Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Items about Jill Price, AKA AJ, the woman who can't forget, first known case of hyperthymestic syndrome and also a case of time-space synaesthesia

(this post added to in 2012)

Ashbrook, Tom (2008) The perfect memory. On Point. May 20th 2008.
[radio show]

Berg, Tom (2008) Remembering every day of your life. The Orange County Register. April 25th 2008: Life Section.

CBS News (2010) The Gift of Endless Memory. 60 Minutes (US). December 19, 2010. interviewer Lesley Stahl, producer Shari Finkelstein.
[Jill Price only mentioned in this feature story in which the original term “hyperthymestic syndrome” has been replaced with the term “superior autobiographical memory”. Actress Marilu Henner identified as a case and one of the same researchers who studied Price, Dr James McGaugh, is interviewed by Lesley Stahl, with information about research findings about which parts of the brain give rise to this cognitive gift. Other people mentioned or interviewed in this story include: Brad Williams, Rick Baron, Bob Petrella and Dr Larry Cahill]

Conan, Neal (2008) Blessed and cursed by an extraordinary memory. NPR. May 19th 2008.
[radio show and excerpt from Price's autobiography, transcript of radio show available]

Elias, Marilyn (2009) MRIs reveal possible source of woman's super-memory. USA Today. January 28th 2009.

Elias, Marilyn (2008) Decades of details flood woman with unmatched memory. USA Today. 27th May 2008.

Foer, Joshua (2009) Remember this. National Geographic. November 2007. p. 32-55.
[a substantial article]

Galton, Francis (1883) Inquiries into human faculty and its development.
[obviously this book does not mention Jill Price, but number-form synaesthesia like that described by Price is described on pages 80-103]

Gill, Victoria (2009) Can you see time? BBC News. September 11th 2009.
[A good article about synaesthesia in which Dr Julia Simner is interviewed and discusses the link between time-space synaesthesia and hyperthymestic syndrome]

Gray, Keturah and Escherich, Katie (2008) Woman who can't forget amazes doctors. ABC News. May 9th 2008.
[brain scans mentioned]

Leve, Ariel (2008) Jill Price, the woman who remembers everything. Sunday Times. September 21st 2008.

Marcus, Gary (2009) Total recall: the woman who can't forget. Wired. Issue number 17.04 April 2009, article dated 23rd March 2009.
[A sample of Price's unusual handwriting can be seen in this article, which includes a window to a video clip of Price being interviewed from YouTube]

Marshall, Jessica (2008) Unforgettable. New Scientist. Issue 2643
February 16th 2008. p.30-33. Online article title: Forgetfulness is key to a healthy mind.

[Price is “AJ” in this interesting article, which is about her, Brad Williams and the condition that they share, hyperthymestic syndrome. AJ’s ability to identify the day of the week for dates long past is noted, a clever trick that many savants can also perform. Researchers discussed in this article include McGaugh, Parker and Cahill who first described her, Daniel Schacter, Michael Anderson and K. Anders Ericsson. I can’t take any of these researchers too seriously, because it appears that none of them noticed that AJ is a synaesthete.]

Parker, Elizabeth S., Cahill, Larry, & McGaugh, James L. (2006) A case of unusual autobiographical remembering. Neurocase. Volume 12 Issue 1 February 2006. p. 35 – 49.
[sequence-space synaesthesia described on page 42]

Phillips, Graham (2009) Unforgettable memories. Catalyst. ABC Television. March 19th 2009.
[Jill Price on Australian TV]

Price, Jill & Davis, Bart (2008) The woman who can't forget: the extraordinary story of living with the most remarkable memory known to science - a memoir. Free Press, May 2008.
[time-space synesthesia described on pages 30-31]

Simner, Julia (2009) Synaesthetic visuo-spatial forms: Viewing sequences in space. Cortex. volume 45, issue 10, November-December 2009, Pages 1138-1147.
[an editorial]

Simner, Julia, Mayo, Neil, Spiller, Mary-Jane (2009) A foundation for savantism? Visuo-spatial synaesthetes present with cognitive benefits. Cortex. Volume 45, issue 10, November-December 2009, Pages 1246-1260.
["AJ" discussed in this paper. Other papers and an editorial about this type of synaesthesia can also be found in this journal issue.] (2008) The woman who can remember everything. May 9th 2008.
[characteristics of other people with hyperthymestic syndrome mentioned]

UCI scientists study people who can't forget [press release] Today@UCI. 9th May 2008.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's on for young and old at Wired!

