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ASPartOfMe
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25 Sep 2021, 8:09 am

Is There a Link Between Autism and the Capacity for Invention?

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There were two new circuits in the human brain, the Empathy Circuit and the Systemizing Mechanism. The Systemizing Mechanism allowed humans to look for special patterns in the world, which I call "if-and- then" patterns. These are the basis of any system. If I take something, and I do something to it, then I get an outcome. The Systemizing Mechanism allowed us to analyze the world to find such patterns and confirm that they hold true. To do this, we repeat our observations over and over again. Once confirmed, we then can vary the mechanism by experimenting with the "if" or the "and". If we produce a new pattern, that is an invention.

But let’s go back to the first jewelry, 75,000 years ago, because the Systemizing Mechanism explains how we could make the jewelry, but the Empathy Circuit explains why we made it. We wear jewelry because we can imagine what someone else might think or feel—that they might think we are beautiful or of high status, or we make jewelry to give as a gift, because we can think that someone might feel happy. The evolution of empathy enabled a whole raft of complex social interactions, including deception and referential communication.

Anecdotally, many inventors show a high level of autistic traits. Thomas Edison, who famously invented the first electric lightbulb, invented non-stop. As a teenager, he was obsessed with Morse code, a system of patterns, and he even named his children Dot and Dash. His wife moved a mattress into his workshop so that he could carry on inventing and experiment day and night. Anecdotally, many autistic people have a talent at pattern recognition and systemizing. Today, Max Park, the world champion in the Rubik's Cube, a system of visual patterns, is autistic.

But anecdotes are not evidence. For The Pattern Seekers, we looked at 600,000 people in the general population and measured their autistic traits using the AQ, the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We found those who work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) on average have more autistic traits than those who do not. This shows a clear link between aptitude in understanding systems and higher levels of autistic traits. Those 600,000 people also took the Empathy Quotient and the Systemizing Quotient. We found that you can divide people into five brain types based on whether they lean more towards empathy or systemizing. Those who lean more towards empathy are Type E. Those who lean more towards systemizing are Type S. And those who are extreme Type S systemize non-stop, seeing patterns everywhere, but often struggle to understand other people’s thoughts and feelings. We found more women are Type E, more men are Type S, and the majority of autistic people are Type S or extreme Type S. So more evidence of a link between autism and hyper-systemizing.

But is the link between autism and pattern-seeking genetic? We had the opportunity to work with the personal genomics company 23andMe, and found that the genetic variants associated with high systemizing overlap with the genetic variants associated with autism. So some of the genes that cause autism also cause talent in pattern recognition. This leads to a prediction: that autism might be more common in places like Silicon Valley. We went to the Dutch city of Eindhoven, where one-third of jobs are in IT and which is home to the Eindhoven University of Technology, much like MIT, and where the Philips Factory has been for over 100 years. We found autism rates were twice as high in Eindhoven compared to two other Dutch cities, Utrecht and Haarlem, matched for demographics. This is again consistent with a genetic link between autism in the child, and a talent in pattern-seeking among their parents.

So, we have evidence that the genes for autism have driven human invention. And yet, how are we as a society treating autistic people? The majority of autistic adults are unemployed and have high levels of poor mental health, likely the result of a lack of support or from being excluded from education and work. We owe autistic people a huge debt of gratitude for the role their genes have played in human progress, and we have a moral responsibility to ensure no group of individuals is deprived of their human rights to education, employment, and participation in society. It’s time for a change.

It’s time to embrace the concept of neurodiversity—the idea that brains come in many varieties—and none is better or worse than another; they are just different.


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carlos55
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26 Sep 2021, 2:16 pm

Simon-Baron Cohen is another Neurotypical fake ND advocate. Something i mentioned yesterday.

viewtopic.php?t=400334

He angers those who suffer from their autism by indulging in the language of ND, but tomorrow will get in his car and drive to his job heading the autism research centre working to research reducing autistic symptoms and researching screening out autism.

https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/pr ... tudy-cusp/
https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/pr ... 18-months/

If autism is so good Simon why you trying to screen for it?

He`s fast approaching retirement age and probably seen the money Silberman made from his neurotribes book and wants to cash in.

Exploiting the most vulnerable with plugging his inspiration porn book for £15 or $20 a time.

All autistic people ask is honesty if many like myself feel autism should be cured in some just say so & cut the BS, and deception likewise if you believe it shouldnt again just give intelligent reasons

Researchers should stop leading vulnerable ND advocates on with fake virtue signalling and angering those with severe symptoms by pretending autism doesnt harm some and no one wants a cure, which does more damage to everyone.

I must also thank serial killers throughout history for their contribution to suspending empathy over personal gratification, one of the foundations that made many of our greatest national & business leaders. We should all be thankful for the psychopath gene. LOL :D


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CarlM
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26 Sep 2021, 9:28 pm

carlos55 wrote:
I must also thank serial killers throughout history for their contribution to suspending empathy over personal gratification, one of the foundations that made many of our greatest national & business leaders. We should all be thankful for the psychopath gene. LOL :D

Not as unfair a comparison as your sarcasm suggests. I you believe in science you should applaud autistic scientists, if you believe in total free market capitalism, you should applaud psychopathic business leaders. Hey, I just figured out why Trump was so popular :roll:.


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carlos55
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27 Sep 2021, 1:01 pm

CarlM wrote:
carlos55 wrote:
I must also thank serial killers throughout history for their contribution to suspending empathy over personal gratification, one of the foundations that made many of our greatest national & business leaders. We should all be thankful for the psychopath gene. LOL :D

Not as unfair a comparison as your sarcasm suggests. I you believe in science you should applaud autistic scientists, if you believe in total free market capitalism, you should applaud psychopathic business leaders. Hey, I just figured out why Trump was so popular :roll:.


Nothing wrong about the very few autistic scientists although he was referring to “autistic traits” in scientists not autism its self. A bit like saying may business leaders show psychopathic traits allowing them to act decisively then trying to make a link to Ted Bundy inferring that they are somehow the same thing.

Theoretical science is not quite real science, physicist Michio Kaku does it and he`s very entertaining when he discusses worm holes & aliens but it’s all really arm chair theory with a bit of sci fi thrown in, rather than things tested & proven a bit like many of SBC`s theories.

Simon Baron-Cohen is a classic example of why scientists should remain neutral.

He angered those who suffer from their autism and the carers of those with severe autism, coldly forsaking them by indulging in neurodiversity cult language, not really understanding that The Neurodiversity movement has very firm views on what autism is, being that all autism being a natural difference shouldn’t be tampered with which is the opposite of what his role is as head autism researcher.

A bit like discussing LGBT rights with the Taliban asking if someone could be a little bit gay, he thought he could throw them a few bones while he embarked in his lab on mass gene testing, early intervention and screening for autism in the womb so presumably pregnant women could one day make the ultimate autism early intervention.

https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/pr ... tudy-cusp/

They soon predictably turned against him with the spectrum 10k and he made a humiliating public mess of it.

The moral of the story for NT researchers like him is don’t get involved in autism politics, don’t choose a side just stick to the science do what the taxpayers pay you to do.


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"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man."

- George Bernie Shaw