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The Pattern Seekers

The Pattern Seekers

How Autism Drives Human Invention

A groundbreaking argument about the link between autism and ingenuity

Why can humans alone invent? In The Pattern Seekers, Cambridge University psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen makes a case that autism is as crucial to our creative and cultural history as the mastery of fire. Indeed, Baron-Cohen argues that autistic people have played a key role in human progress for seventy thousand years, from the first tools to the digital revolution. How? Because the same genes that cause autism enable the pattern seeking that is essential to our species’s inventiveness. However, these abilities exact a great cost on autistic people, including social and often medical challenges, so Baron-Cohen calls on us to support and celebrate autistic people in both their disabilities and their triumphs. Ultimately, The Pattern Seekers isn’t just a new theory of human civilization, but a call to consider anew how society treats those who think differently.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Psychology / Psychopathology / Autism Spectrum Disorders

On Sale: November 10th 2020

Price: $28 / $35 (CAD)

Page Count: 272

ISBN-13: 9781541647145

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


"The Pattern Seekers makes a significant contribution to the emerging body of literature on neurodiversity. Simon Baron-Cohen looks at neurodiversity through the lens of human traits, which stands in refreshing contrast to the current framing of autism and other developmental disabilities. While those disabilities are real, Baron-Cohen puts them in an evolutionary context by looking at associated traits. Baron-Cohen has long been a champion of autistic people and neurodiversity, and this thought-provoking book is sure to spur much discussion."
John Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye
"Based on massive research, Simon Baron-Cohen argues that most of us are specialized in how we perceive the world around us. There are those who focus on people and those who focus on things. The author makes a compelling case that the second kind of mind -- the pattern seeker -- is at the root of modern human civilization."—Frans de Waal, author of Mama's Last Hug
"A fascinating account of the mechanisms underlying the related capacities of both autistic individuals and innovators"—Brian Josephson, emeritus professor of physics, University of Cambridge, and director of the Mind-Matter Unification Project
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