I see that Wired magazine has a number of stories running that appear to be critical of the crowd who argue that vaccinations cause autism, so it's on for young and old in the comments sections of some online Wired magazine articles. So much hot air! It's such a pity that so many people on both sides of this debate have to waste so much time over a dispute that only has one rational side.
List of famous synaesthetes updated

I've just added a number of things to my fully referenced list of famous synaesthetes. I've added more information and references regarding the enigmatic Syd Barrett / Roger Barrett, and I've also added more information and references regarding Jill Price - the woman who can't forget. A second journal paper has been published about the obscure but interesting subject of hyperthymestic syndrome (or hyperthymesia), so I've had to add to the section about Price.

Lili Marlene's list of famous synaesthetes or possible synesthetes

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Visuo-spatial synaesthesia

Did you know there's a special section on synaesthesia and visuo-spatial forms (number form synesthesia) in the current issue of the journal Cortex? If you are among of the 12% of people who consistently think of the months of the year arranged in a never-ending oval shaped cycle, or who involuntarily visualize the days of the week in a rising line from right to left, abruptly dropping down at the weekend, you might find this issue of a scientific journal interesting.

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Aspergian Quiz

1. Which famous person who has been identified as "an aspie" has written a book which appears to be autobiography but which includes a disclaimer claiming it is a work of fiction based on real events, and which is a major source of material for the latest installment on the infamous Australian TV series Underbelly?

2. Name two famous people who have both been identified as autistic and also both have eyes of different colours.

3. Give the title of an autobiography written by a Nobel Prize winner who has Asperger syndrome.

4. Name two infamous rock stars who have been identified as autistic and who have both made memorably wild appearances on Dave Letterman's Late Show.

5. Which famous person with Asperger syndrome openly enjoys cross-dressing?

6. Which famous person with Asperger syndrome has been appreciated by an army of fans who called themselves "Numanoids"?

7. Which famous person who has self-identified as a possible case of Asperger syndrome was at the centre of a controversy in the mid-1990s that painfully exposed the multicultural pretentions of the Australian literary establishment?

8. Name a famous person who is reportedly diagnosed with Asperger syndrome who can speak 11 languages.

9. Which famous person identified as a possible case of Asperger syndrome triggered an international controversy and a lot of educated discussion with a speech delivered at a conference in 2005?

10. Which famous person who has self-identified as a "mild" case of autism wrote a poem about autism that was recently featured as the Poem of the Week by the Times Literary Supplement?

11. Name a Prime Minister and a former Deputy Prime Minister who have both been referred to as autistic.

12. Which famous person self-identified as having Asperger syndrome learned to read with computer programming commands?

13. Which famous person identified as a possible case of Asperger syndrome has also been identifed as one of the first authors to fully incorporate Asperger syndrome into the heart of a novel, many years before the publication of The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon?

14. Name the novel referred to in question 13.

The answers can be found here, but some may require some additional web surfing to verify:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm not dead and I haven't given up this blogging caper, I've just been to busy doing the mother and housewife thing. It's boring, I know.

The other day I was looking into free activities for young kids that our local city council provides to us good ratepaying working families. I saw something that I thought might be fun for one of our young ones, except that this free kids' activity session included an element of vigorous exercise, presumably with the aim of preventing or curing the much-hyped epidemic of childhood obesity. This is the last thing that our youngest needs. My gene for childhood hyperactivity has certainly not been wasted. You know your child is genuinely very active when they often complain of aching legs after particularly busy days. I think it's funny that this child of ours is probably very much in vogue this year, because these days everyone is supposed to be getting children to be more active than they otherwise might have been, and obesity and lack of fitness are some childhood disorders that are now most fashionable things to hate. Active children are "in" this year and children who like to stay put for long periods of time are "out" this year. But I cast my mind back to the time when I had my first very active young child. I felt most defensive. Back then it was definitely not the desired look to have a child who is a blur of hyper-excitable haste. That time was the tail-end of ADHD mania. When fashionable young mums get together to chat these days they might swap tales about their son's speech therapist or OT, but back then the chatter was often about which foods or drinks or chemical substances were thought to trigger manic and unmanageable behaviour in our troublesome offspring, usually sons. So I'd like to congratulate all of those mums and dads, child health nurses, parent educators, natural therapists, doctors, prescribing paediatricians, parenting experts and inferfering grandparents who set their minds to curing the terrible epidemic of childhood hyperactivity back in the 1980s, the 1990s and earlier decades. You did well, rather too well. Be careful what you wish for.

Clever, Creative, Controversial .....

Clever, Creative, Controversial: A referenced list of 37 famous living people who have been identified in any way as autistic, to any degree, during any period of their life, including famous people diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS)

List altered June 2012

The inclusion of every name into this list is supported by at least one document or audio-visual item cited in the references section.

