Sunday, November 05, 2006

Borat and brain research

The hottest comedian today is
Sacha Baron Cohen who appears in the new movie Borat. He is no relation to the American female figure skater
Sasha Cohen, but is a second cousin to a British brain researcher Simon Baron-Cohen:
In Baron-Cohen's book, The Essential Difference: The Truth About the
Male and Female Brain (2004), he argues that there are innate
differences between male and female brains. Female brains are
predominantly wired for empathy, he reasons, whereas male brains are
predominantly wired for "understanding and building systems". He
describes autism as an extreme version of the male brain, which he
postulates as an explanation for why autism is more common among
He is also cited in the current Scientific American:
Perhaps the most ingenious of the psychological theories is that of Uta Frith of University College London and Simon Baron-Cohen of the University of Cambridge, who posit that the main abnormality in autism is a deficit in the ability to construct a "theory of other minds." Frith and Baron-Cohen argue that specialized neural circuitry in the brain allows us to create sophisticated hypotheses about the inner workings of other people's minds. These hypotheses, in turn, enable us to make useful predictions about others' behavior.

No comments: