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

A Service Dog Stops an Autistic From a Self-Harming Meltdown

A remarkable video shows a service dog coming to rescue a woman from an autistic self-harming experience

The X Factor: Genetics and Female Mental Health

XIST, the gene that controls X chromosome gene expression, is up regulated in psychosis, just as the imprinted brain theory predicts.

6 Tips for a Fun 4th of July for Parents of Kids With Autism

The 4th of July is a fun and exciting holiday filled with many amazing activities for your children. However, for some individuals with autism and their families, the crowded public spaces and the crack and shimmer of fireworks can be difficult and uncomfortable.

America: The “No-Vacation Nation”

How your boss isn't feeling much love towards your down time.

ART in ASD, Part One

Could imbalance in the autonomic nervous system explain the complexity and heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Could teaching kids and families affected by ASD skills in autonomic regulation broadly improve comfort and functioning? This is the first of three blog posts on our work at the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation at RIT.

Reassessing Asperger's

A person with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) has difficulty with Theory of Mind: our ability to appreciate another person's point of view. But AS people can be very adept at noticing what people think and feel about them. This is a different perspective on perspective: that we are more interested in what people think or feel about us and later about what they think or feel.

The Beneficial Effects of Animals on Children With Autism

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on May 04, 2015 in Animals and Us
Temple Grandin told me that some (but not all) people with autism have a special way with animals. This new study examined the biological mechanisms behind the soothing effects Guinea pigs can have on children with autism spectrum disorders.

9 Important Technology Rules for Children

The unhealthy relationship children have with technology is a mounting epidemic with uncharted consequences. These nine steps below will help keep your family balanced amidst this technology-addicted world.

A Strength-Based Approach Helps Children

The positive psychology movement has started to ask "what is healthy," "what is working," and "what are a child’s strengths" as central—and often more important—than what is wrong or what disorder or illness does a child have... and this can change lives.

Autism and Sleep

By John Cline Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in Sleepless in America
Parents of children with autism often report sleep difficulties for themselves and their children. Research over the past decade has given information about the sleep difficulties faced by these children. Problems falling and staying asleep, having negative attitudes toward and fears related to sleep are significantly more common among these children.

Being Misunderstood

By Lynne Soraya on March 30, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
Looking back at my life, if I were to identify a common theme, it is feeling misunderstood. It sounds so much like a cliché, that many roll their eyes when hearing the phrase. “Everyone feels misunderstood,” they say. But what’s interesting is that those in my life who have said that, have gradually come to realize that it is true.

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.

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.

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?

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.