This list is a subset of a larger list that can be found here:

Dan Aykroyd CM (b. 1952, Canadian-American film actor, comedian, singer and screenwriter, one of the famous Blues Brothers, an original cast member of the Saturday Night Live TV show, was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000. In a somewhat confusing radio interview Aykroyd claimed to have been diagnosed as a child with Asperger and Tourette syndromes, and schizophrenia was also mentioned (in those days autism was sometimes erroneously described as “childhood schizophrenia”, and this may have confused the issue), his autistic special interest is law enforcement, which may have been an influence on Aykroyd’s screenplay of The Blues Brothers. Aykroyd was born with syndactyly (webbed toes) and like another person in this list, has eyes of different colours (heterochromia). Aykroyd is a spiritualist with a family tradition of spiritualism, and also has a strong interest in UFOs. L-H, M)

David Bellamy OBE (b. 1933, English botanist, broadcaster, environmentalist and author, outspoken, has held positions such as professor, president and vice-president within many organizations, won a BAFTA Richard Dimbleby Award for television in 1978, possibly best known as the extremely enthusiastic host of nature documentaries such as Botanic Man screened in the 1970s. Bellamy's views on global warming have caused some controversy in recent years. David Bellamy has claimed to have “some special sort of autism” in an autobiography. As a child he enjoyed reading Encyclopaedia Britannica, once asked for Baillier’s Medical Dictionary as a present and threw a tantrum beside a Diplodocus when it was closing time at the end of his first visit to a natural history museum. M)

Richard Borcherds (b. 1959, winner of the Fields Medal in 1998 (considered to be as prestigious as a Nobel Prize, for which there is no prize in mathematics), currently a professor of mathematics in the US. Born in Cape Town, a childhood special interest was constructing polyhedra, his talent in mathematics developed early, an accomplished chess player as a teen, educated in the UK, formerly at Cambridge University. In 1998 Borcherds had a consultation with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, a leading autism expert, this lengthy process was described in detail in Chapter 11 of Baron-Cohen's book The essential difference, Prof. Borcherds’ parents were consulted for information about what he was like as a child. In this chapter Baron-Cohen more than once referred to Borcherds as a person who has AS, but in the same chapter Baron-Cohen writes "Certainly, he is not currently severe enough in his symptoms to warrant a diagnosis in adulthood, as his symptoms are not interfering with his daily functioning ..." and later Baron-Cohen explains that in a different environment having AS could be a problem for Borcherds (Baron-Cohen 2003 p. 163-164), M)

Gordon Brown (b. 1951, full name James Gordon Brown, born in Scotland, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, former Chancellor of the Exchequer of the UK, former leader of the Labour Party in the UK. Brown is a very intelligent man with a very strong work ethic. He was an academic high achiever in high school, was accepted into university at the age of 16, and completed a doctorate. In his teens a sport injury left Brown blind in one eye, and he came close to losing sight in his other eye. Many words have been written about the time when Brown was the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the UK. Andrew Turnbull has been quoted in a book describing the Brown/Blair partnership “They were almost the exact opposite of each other in terms of personality types so they complemented each other,” (Rawnsley 2010 p.57). Unfortunately, it appears that there was much distrust and conflict of interests in within this team, with Blair and Brown supported by their own opposing camps. Brown has been described as “the most powerful Chancellor of the Exchequer since William Gladstone in the middle of the 19th century.” (Osborne 2010). Brown has been described as “dour and often awkward in public”, has been accused by various political figures of being autistic, uncollegiate, psychologically flawed, possessing "steamrolling persistence." (Rawnsley 2010 p. 56) and a "depth of knowledge that is phenomenal." (Rawnsley p.543). Regarding Brown’s style of working, he has been described as "... the control freak's control freak." (Rawnsley 2010 p. 473), "addicted to headline chasing" (Rawnsley 2010 p.544), and a workaholic. Brown had the habit of working and making phone calls at unusual hours. As a PM Brown has been described as "pathologically determined to try to run every bit of Government himself." (Rawnsley 2010 p. 545). Some commentators have stated that they find Brown’s smile unnatural-looking. Political journalist Andrew Rawnsley’s 2010 book The end of the party described a number of episodes of bad behaviour of PM Brown’s that appears to be evidence of a very bad temper. It has also been observed that Brown can be very charming and funny at times, especially in the company of people that he likes. There has been speculation over the years that Brown may be autistic, and also speculation about Brown’s mental health, and a lot of this speculation has been within a context of vicious personal criticism from political enemies. M)

Warren Buffett (b. 1930, American investor, businessman, philanthropist, currently the third richest person in the world. In 2008 listed as the world’s richest person by Forbes magazine. Buffett has a legendary reputation as an investor, and is known as “the sage of Omaha”. Many books have been written about Buffett and his investment strategies.

