'and then...

  • the different branches of Arithmetic - -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.' (A Mock Turtle regards his schooldays.) A weblog on books, media and writing by Genevieve Tucker.

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January 19, 2007


Hi Genevieve,

Have you seen the Mindreading: the Interactive Guide to Emotions DVD also by Baron Cohen? It was released in 2002

I think it's aimed at older kids. The big plus, at least in our household, is that Daniel Radcliffe (who plays Harry Potter) is one of the faces used. I've tried some of the demo games, and find that I have problems recognising facial expressions too...hmmmm..maybe I should start with the Transporters and move up.

I can easily see how the same family background can produce one kid who acutely observes the incongruities and inconsistencies of human behaviour and becomes a comedian exploiting those foibles (Sacha), while the other observes the same things and tries to work out how kids with autism can find any sense in these inconsistencies (Simon). Both beautifully analyse the difficulties of outsider trying to make sense of social customs.

Kathryn, thanks for the background on the Radcliffe connection - I knew he had done some fundraising, but I didn't know about that DVD.

AND for confirming for me something I suspected the first time I heard Ali G's real name!! Great Scott, it's true, it's really true :) forgive me for not knowing, and for finding that completely hilarious.

I've had mixed feelings about some of Dr.B-C's research on the genetics of autism - but these facial recognition tools sound terrific. When I watch soaps or Thomas with my son, I will talk about the faces he sees, as he did quite a lot of work on this when he was at school, and it struck me just a few days before reading this how expressive the Awdry stories are. So it was good to hear someone had done something with that, instead of saying one more time that people with autism had bizarre fixations with Thomas.

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