Greebles and inappropriate attachment to inanimate objects in Asperger’s

I believe the tendency of aspies (particularly children in the “active but odd” stage of development) to anthropomorphize specific classes of objects (such as pencils) can be explained by a brain that is specialized for domain-specific expert pattern recognition.

There’s a region of the brain called the right inferotemporal cortex that becomes highly active in facial recognition. It is colloquially thought of as “the face-reading module” because when it is damaged, face-reading is usually the functionality that is lost. But it is probably the case that face-reading is just a particularly difficult pattern recognition problem that almost all humans are very good at, and the brain is better able to regain functionality for easier pattern recognition problems.

You can give people a new class of objects, called “greebles”, and train them over the course of weeks to recognize them by name and family paying close attention to certain features that unite families.

greebles

If you give a student an fMRI in the early stages of this task, you’ll see a lot of blood flow to several brain regions while they familiarize themselves with gross features of this new category of objects. But as the task progresses and they become experts at spotting familial traits and particular individuals in these greebles, an fMRI will begin to show blood flow concentrated much more specifically in the inferotemporal cortex (indicating the use of expert pattern recognition) and in a couple of tiny regions specialized for the task.

You can probably sense that, if you became an expert in greebles, all of them would feel a little different upon recognition as if their features, names, and family names gave them personalities, biographies, and dispositions toward one another. I think it is not a stretch to say that we tend to become experts much more quickly in perceptual tasks that have strong emotional salience, such as reading personalities through face-reading (phrenology), or reading political messages in symbology, or pointed emotional messages from a romantic interest in the language of flowers.

The Asperger’s personality is characterized by extreme levels of knowledge specialization and expert pattern recognition within these domains, specific to each aspie. Therefore, it makes sense that a child with Asperger’s would name all of his pencils and be inappropriately upset when they have to be replaced with new pencils- his brain has applied enormous emotional salience to those pencils such that his right inferotemporal cortex could tell the difference between another red pencil and “Pete” from one hundred feet.

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About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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15 Responses to Greebles and inappropriate attachment to inanimate objects in Asperger’s

  1. bicebicebice says:

    My people = my pens.

  2. Takudzwa Aywok says:

    Did my comments trigger this post and those about spergs on altrugenics? They probably did. Shieeeeeeeeeet nigga I fucked up badly

  3. Koanic says:

    Sounds like that trait would be handy for turning rock collections into tools.

  4. Edenist Whackjob says:

    “I cant- in good conscience- contribute to something that wastes the life of someone who is very intelligent and valuable.”

    I agree. Maybe we could get the main commenters to sign a pact, promising not to comment here until Aeoli attains some level of coding proficiency.

    Aeoli-man, not trying to be mean. Stop dicking around. You’re smart. You can do more.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      It makes me happy that you guys care about my well-being. But because we’re literally oceans apart you don’t have any knowledge of what is plausible in my particular situation, and even if you did I probably wouldn’t trust your judgment over my own.

    • bicebicebice says:

      Most autistic headline ever. Tex would get really autistic on how they mix autism and aspergers.

      “(((Steve Silberman))) is author of NeuroTribes, a New York Times best-selling history of autism and the neurodiversity movement.”

      Hehe. Psychiatry is a racket for the jews – Livia Soprano

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        I think Tex oversimplifies on this point because he’s pushing back against the interest groups that constantly try to pathologize Asperger’s as some kind of brain damage, rather than a racial average personality. He’s right that autism is brain damage, but it appears to be specifically brain damage in aspergoid people.

  5. Wog slayer says:

    More like dumbest article ever. Seriously who writes “the dreaded SS” these days? For some ‘dreaded’ guys they certainly were quickly accepted in all their allies’ land, to the point that there were 5 separate volunteer groups in the Ukraine alone. Stuff like that is why jews cannot make historians. They lie 13 times for every truth. Each lie getting sloppier and less believable with every regurgitation.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      They probably were dreadful, but because resources were slim the various nations considered their ruthless purging efforts preferable to a slow death by organized parasitism.

  6. Aeoli Pera says:

    Thank you for your concern. It’s been great getting to know you a little bit.

    I’ll continue blogging because I’ve always blogged, and if I’m not blogging it means I’m not doing anything else either. Blogging is energy for me.

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