gavinf1980 (gavinf1980) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book #12: The Pattern Seekers by Simon Baron-Cohen

The Pattern Seekers: A New Theory of Human InventionThe Pattern Seekers: A New Theory of Human Invention by Simon Baron-Cohen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Simon Baron-Cohen (brother of Sacha) works at Cambridge University, as a Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, in the Autistm Research Centre.

This book is all about different types of autistic mind (mostly focusing on "hyper-systemisers"), and the abilities of those with autism to recognise patterns, with an argument that people on the autism spectrum are largely responsible for many of our innovative and scientific discoveries.

First off, I did find this to be quite a dense book, and I found myself reading it for about half an hour at a time, trying to focus on all the details, but I found it fascinating, particularly Baron-Cohen's evidence of how many famous inventors (Thomas Edison, for example) may have been on the autistic spectrum. I was particularly intrigued by the theory that a child with parents who are both very intelligent, and good at systemising, was more likely to be autistic.

The book also gave a fascinating insight into how the human brain has evolved, and how we are different from animals in our ways of thinking.

As someone who has been diagnosed with aspergers myself, I found it quite an encouraging read, particularly as it encouraged the reader to change their way of thinking about people who have autistic traits.

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Tags: academic, autism, book review, essays, health, non-fiction, psychiatry, scholarly

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