For the full story on Simon Baron-Cohen Autism research and autism spectrum disorders on Wired: http://bit.ly/SmTS17
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Scientists are more likely to show signs of autism, explained to psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen, speaking at Wired 2012.
"People with autism show a broader interest in systems," he said. "You're trying to find the system, and find the mechanism behind how it works. I'm going to explore the idea that autism is linked to minds that are wired for science."
Baron-Cohen, leader of the Autism Research Centre and trustee of the Autism Research Trust, cites an article written by Ioan James for the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, which claimed that historical scientists -- including Isaac Newton, Henry Cavendish, Marie Curie and her son-in-law Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie, and Paul Dirac -- showed signs of autism. Albert Einstein, too, was "late to speak, and when he spoke he spoke with echolalia, where you repeat what people say back to them -- and apparently in his childhood he had no friends," Baron-Cohen says -- all characteristics on the autistic spectrum.
Wired US even published an article in 2001 discussing the anecdotal evidence that children with autism were especially common among the offspring of Silicon Valley couples. The evidence, says Baron-Cohen, is that "scientists tend to score higher in terms of autistic traits than people in the general population", and those traits -- a love of systems, and an aptitude for analysing them -- can be passed on in some way.
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Simon Baron-Cohen: Autistic Spectrum Test | WIRED 2012 | WIRED