'Celebrates human cognitive diversity, and is rich with empathy and psychological insight' Steven Pinker
'Bold, intriguing, profound' Jay Elwes, Spectator
Why can humans alone invent? In this book, psychologist and world renowned autism expert Simon Baron-Cohen puts forward a bold new theory: because we can identify patterns, specifically if-and-then patterns. Baron-Cohen argues that the genes for this unique ability overlap with the genes for autism and have driven human progress for 70,000 years.
From the first musical instruments to the agricultural, industrial, and digital revolutions, Pattern Seekers links one of our greatest human strengths with a condition that is so often misunderstood and challenges us to think differently about those who think differently.
Ambitious and provocative...goes beyond the usual discussion of 'special gifts' in autism to propose that the diversity of human operating systems has accelerated the advancement of human civilization and culture in ways we can barely imagine. -- Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes
It's rare to come across a surprising new idea that explains important phenomena, but Simon Baron-Cohen's exploration of abstract pattern-seeking in human affairs is one of them. This book sheds light on one of humanity's most distinctive traits, celebrates human cognitive diversity, and is rich with empathy and psychological insight. -- Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works
A game-changing book, a passport into exploring the world of innovation and creativity. Most importantly, it celebrates autistic people and is a call for action, to welcome neurodiversity. -- David Joseph, Chairman and CEO Universal Music UK
A fascinating account of the mechanisms underlying the related capacities of both autistic individuals and innovators. -- Brian Josephson, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics
Erudite, illuminating...His bold new idea, that the genes for autism drove the evolution of human invention, places this disability centre stage in the story of humans. -- Jools Holland
Based on massive research, Simon Baron-Cohen argues that most of us are specialized in how we perceive the world around us. There are those who focus on people and those who focus on things. The author makes a compelling case that the second kind of mind-the pattern seeker-is at the root of modern human civilization. -- Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy
Destined to become a classic...In an age of increasing specialization, Baron-Cohen's book comes as a breath of fresh air. -- VS Ramachandran ― author of the Tell Tale Brain
Bold, intriguing, profound. -- Jay Elwes ― Spectator
A wonderful, lyrical celebration of the autistic mind. -- Alice Thomson ― Times
About the Author
Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor at Cambridge University in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. He is also the Director of the Autism Research Centre there. He has carried out research into social neuroscience over a 20 year career. His popular science book entitled The Essential Difference (Penguin 2003) has been translated in over a dozen languages, and has been widely reviewed.