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Thomas Edison

Laying out the evidence that shows some links.

Posted September 24, 2021 |  Reviewed by Tyler Woods

KEY POINTS

  • The cognitive revolution saw two new circuits in the human brain: the Empathy Circuit and the Systemizing Mechanism.
  • We have evidence that the genes for autism have driven human invention through the Systemizing Mechanism.
  • We owe people with autism a huge debt of gratitude for the role their genes have played in human progress.

It is clear that our hominid ancestors could use simple stone tools. For example, Homo habilis and Homo erectus, who both lived 2 million years ago, used stone axes and hammers. And so could the Neanderthals who lived as recently as 40,000 years ago. But despite small changes in the design of their tools, for millions of years, there was little evidence for generative invention: the ability to invent in multiple ways, not just as a one-off. If we look at non-human species alive today, a lot of animals can use simple stone tools. Chimpanzees, for example, can use a rock as a hammer to crack a nut, and crows can drop a stone to raise the water level to be able to reach a worm. Both the behavior of other animals and our hominid ancestors can be parsimoniously explained as the result of associative learning, that is, forming an association between two items, A and B, with little sign of generative invention.

Read More …

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/autism-and-invention/202109/is-there-link-between-autism-and-the-capacity-invention



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