Do you know how 'neurotypicals' think?

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anneurysm
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28 Sep 2011, 6:09 pm

I know how intelligent, creative, insightful and mature neurotypicals think. The rest of them, not so much.


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My longtime psychiatrist has confirmed that I do not qualify for an ASD diagnosis (but have traits & OCD-like traits).

Mostly keeping a distance from ASD-related things (including WP).


Padraig
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28 Sep 2011, 11:11 pm

Phonic wrote:
I don't know how anyone except myself thinks.


I can get a sense of how similar someone is to me in terms of their perception of the world (most people seem alien to me), but my view is pretty much what Phonic said.



LizzyLoo
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28 Sep 2011, 11:32 pm

I wonder how different putting all NTs in to one pile is different to saying all blacks or asians or jews think the same way.

I do not like being placed in a category with anyone else, I think like me....as do my ASD family. My son is not ASD, he is James and he thinks like James. My daughter is Alex and she thinks like Alex. They have certain traits in common with other people on the ASD spectrum but the way they think is as individual as their finger prints.



Cash__
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28 Sep 2011, 11:42 pm

I think most NT men have some sort of primal caveman thing going on. At least that is how it appears to me.



Verdandi
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29 Sep 2011, 1:24 am

I can't say I have an extensive knowledge of how NTs think, although I would point out that it is remarkably easy to purchase musings, stories, philosophy, etc. as created by neurotypical minds and through analysis determine some elements of how they do think.

This article about teleology describes one of the elements of NT thought that I have always found confusing and bizarre, and sometimes fascinating. I never really thought of this as a defining element of difference until it was explicitly described as such (I do much better with explicit vs. implied or inferred information). This extends to other things, such as the ability to look at a photograph and infer thoughts, emotions, and even a social scenario/story from what they see, whereas I see precisely what's in that same photograph, and little more.

This also extends to, say, giving nonhuman shapes/objects personalities or intentions. I don't really do it. There's a video that shows various shapes interacting that you watch and describe what you see with as many social elements as possible - and to me, I see very little (although the social descriptions I've read from others make sense).

And I guess this relates to what people like to call theory of mind: I don't really know or think about what other people are thinking, except sometimes with relation to specific things when I want to know. I am aware other people have minds and have their own thoughts but I have to admit it took me a long time to generalize that, and I learned it on a case by case basis. I remember when I found out that other people had their own independent existence in which things happened when they weren't around me, and when it became obvious that other people did not always hold the same opinions and beliefs that I did (both were something of a shock).

I do care about what people think and feel, and if I know they need/want sympathy I can try to give it. It takes me time to work out what I should offer when I see it (I can tell when someone is crying, but I have to work out that crying = something made them cry = maybe they need a hug).

I don't think this is the sole defining difference, either. But it's precisely the difference that prompted my therapist to exclaim that she's never worked with someone whose brain works like mine. I was trying to explain trouble I had understanding things my mother says, what I was describing as my trouble did not make sense to her - because to her it is simply normal to be able to infer intentions and context without having to stop and think about it or ask for an explicit description. For me, I would mention something to my mother, and her response seemed to have no relation or bearing on what I said. When I said that the answer made no sense and could she explain what she means, she simply said "It shouldn't be confusing." Thanks, mom.

There is nothing wrong with pointing out certain kinds of cognitive patterns in certain populations. Not all NTs think alike, but their brains and perceptions are generally wired in a similar fashion to each other, meaning that in various ways they can often relate to and understand each other, even though they all have different interests, preferences, loves, hates, politics, opinions, philosophies, religions, etc. They're diverse, but they have certain kinds of cognitive architecture that they use to function socially (among other things).

Long before I knew I was autistic, I found that there are things I'd say or opinions I'd express that other people didn't understand, and often other people would say things I didn't understand. I remember one problem I consistently run into is that I'll say something, others will respond to something that seems - to me - to have nothing to do with what I said, and I point out I said exactly, literally what I meant. Or to turn it around, and I take someone else literally, and they explain that I misunderstood (or, if they're just being jerks, calling me illiterate). One of my friends told me they'd thought I was on the spectrum for some time because I so frequently misunderstood their jokes and sarcasm.