As a toddler Buffett showed a lack of confidence when we was learning to walk, and at around the age of 2 he was content to sit at his mother's feet staring quietly at a toothbrush for "two hours at a stretch" (Schroeder 2008 p.46). He had some unusual childhood hobbies - browsing a model train catalogue for hours, repetitively timing marbles rolling down a bathtub with a stopwatch, recording the license plate numbers of passing cars with a friend, memorizing facts. Buffett also collected bottle caps, stamps and coins when he was a boy. He made money from working in his own businesses and bought his first shares at around the age of 10. During his college years Buffett’s prodigious memory made studying easy, but he dressed poorly, had little luck with girls, was an annoying smartalec, a fussy eater and was generally “socially maladjusted” (Schroeder 2008 p. 97). He discovered a much-needed system for getting along with people and self-presentation in Dale Carnegie’s famous book How to win friends and influence people. Buffett conducted his own informal controlled trial of the advice given in this book, and he found that it worked, but Buffett was still a man with a restless mind and a limited diet who had little interest in social climbing.
Buffett’s mother was intelligent and had excelled as a student of mathematics. She was “obsessed with fitting in” (Schroeder 2008 p.207), and was verbally abusive to Warren and his older sister when they were young children. Her family had a history of high intelligence and depression in women, some of them admitted to mental institutions but no clear diagnosis was made. The biography of Buffett The snowball by Alice Schroeder contains much evidence indicating that Buffett may be an autist (and possibly also his business partner and his mother), it inspired at least two writers to speculate about Buffett and autism (Cowen 2009 p.30), (Lawson 2008), but there is no explicit mention of autism or AS in this book.
Despite his incredible wealth, Buffett is known for his frugal ways and has shown little interest in fashion or fancy food. For a large part of his life Buffett had a wife who he lived apart from but was on good terms with and also openly lived with a female companion, who he married in 2006. Buffett is reportedly an agnostic. Bill Gates, who is also in this list, has also been listed as the richest person in the world, is also known for his philanthropy, also has an unpretentious taste in food, and wears suits of the same Chinese label that Buffett wears, has been described as having a son-like relationship with Buffett. (Rushe 2008). M.)

Michael Burry (b. 1972?, American founder and manager of the Scion Capital LLC hedge fund, who correctly predicted the 2007 collapse of the subprime mortgage market. Burry is also a graduate of a medical school. During his residency in neurology Burry discovered that he did not enjoy working as a doctor. He made the decision to pursue his sideline as an untrained investment guru as a career and founded Scion Capital, a very successful fund that investors who were familiar with Burry were very keen to invest in. Burry subscribed to the “value investing” philosophy favoured by investment genius Warren Buffett, who is also in this list. Scion consistently outperformed the stock market. In 2005 Burry changed the direction of Scion from value investing to shorting selected subprime mortgage bonds using credit default swaps. Burry correctly predicted a collapse in 2007 of the subprime mortgage market and made a fortune for himself and investors, despite being pressured to sell some investments before the crash by frightened investors. In 2008 Burry closed Scion to focus on his own investments. Burry has argued in the New York Times that the US federal regulators should have recognized the risks in the subprime mortgage market that he had identified. When his child was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome Burry realized that he also has the condition. During his time as a resident neurologist Burry had been misdiagnosed with bipolar, a diagnosis that Burry had never believed. Burry has been profiled in two recent books about investors who made money out of the 2007 collapse of the US housing bubble (Lewis 2010), (Zuckerman 2009) M) 

Tim Burton (b. 1958, American director of many popular films including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands, as well as some Batman blockbusters. Outsiders, loneliness and Gothic style are recurring themes in Burton’s movies. Burton's long-term partner English actress Helena Bonham Carter has identified him as possibly autistic. It has been suggested that Burton was able to create a near-perfect allegory of a man with Asperger syndrome in the movie Edward Scissorhands because he has the condition himself (Sampson 2004). Burton's latest movie is Alice in Wonderland, based on the story by Lewis Carroll, who has also been identified as an autistic famous person. A retrospective exhibition of Burton’s art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York has been very successful, and is scheduled to be shown in Melbourne in 2010 along with a retrospective festival of Burton’s movies. M)

