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Phenomena Underexplored
J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2023; 34(2): 61-61
Published online April 1, 2023
© 2023 Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Hee Jeong Yoo

Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

As psychiatrists, the more common issue that we encounter is those who limit daily function, interpersonal relationships, or quality of life rather than possibly enhancing or even redirecting their lives. The so-called savant syndrome, seen in autism spectrum disorder, is one of the rare and unique phenomena that the human brain can develop. It is one of the popular materials that the media loves to describe, both correctly and incorrectly, and is working as a gateway to guide spectators’ attention to autism spectrum disorder itself. However, it is one of the most underexplored characteristics, from its exact prevalence to its neurobiological mechanisms. In the current issue, we explored this extraordinary phenomenon as a special issue in terms of a comprehensive review of the literature, media coverage, and theoretical understanding of its nature. Of those, I recommend reading a brilliant review, “How well do we understand autistic savant artists: a review of various hypotheses and research findings to date” [1]. It will lead the readers to understand savant syndrome through diverse perspectives and ultimately help you consider how fragile the concept of normality would be.

Continuing from the previous issue, two research articles deal with the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on school mental health and young university students in Japan. The studies revealed that depression, anxiety, traumarelated, and attention deficit hyperactivity symptoms had increased after the pandemic, according to a school-based survey. The influence of COVID-19 continues in our lives, from economic turbulence to school ecology, where our children and adolescents live, though the direct impact of the infection itself is being diminished and physical distance in relations is getting closer all over the world. COVID-19 is not merely a pandemic of viral infection but also a huge trigger for a dramatic change in our society as well as in the psychology of the current generation. Therefore, we decided to publish the research regarding the impact of COVID-19 in two successive issues. I hope it helps readers re-think the pandemic as an essential variable that affects young people’s minds in clinical practice as well.

  1. Chung S, Son JW. How well do we understand autistic savant artists?: a review of findings to date. J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2023;34:93-111.

April 2024, 35 (2)
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