Asperger's and the Extreme Male Brain

Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen holds that autism and Asperger's represent an exaggerated version of a typically "male" brain.

Whereas male brains are overall more interested in systemizing and less interested in empathizing than female brains, the Asperger's brain is on the most "male" side of that spectrum.

The finding helps explain why many more boys than girls suffer from the disease, though girls with Asperger's may be misdiagnosed.

Recent Posts on Asperger's Syndrome

Shopping While Autistic

By Lynne Soraya on March 23, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
Have you ever seen a child having a breakdown in the middle of a grocery store? What’s your reaction to that child? Do you judge, or do you wonder what they’re experiencing? Well, I can give you an idea of what they might be going through.

The Cerebellum Deeply Influences Our Thoughts and Emotions

Yesterday there was a report on NPR about groundbreaking new research on the cerebellum from Harvard Medical School. The latest neuroscience shows that the cerebellum plays an important role in creating fluidity between our thoughts, actions, emotions, and cognitive processes.

Envisioning the Future for Your Child with Autism

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on February 25, 2015 in The Autism Advocate
When envisioning the future of your child as an adult – any child – it’s important to focus on the strengths that are apparent. And as the parent of a child with autism, it’s even more important. The strengths your child has will help him overcome his deficits, perhaps even become a way for your child to be employed as an adult, or be motivated to learn new skills.

The Sound Of Silence

By Lynne Soraya on February 21, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
I have recently come face-to-face with a fact about myself: I have a problem with silence. I’m not really sure why.

Mr. Putin, Would You Lie Still So We Can Scan Your Brain?

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on February 15, 2015 in Caveman Politics
How do we predict dangerous leaders' actions when they won't answer our proven psychological questionnaires or lie still for our fMRI bran scans? Well, here are a couple of choices.

The Diagnostic Swamp of Childhood Bipolar Disorder NOS

Just published in one of the world’s leading psychiatric journals is a study documenting the dramatic change in bipolar disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) diagnosed in children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years from 1999 to 2010.

Discover This One Secret That Will Change Your Life

By Stephen Borgman on January 31, 2015 in Spectrum Solutions
Millionaires commit and dedicate themselves to this simple habit. Why not you?

Figuring Out Friendship

By Lynne Soraya on December 31, 2014 in Asperger's Diary
Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship. What I understand about it, what I still don’t, and how the experience of friendship has always been different that it has been for others.

Autism Adult Transition: My Son Moves Into His Own Place

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on December 29, 2014 in The Autism Advocate
In September, Jeremy moved into his own place. For Jeremy who is autistic, who communicates by typing and has many sensori-motor challenges, moving meant more than just transferring to another living space.

5 Right Ways to Think About Living With Autism

By Stephen Borgman on December 28, 2014 in Spectrum Solutions
It's time to rethink autism advice by asking those who know: adults with autism/Aspergers. Here are 5 tips for living for autism: from those who know.

The Plague of Modern, Mechanized, Multi-cultural Life

Plagues, like mechanization, modernization, and multi-culturalism, isolate individuals in ways comparable to autism.

Navigating Grief and Loss as an Autistic Adult

By Lynne Soraya on December 24, 2014 in Asperger's Diary
It’s the holiday season...a time for reflection, togetherness, and joy, so they say. As I’ve written before, it hasn’t always been that way for me. This holiday season has been an especially difficult one. One of my best friends passed away over Thanksgiving weekend.

Rebranding Psychiatry: Euphemisms, Stigma, and Progress

By Joe Pierre M.D. on December 18, 2014 in Psych Unseen
A look at changes to the nomenclature of psychiatry over time.

Sandy Hook, Two Years Later

By Peter Langman Ph.D. on December 14, 2014 in Keeping Kids Safe
An irrational rationale? The motivation for the massacre at Sandy Hook continues to elude us.

The Sensory and the Psychical: A Link Worth Exploring

By Michael Jawer on December 06, 2014 in Feeling Too Much
Genuine differences in sensory processing – and, consequently, a different sense of self – may relate to who reports anomalous perceptions and who generates psychical anomalies.

Robinson Crusoe: an Autistic Fantasy With Universal Appeal

The sensational success of Robinson Crusoe lies in its perfect portrayal of the autistic fantasy of escape from the general Plague of Mankind.

Autism Thanksgiving Thoughts: A Peep Inside My Mind

By Stephen Borgman on November 26, 2014 in Spectrum Solutions
I'm thankful to you, my autism community and readers, for seven autism Thanksgiving blessings. My favorite is number 2.

Seinfeld Recants Autism Diagnosis

By Amy S.F. Lutz on November 24, 2014 in Inspectrum
Although Jerry Seinfeld recanted his autism diagnosis last week, the use of autism and other disorders as slang for various personality traits is ongoing and has a significant impact on those who truly suffer from these conditions. If we can't get society to change, maybe it's time to change the names?

Picky Eaters: Emotional or Physical Problem?

Children may refuse to eat for physical reasons (constipation, abdominal pain) which can be addressed with supplements. But when they lose their appetite because of stress or grief, natural medicines can help.

10 Reasons to Stop Judging People

Judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are. Here are 10 ways to judge others less and love yourself more.

The X Factor Explains Androgyny in Male Asperger’s

Feminization in some male Asperger’s cases contradicts the extreme male brain theory but conforms to expectations of lingering maternal imprints on the X chromosome.

Eulogy for My Brother Who Suffered from Mental Illness

A Sister's Eulogy Reflects on the Life of a Sibling with Mental Illness

Sexing the Autistic Brain: Extreme Male?

By Daniel Voyer Ph.D. on October 10, 2014 in Perceptual Asymmetries
If you went to Mars would you find men and individuals with ASD? A look at the extreme male brain theory of ASD. Co-authored with Barbara D’Entremont, Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada.

Words are not Things

I have struggled with using the phrase “mental illness” in my writing for as long as I've been publishing about disorders of the psyche. It is not a good term. It conveys only the most general kind of meaning. And it does not do justice to the fact that mental health disorders come in practically limitless shapes, depths, and colors.

Birth Size Inversely Varies Risk of Autism v. Schizophrenia

A study directly comparing autism and schizophrenia risks in a population of 5 million provides the first large-scale empirical test for the imprinted brain theory’s prediction that such risks co-vary inversely.

Catastrophic Encounters and Autistic Identity

By Lynne Soraya on August 31, 2014 in Asperger's Diary
How do you react, as a parent, when you have a child who faces judgement and danger, because of his or her racial and neurological differences? Here is one mother's perspective from activist, advocate, writer, and researcher Kerima Çevik.

It’s Not Mayberry

By Lynne Soraya on August 29, 2014 in Asperger's Diary
Years ago, when I was just out on my own, I had an experience that has deeply shaped how I view events like those in Ferguson, Missouri these past weeks. One which taught me a lot about how biases can shape perception, and how those perceptions can have devastating consequences in law enforcement.

Can You Be Both Mad and Creative?

Findings related to incidence of mental disorders among people of different professions fit the diametric model: but most of all poets, who are strikingly predisposed to bipolar disorder.

On the Physics of Absorbing Unexpected Blows

If you are human, you have squared off against adversity. Sometimes you've won, sometimes you've lost.

The Psychology of Hidden Disability

By Katherine Bouton on August 21, 2014 in What I Hear
Hidden disabilities like hearing loss, eating disorders, epilepsy, asperger's, PTSD may be conditions a patient or client is unwilling to acknowledge to others, and sometimes even to him or herself. But that doesn't mean they aren't major contributors to emotional distress.