David Byrne (b. 1952, Scottish-American musician, was a singer and songwriter with the defunct New Wave band Talking Heads, collaborated with Brian Eno, won a Golden Globe Award in 1988, an Academy Award in 1987 and a Grammy Award in 1988 with others for the score of the movie The Last Emperor, quote from Byrne’s blog from 2006 “I was a peculiar young man — borderline Asperger's, I would guess.”, in some 2007 media interviews Byrne speculated that he once had AS, one web site claims Byrne “was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.” , in his teens Byrne did his own editing and layering musical experimentation with his father's reel-to-reel tape recorder, L-H, M)

Bram Cohen (b.1975, American computer programmer, author of the BitTorrent computer downloading program, co-founder and CEO of the BitTorrent company. The first words that Cohen learned to read were computer programming commands. He displayed precocious talent in computer programming. He dropped out of college. Cohen is reportedly self-diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, and this has been discussed in articles in the press, magazines, a book chapter and an interview published at an online AS forum. M)

Helen Dale/Darville/Demidenko (b. 1972, born Helen Darville, literary pseudonym Helen Demidenko, changed name to Dale reportedly to avoid discrimination in job interviews, Australian writer, P.E. teacher, winner of The Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1993 (at age 22), the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1995, and the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal in 1995, as Helen Demidenko, all awarded for the novel The Hand That Signed the Paper, this novel, it’s author and the awards ignited a storm of controversy in Australia that inspired the publication of four books about the affair, Dale gained a reputation as a chronic liar when she lived in the fictional persona of half-Ukrainian Helen Demidenko “on and off for at least three years” (Prior 1996). In a 2008 interview that gave rise to a newspaper feature article, claims by Dale to be severely dyslexic and a possible case of Asperger syndrome are reported (Wheatley 2008). According to an autobiographical article in Quadrant Dale was given phonics tuition and occupational therapy as a child for dyslexia and went from the bottom of the class to the top within 6 months, has claimed to have a very high IQ. Dale has expressed political views that could be categorized as right-wing, she is involved with the Australian Skeptics, during the Demidenko affair was defended by Australian poet Les Murray, literary editor of conservative journal Quadrant who himself claimed to be autistic and considers himself a pariah from a leftist Australian literary establishment. Dale finds commercial law fascinating and is reported to be currently studying postgraduate law at Oxford. R-H?)

Greg Egan (b.1961, Australian science fiction author and computer programmer, winner of a Hugo Award in 1999 for the novella Oceanic, and has won three Locus Awards. Egan and some other literary figures were identified as possible cases of Asperger syndrome in an article published in 2006 in a science fiction magazine, which is interesting considering that Egan has created at least two autistic fictional characters. In Egan’s 1995 novel Distress the character James Rourke is a representative of the (fictional) Voluntary Autists Association and he shares some interesting opinions about autism. The main character of Distress, Andrew Worth, has also been identified as having an autistic personality and this novel has been cited as one of the first to feature such a personality as a central element (Hassler & Wilcox 2008 p.18), many years before the publication of The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon. Greg Egan is known for his reclusiveness. He does not attend science fiction conventions nor sign books. At his web site he has explained that "There are no photos of me on the web." Egan is an atheist and he has contributed an essay to the 2009 book 50 voices of disbelief: why we are atheists. Egan's latest novel is titled Zendegi.)

Tim Fischer AC (b. 1946, Australian ex-politician, was the Deputy Prime Minister in the Howard Government from 1996 until he retired from Cabinet in 1999. Fischer was also the Trade Minister and leader of the National Party of Australia. He retired from Parliament in 2001, and is currently the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See. Fischer was nominated into this position by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, from the other side of Australian politics. Fischer left politics in 2001 to spend time with his family, including a son diagnosed with autism. He has a reputation for being inarticulate but is a well-respected public figure. Fischer has been a railway enthusiast since childhood. As a student in boarding school Fischer was a loner with a speech impediment and an odd gait who was taunted, but he went on to later become a prefect and the winner of a debating prize (Rees 2001 p. 318). He was drafted into the army and led a platoon in Vietnam. He married at the age of 46. Fischer was quoted in 1999: “…to some extent I had a very mild form of autism in my early years.” Fischer credited his autism as the cause of some “intense areas of study and interests” (Rees 2001 p.319). As an adult Fischer has been described as a “self-sufficient loner” (Rees 2001 p. 318). M)