However, all of the above aside? I think that autistic people and NTs have more in common than otherwise. It's how we perceive and express ourselves that often gets in the way. I mean, there are things that I don't really care about that many NTs do, and these are things in common with many other autistic people - but also some number of NTs (possibly more NTs in terms of raw numbers, but a lower overall percentage).



cyberdad
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29 Sep 2011, 2:48 am

As somebody who is borderline NT, I find the generality and assumptions in this thread not very insightful.

Question for the OP: Perhaps you could list the expected cognitive traits that you expect somebody who is "nuerotypical" to have and contrast them with your own.

Otherwise there is no benchmark or no baseline for comparative discussion.



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29 Sep 2011, 3:20 am

limau wrote:
If the answer is no, then how do you know that you are wired differently from them.


I know how people think in single situations and not generally. I know Im different because I mostly dont agree with the way they think when it obvious that everybody else is agreeing. Im not sure if Im wired differently though, because most people think in ways I have been through long time ago. That means most thoughts I understand I already have a sheme of questions to, that has developed with time.

TheWingman wrote:
There are no such people as Neurotypical. Each brain has 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 connections, there are different in each brain, each brain is unique, none is typical.


Agreed.

limau wrote:
Those information with regards to Aspergers that can be found on the web, are they written by nt(s)
how do they know so much about us, and we understand and identify with what they write?


I can identify with anything. When I started researching Aspergers I started thinking I had a problem because of all the wrong information I had to go through. Now I know that I have no problem at all with any of the issues stated. I make normal expressions, make eye contact, understand situations, including sarcasm and irony, give items personality (I do this all the time)... and so on. It is just relative. Like it is for anybody.

animalcrackers wrote:
I can identify with the descriptions that NT's write, but not so much the explanations. A lot of what NTs write about the way that autistic people think is just guesswork.


Yes.

The thing that for me is the basically most difficult, is peoples fake sides and their therefore lack of honesty to themselves and to the surroundings.
It is a part of me too, but it kind of scares me how labile those fantasies are, and how heavy it would be for some people to see reality. Im also in there, creating dreams, but I love and can face reality. This would be the greatest difference to me.

I think it is fun who people think they are and who I think I am sometimes, but if people NEVER COME DOWN we cant talk.



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29 Sep 2011, 4:44 am

TheWingman wrote:
There are no such people as Neurotypical. This word as just been invented by aspies to make them feel beter. Each brain has 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 connections, there are different in each brain, each brain is unique, none is typical.


Agreed.


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Verdandi
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29 Sep 2011, 4:58 am

Joe90 wrote:
TheWingman wrote:
There are no such people as Neurotypical. This word as just been invented by aspies to make them feel beter. Each brain has 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 connections, there are different in each brain, each brain is unique, none is typical.


Agreed.


While this is technically true, "neurotypical" refers to a statistical "norm". For example, IQ scores ranging from 85-115 are typical, within the standard deviation. No individual person has an IQ of 85-115, however. They have 86 or 92 or 112, and they're "typical."

Neurotypical is the same way, except it refers to a set of neurologies that cluster around a common center, within that standard deviation for typical. Everyone who falls into this category has a different, unique brain that falls into the "neurotypical" range.

So no single brain can possibly represent "neurotypical" but as a group, that's what you have.



Mdyar
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29 Sep 2011, 6:49 am

Verdandi wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
TheWingman wrote:
There are no such people as Neurotypical. This word as just been invented by aspies to make them feel beter. Each brain has 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 connections, there are different in each brain, each brain is unique, none is typical.


Agreed.


While this is technically true, "neurotypical" refers to a statistical "norm". For example, IQ scores ranging from 85-115 are typical, within the standard deviation. No individual person has an IQ of 85-115, however. They have 86 or 92 or 112, and they're "typical."

