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Autism and Visual Thought Dr. Words are like a second language to me. I translate both spoken and written words into full-color movies, complete with sound, which run like a VCR tape in my head. When somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures.
Language-based thinkers often find this phenomenon difficult to understand, but in my job as an equipment designer for the livestock industry, visual thinking is a tremendous advantage. Visual thinking has enabled me to build entire systems in my imagination. During my career I have designed all kinds of equipment, ranging from corrals for handling cattle on ranches to systems for handling cattle and hogs during veterinary procedures and slaughter.
I have worked for many major livestock companies. In Visual cortex, one third of the cattle and hogs in the United States are handled in equipment I have designed. Some of the people I've worked for don't even know that their systems were designed by someone with autism. I value my ability to think visually, and I would never want to lose it.
One of the most profound mysteries of autism has been the remarkable ability of most autistic people to excel at visual spatial skills while performing so poorly at verbal skills. When I was a child and a teenager, I thought everybody thought in pictures.
I had no idea that my thought processes were different.
In fact, I did not realize the full extent of the differences until very recently. At meetings and at work I started asking other people detailed questions about how they accessed information from their memories.
From their answers I learned that my visualization skills far exceeded those of most other people. I credit my visualization abilities with helping me understand the animals I work with. Early in my career I used a camera to help give me the animals' perspective as they walked through a chute for their veterinary treatment.
I would kneel down and take pictures through the chute from the cow's eye level. Using the photos, I was able to figure out which things scared the cattle, such as shadows and bright spots of sunlight.
Back then I used black-and-white film, because twenty years ago scientists believed that cattle lacked color vision. Today, research has shown that cattle can see colors, but the photos provided the unique advantage of seeing the world through a cow's viewpoint.
They helped me figure out why the animals refused to go in one chute but willingly walked through another. Every design problem I've ever solved started with my ability to visualize and see the world in pictures. I started designing things as a child, when I was always experimenting with new kinds of kites and model airplanes.
In elementary school I made a helicopter out of a broken balsa-wood airplane. When I wound up the propeller, the helicopter flew straight up about a hundred feet. I also made bird-shaped paper kites, which I flew behind my bike. The kites were cut out from a single sheet of heavy drawing paper and flown with thread.
I experimented with different ways of bending the wings to increase flying performance.
Bending the tips of the wings up made the kite fly higher. Thirty years later, this same design started appearing on commercial aircraft. Now, in my work, before I attempt any construction, I test-run the equipment in my imagination.
I visualize my designs being used in every possible situation, with different sizes and breeds of cattle and in different weather conditions. Doing this enables me to correct mistakes prior to construction.Chapter 1: Autism and Visual Thought Dr.
Temple Grandin I THINK IN PICTURES. Words are like a second language to me. I translate both spoken and written words into full-color movies, complete with sound, which run like a VCR tape in my head.
The vast majority of the nerve fibres in the optic tract project to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) in the dorsal part of the thalamus. The LGN is the main relay in the pathway to the primary visual cortex.
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Visual information coming from the eye goes through the lateral geniculate nucleus in the thalamus and then reaches the visual cortex. The primary visual cortex is found in the occipital lobe in both cerebral ashio-midori.com surrounds and extends into a deep sulcus called the calcarine ashio-midori.com primary visual cortex makes up a small portion of the visible surface of the cortex in the occipital lobe, but because it stretches into the calcarine sulcus, it makes up a significant portion of .
This huge collection of non-scary optical illusions and fascinating visual phenomena emphasizes interactive exploration, beauty, and scientific explanation.