Bill Gates KBE (b.1955, full name William Gates III KBE, American co-founder and chairman of Microsoft Corporation and has been the chief software architect and CEO of Microsoft, the richest person in the world for a number of years, global philanthropist. Gates read an encyclopaedia through when he was a child. As a school student Gates had some conflicts with teachers, showed a love of organizing things and high ability at geography and other subjects, but got poor grades in citizenship and penmanship. Gates was thought to be a bit immature, with a messy desk and not paying attention. One student remembered Gates playing Risk “the board game of global domination” (Manes 1993 p.19). Gates’ mother took him to see a psychiatrist at the age of 11 as she was concerned at his shyness and remoteness, the psychiatrist considered Gates to be unchangeable (Rivlin 1999). In his youth Gates was good at activities such as skiing, but not much good at team sports. Gates was fortunate to go to a school that gave access to a computer through a terminal in 1967, formed a successful computer program company with friends aged 14, later dropped out of Harvard to form Microsoft, Gates is one of the many great entrepreneurs who have no MBA. Bill Gates is reputed to have a very high IQ, an extraordinary memory, a horrible temper and tendencies towards arrogance, rudeness and absent-mindedness, at least in his younger years. Gates has been described as a workaholic and an insomniac, sleeping in odd places and at odd times. As a driver Gates has a record of speeding and inattentiveness. The eccentric Nobelist synaesthete physicist Richard Feynman was much admired by Gates. A video of Gates rocking in an autistic manner during a 1998 legal deposition can be viewed on YouTube. It appears that Gates tends to rock when concentrating and possibly when stressed. This love of rhythmic motion can be traced back to his childhood – rocking himself in a cradle as a baby, spending hours on a rocking horse as a child, later rocking in class while explaining algebra at the blackboard (Manes 1993 p.15, p. 24). Gates is also known for his spontaneous jumping at work. A nerdy lack of awareness of fashion can also be traced back to Gates’ childhood. Gates has been the subject of speculation that he is autistic from a number of different published sources over many years. The author of a 2009 book about autism compared some of Gates’ characteristics with the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for “Asperger’s disorder” and concluded that he would probably be given a diagnosis if he sought one (Benaron 2009 p.56). Bill Gates is a friend of the billionaire Warren Buffett, who is also in this list (see above). L-H, M)

Temple Grandin (b.1947, American animal science Associate Professor, industrial designer, writer and animal rights and autistic rights advocate, diagnosed with “brain damage” at age of 2, diagnosis changed to autism during childhood, formally diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when a adult. Before attending college Grandin had been a student at a boarding school for intellectually gifted children who have trouble learning in a regular setting (2E children). A biographical made for TV movie titled Temple Grandin featured Claire Danes cast as Temple Grandin.)

Daryl Hannah (b. 1960, American film actress and campaigner for environmental causes, her lifestyle is also environmentally friendly, according to one press article Hannah lived in a fantasy world for years as a child, was “diagnosed borderline autistic”, at the age of 7, got kicked out of school and had medication recommended for her by doctors, but her mother decided to take her out of school for a year, a 2009 press article about Hannah did not mention autism, but did describe her school rejecting her as a student at the age of 6, being given a battery of tests, giving an incorrect answer to what appears to have been a test of theory of mind, being recommended for institutionalization, and her mother taking her out of school for a year. Hannah had insomnia during childhood. Some of Hannah's most memorable roles include the bioengineered robot Pris in the cult science fiction movie Blade Runner and the mermaid in Splash)

Peter Howson OBE (b. 1958, Scottish painter, an official war artist in the Bosnian Civil War, war, religion, working-class men and the popular singer Madonna are some themes covered in his work which has been collected by a number of celebrities, reported as having Asperger syndrome, a condition shared by his daughter. Howson has been treated for alcohol and cocaine addiction, and has converted to Christianity. M)

Ladyhawke/Pip Brown (b.1979, full name Phillipa Brown, New Zealand pop music singer-songwriter, she plays all of the instruments in the studio but tours with a band. In 2009 Ladyhawke won 2 ARIA Awards and was nominated for some others. Brown claims to have been diagnosed with AS by a psychologist (Sauma 2008) and she has discussed AS in a number of press interviews. Pip prefers to wear casual boy's and men's clothing. Allergies to various important medications and a rare infectious disease caused problems for Brown during her childhood. She is also lactose intolerant. Courtney Love, who is also in this list, is reportedly one of Ladyhawke's fans. L-H?)