Neurotypical is the same way, except it refers to a set of neurologies that cluster around a common center, within that standard deviation for typical. Everyone who falls into this category has a different, unique brain that falls into the "neurotypical" range.

So no single brain can possibly represent "neurotypical" but as a group, that's what you have.



Yep. I posted this same concept in a thread a while back. There are generalities that one can say when one is around people. You can make, or at least I can make a prediction of how something is going to be perceived, morally, etc.

There is a cultural meme that is "centered" that crossover various groups or 'clusters' with a given segment of society. A predictable 'mean' ( no pun) behavior. You have to be there as an observer to note it, as this is the only metric.

Take a look at the broad cultural sum, then 'sample' a slice out of it,( one individual) and you have one 'holographic part.' The general cognition ( not necessarily "IQ" here), is within a mean of how information is processed, ergo 'valued'.

You will find some differences in the "sample" that will diverge from the mean-- a scatter in this scale of cognition.



amojak
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29 Sep 2011, 7:10 am

Cash__ wrote:
I think most NT men have some sort of primal caveman thing going on. At least that is how it appears to me.


I find this interesting as i read the article on the aspie test site that makes some connections between Autistic traits and Nethanderals from "cave man" days.

It is of course highly probable that that particular arm of "homo sapien" did not go extinct without interbreeding with the branch we came from today. Therefore in our genes lives nethanderal traits (ok yes firefox i have probably spelt it wrong) which may explain the specialist abilities but lack of adaptability which i would guess was the downfall of the species in the first place.

the new "cave men" , the NT's as we refer to them as are adaptable, use language to get what they want, even if it requires a lie or many..

Bill



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29 Sep 2011, 7:27 am

I say this wherever the question comes up: if you want insight into nonautistic motivation, you must experiment with oxytocin (or MDMA which effects oxytocin and may be easier to obtain). I suddenly had a keen awarness of in- and out-groups that preceded any rational thought about them. Most illuminating. I now suspect that all nonautistic thought is post-hoc rationalisation of animal power hierarchies. Yes, all. Including 'empathy' and their attempts at science.

Verdandi's link about teleology is excellent. I was already thinking along the lines that nonautistics are all basically religious, and that explains why the atheists annoy me the most: I can feel their discomfort with themselves.



young_god
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29 Sep 2011, 7:41 am

Not all of them. Some people are an enigma.
However, what bothers me, is that I can 'read *some* peoples minds'.

Yes, I know *exactly* how they think. How they will behave.
It bothers me, because I do not agree with their moral/ethic manifested
in their brain process.

I could behave that way if I wanted and mimic them, but I strongly choose not to.

But like I said, some people are 'unreadable', it is just frightening to the degree
that most people can be 'read'.


Obviously, the ones that can't be 'read' are the more interesting types.



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29 Sep 2011, 7:46 am

What I suspect - and evidence seems to support it - is that neurotypicals are enmeshed in a world where facial twitches and subtle signals shape their world. All that is pre-conscious, at least for the majority of them, and so it seems that that's the way it's meant to be. When an individual comes along who doesn't merge into that pre-conscious flow, they're (that's us, folks) treated with suspicion. Trust doesn't form, and neither does relationship.



young_god
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29 Sep 2011, 7:51 am

Does that mean that I should stop winking at women when I walk into a bar?

8O

I am joking of course.

:wink:



fraac
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29 Sep 2011, 7:58 am

peterd wrote:
What I suspect - and evidence seems to support it - is that neurotypicals are enmeshed in a world where facial twitches and subtle signals shape their world. All that is pre-conscious, at least for the majority of them, and so it seems that that's the way it's meant to be. When an individual comes along who doesn't merge into that pre-conscious flow, they're (that's us, folks) treated with suspicion. Trust doesn't form, and neither does relationship.


This is why I recommend finding smart girls with borderline personality disorder. They learned not to trust their pre-conscious instincts, from being raped or whatever, and worked out their own way of trusting people. NTs can't spot them (or psychopaths) so they're a good way in to society.