on one important gift—acquired savant syndrome, a condition where high-level, often prodigious skills appear after a brain injury. This gave Clemons an uncanny ability to create hyper-accurate sculptures of animals that started from a young age and only sharpened as he grew up. Today, he can simply glance at a horse on TV and, in just 20 minutes, sculpt a clay figure of that horse that is anatomically correct down to every muscle. Despite his still very limited vocabulary, Clemons has shown his work throughout the world. Hear Clemons speak about his work in the video below.

The Work Of Alonzo Clemons

Surrounded by his incredible sculptures, Clemons speaks about his experience as an acquired savant.

Can A Brain Injury Make You A Genius?

In some cases, acquired savant syndrome occurs after brain trauma.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. People who experience an injury and then exhibit creative talents they hadn't had before are said to have acquired savant syndrome. 00:15

  2. One North Dakota man found that he could suddenly play the piano after suffering a severe concussion. 01:02

  3. Acquired savant syndrome may result from the brain "reorganizing" itself after becoming damaged. 02:01

25 Amazing Savant Minds

If you've seen the movie "Rain Man," you know about the megasavant Kim Peek.

Written by Curiosity Staff November 23, 2016

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