Paul Laffoley (b. 1940, American architect and artist in the visionary style, classified by some in the outsider art genre. Laffoley was given electroshock treatments for neurasthenia when he was a university student, lost a job as a draughtsman working on one of the World Trade Center towers in New York after suggesting the towers be connected by a pedestrian bridge, worked for Andy Warhol (who some believe was autistic). Some people reportedly believe Laffoley has a metal implant of extraterrestrial origins lodged in his brain, and Laffoley has reportedly lived and worked in a utility room for over 40 years. He has claimed that “… he has a mild case of Asperger's disorder ...” (Johnson 2007)

Deborah Locke (maiden name Webb, Australian whistleblower, former Detective Senior Constable in the NSW police force, awarded the Commissioner's Certificate of Merit for her reporting of police mismanagement and corruption, which led to the establishment of the Wood Royal Commission (Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service), which led to the establishment of the Police Integrity Commission, long-time member of Whistleblowers Australia, candidate for the (not-then-registered) People Power political party in Australia in the Werriwa by-election of 2005. Locke is also the mother of a son with autism and an autism and disability advocate. She also works as a manager of a women’s and childrens’ refuge in Sydney, and is also involved with an autism support group which she founded with her husband. Locke was described as “an aspie” in the Australian documentary film by Stephen Ramsay Oops, Wrong Planet. Locke is reportedly diagnosed with high functioning autism. Locke's story, as told in her book Watching the Detectives, is a major source of material for the latest installment on the infamous Australian TV series Underbelly, titled Underbelly: the golden mile. Locke’s character Debbie Webb is played by Cheree Cassidy. M)

Courtney Love (b. 1965, American singer/songwriter and actress, a member of the alternative rock band Hole, widow of Kurt Cobain, left-handed lead singer/songwriter/guitarist from the alternative rock band Nirvana. According to a biographer Love was diagnosed as a child by a therapist as mildly autistic, and she had a very tough and troubled childhood. She has experienced a number of personal problems associated with drug abuse. Love has been described as the most controversial woman in rock. Love has been described as a “female rock star who’s made art out of anger...”. She made a spectacle of herself in 2004 on The Late Show with David Letterman. Courtney Love/Hole’s latest CD titled Nobody’s Daughter was released in 2010. M) 

Darius McCollum (b. 1965, American with African heritage, urban legend, impersonator of New York City Transit Authority employees, has been imprisoned, obsessed with trains since early childhood, at age 11 was stabbed and seriously injured by another student in his special-education class in an unprovoked attack, has a lengthy criminal record as a result of his interference with the New York rail and subway system, although it is widely believed that McCollum has AS, an insanity defence in court based on an AS diagnosis failed, a request that the transit authority hire McCollum in some capacity was refused, M)

Reg Mombassa (b. 1951, real name Christopher O’Doherty, New Zealand born Australian artist and musician. O’Doherty was a co-founding member, lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in the Australian band Mental as Anything which was most popular in the 1980s and is still active as a rock band. He is also famous for his designs for the surfwear company Mambo Graphics, which are generally cartoon-like, vulgar, funny, disturbing and/or bizarre and likely to appeal to male adolescents. Some of O’Doherty’s Mambo designs were adapted as giant float displays for the Sydney 2000 Olympics closing ceremony.

O’Doherty enjoyed drawing since his early childhood, pictures with masculine themes such as warfare and weapons. He was anxious as a child and still retains a tendency to experience the unpleasant emotions. O’Doherty’s mother sold encyclopaedias and passed on her love of book-learning to her sons. Chris developed a fascination with history which lasted to his adult years. WWII and the American Civil War are particularly interesting to O’Doherty. During his high school years O’Doherty taught himself to paint by copying pictures in art books. He claimed that he generally learns best on his own. During his teen years O’Doherty was a “violence magnet” and got into the habit of heavy drinking. It is ironic that O’Doherty is famous for designs for a surfwear label, as he did not feel a part of surf culture in his youth, does not like the feel of cold water, does not enjoy visiting the beach and is generally not an outdoors type. O’Doherty also paints peaceful rural/outer suburban landscapes, and one could say his art turns the ordinary into something extraordinary. O’Doherty completed a questionnaire about Asperger syndrome published in a newspaper, and found that he “came up fairly high on it” (p. 395) and he concluded that “...I think I’ve got a mild case of that...” (p.55). Dog Trumpet, the band which O’Doherty and his brother Peter are currently members of, has released a CD titled Antisocial Tendencies, and in 2005 O’Doherty had an art exhibition titled Recent Developments in Anti-Social Realism. O’Doherty habitually wears a shirt with a suit jacket, even in the bush. M, R-H?)

