INTERNATIONAL film crews will be in Herefordshire this week.

A team from the Japanese broadcaster NHK arrived in Eardisland on February 6 ready to commence filming throughout the rest of the week for their upcoming project ‘Frontiers of Science.’

The crew are set to interview Dr Lorna Selfe, who lives in the county, about her work regarding savant syndrome, a rare mental disorder where a person demonstrates extraordinary natural abilities in one area, such as maths or music, despite having a mental or physical disability.

Dr Selfe is known, in part, for her work with and publications regarding Nadia Chomyn, an intellectually disabled girl who began producing realistic drawings, likened to those created by Leonardo Da Vinci, at the age of around three years old.


Miss Chomyn reportedly never learned to draw by doodling or drawing in two dimensions, but instead was naturally able to incorporate the laws of perspective, proportion and movement from memory upon her first try.

Her artistic ability eventually waned over time, eventually becoming more simplistic and childlike and she was noted to have not made any significant progress in terms of language or independence when it comes to simple tasks since she was a child.

A selection of her drawings is now on display at the Bethlem Royal Archives and Museum in Beckenham, which owns around 200 of her art pieces.

After filming in the county Dr Selfe will be heading to France with the crew to meet other Savant Syndrome experts to shoot scenes in Chauvet cave, which contains some of the worlds best-preserved early stone-age cave paintings.

The NHK crew will be exploring the theory that people with Savant Syndrome may have been responsible for the paintings, as the ancient artists would have required exceptional natural talent and memory. It has also been argued that the animals depicted in the cave resemble those drawn by Miss Chomyn in terms of their style and the use of perspective, lending more strength to the theory.

“I’m astonished,” said Dr Selfe.

“It was a long part of my life, I spent ten years of my life looking at and writing about savant syndrome. I’m hugely excited!”