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Einstein and Newton showed signs of autism

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  • Ian Pitchford
    The World s No.1 Science & Technology News Service Einstein and Newton showed signs of autism 19:00 30 April 03 Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition They
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2003
      The World's No.1 Science & Technology News Service

      Einstein and Newton showed signs of autism
      19:00 30 April 03
      Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition

      They were certainly geniuses, but did Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton
      also have autism? According to autism expert Simon Baron-Cohen, they might both
      have shown many signs of Asperger syndrome, a form of the condition that does
      not cause learning difficulties.

      Although he admits that it is impossible to make a definite diagnosis for
      someone who is no longer living, Baron-Cohen says he hopes this kind of
      analysis can shed light on why some people with autism excel in life, while
      others struggle.

      Autism is heritable, and there are clues that the genes for autism are
      linked to those that confer a talent for grasping complex systems - anything
      from computer programs to musical techniques. Mathematicians, engineers and
      physicists, for instance, tend to have a relatively high rate of autism among
      their relatives.

      Baron-Cohen, who is based at Cambridge University, and mathematician Ioan
      James of Oxford University assessed the personality traits of Newton and
      Einstein to see if they exhibited three key symptoms of Asperger syndrome:
      obsessive interests, difficulty in social relationships, and problems
      communicating.

      Full text
      http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993676
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