January 28, 2010

How do you think?

Today on NPR - Talk of the Nation, I heard the story about Temple Grandin, a woman with autism who has transformed how we treat our beef.

Part of the story was about her work and an upcoming biopic on HBO about her life (which makes me really disappointed that we just took HBO off of our programming).  But the other part was talking about how she as a woman with autism thinks.

While autism comes in many different forms, she is a very visual person.  She thinks not in words or generalites but in specific images.  She explained that when someone tells you to think of a church steeple - a typical person would kind of have this sort of vague image in their mind.  the essence of a church steeple if you will.  She thinks of specific church steeples that she has seen.  She thinks in pictures - not essences.

So I got to thinking about how my brain works.  How do I think?  And the closest that I can come up with is that I think a lot like those "Bing" commercials.... you know the ones where someone mentions a word and there is a lot of random thoughts taking off on that one word?  that's how my brain works.  It's like a tree with branches and an infinite number of possibilities and splits and directions that I can go.  One thing leads to another in quick and rapid succession.

How about you? How do you think?

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