Caiseal Mor (b. 1961, Australian fantasy novelist (with Irish heritage), and musician, despite being advised not to disclose his autistic status for the sake of his writing career, in a 2007 autobiography A blessing and a curse Mor revealed that he was diagnosed as autistic and suffered from abuse as a child, he did not speak till the age of 4, Mor suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder and PTSD, M)

Les Murray (b. 1938, full name Leslie Allan Murray, considered to be Australia’s greatest living poet, won T. S. Eliot Prize in 1996 for Subhuman Redneck Poems, wrote two novels of verse, literary editor of conservative journal Quadrant, was commissioned to write a preamble to the Australian Constitution and also to rewrite Oath of Allegiance, considers himself a pariah from a leftist Australian literary establishment, Murray is no stranger to controversy. He started speaking before age 2 with a prodigious early memory for nursery rhymes, taught self to read at age four, started school at age 9, read the 8 volume Cassell’s Encyclopaedia at home, from early years often subject to harsh physical discipline from his father, was bullied in high school, won a scholarship to university, spent some time as a drifter, worked as a translator and public servant. Murray has a long history of (formally diagnosed) clinical depression. One of his children is autistic. Like another person in this list Murray has eyes of different colours (heterochromia) (Alexander 2000 p.27). Murray has claimed in a poem The Tune on Your Mind, and in numerous interviews to be “a bit Aspergers”, described as “diagnosed” with AS in some media articles. Murray has written about his autistic son's autistic characteristics in the poem It allows a portrait in line scan at fifteen. There is speculation that Murray may win a Nobel Prize for Literature one day. Murray’s latest publication is Taller When Prone, a book of poems. M, R-H)

John F. Nash Jr. (b. 1928, American mathematician, won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1994 with two other game theorists, won the John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1978 for inventing Nash equilibria, known to the public as the subject of the biographical book and the Academy Award-winning movie both with the title A Beautiful Mind, in childhood showed advanced intellect a keen interest in science and was a loner, initially studied chemistry and engineering at university, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and mild depression in 1959, in 1970 chose to stop taking his schizophrenia medication, anecdotes of homosexual behaviour or overtures have been reported, according to legend Dr Nash had the habit of working on mathematics on university blackboards in the middle of the night, reported to have untidy handwriting, may have been a lefthander who was made to use his right hand for writing, one of his sons reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia. In the paper in which Prof. Michael Fitzgerald argued that Nash has Asperger syndrome, Fitzgerald does not dispute the diagnosis of schizophrenia. M)

Craig Newmark (b. 1952, American Internet entrepreneur and founder of the website Craigslist. Craigslist is a network of online communities that features free online classified advertisements in a range of categories. Craigslist is an unusual company in that it has no marketers, no human resources, no meetings, no sales department and no business development (Wolf 2009), thus solving the common problem of conflict between the technical people and the marketing/business people in tech companies. It has been estimated that Craigslist would be worth billions if sold (Wolf 2009), and it has been blamed for causing decreases in newspaper's revenue from classified ads. In a 2009 blog posting Newmark speculated that he might have AS, and he has referred to himself as a recovering nerd. A 2009 Wired magazine article about Newmark and Craigslist described some traits of Newmark's that could be described as autistic.)

Craig Nicholls (b. 1977, Australian lead singer/songwriter/guitarist in critically-acclaimed Australian rock band The Vines, childhood interests of painting and listening to the Beatles are evident in his adult career, the Vines started out playing Nirvana covers, the “F-word” can be heard in all of the Vines’ CDs to date. The Vines' made a particularly wild appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2002 which can be viewed on YouTube. Nicholls was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2004 by AS expert Dr Tony Attwood after being charged with assault, Nicholls found touring with the band to be stressful, his parents were consulted for information about what he was like as a child during the diagnostic process. Nicholls resolved to reform his cannabis and junk food habits. In 2008 Asperger syndrome was cited by many media sources as the cause of an apparent mental health crisis suffered by Craig Nicholls which lead to the cancellation of Vines appearances at a number of Australian rock festivals and an overseas tour, while cancellation announcements at the Vines own web site cited severe "flight related anxiety" as a cause of cancellation of WA dates, and made no explicit mention of AS or autism as the reason for the rest of the 2008 cancellations. The Vines are expected to release a new album in 2010 and are listed as a support band for Powderfinger’s farewell tour for three dates. L-H?) 

Gary Numan (b. 1958, born Gary Webb, English electro-pop music pioneer, at the beginning of his career recorded under the name Tubeway Army, biggest hits were Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and Cars. In the 1970s Numan's army of fans called themselves "Numanoids". During those years Numan's stage persona was an unsmiling alien-like loner, and he was reportedly the subject of ridicule and vilification by the UK music press. There days Numan is regarded as a respected musical artist and an aviation enthusiast who has flown around the world. Gary Numan was reportedly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome by himself and his wife, and he has discussed having AS a number of times in press and music media interviews. Numan is an atheist. M)

Tim Page (b. 1954, American music critic, writer, editor producer and professor. Page was written about classical music for the New York Times, Newsday and the Washington Post. In 1997 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his work as a music critic. Page has also written professionally about film and literature. He wrote the first biography of American author Dawn Powell, and played a major part in the revival of interest in her work, in a prolific burst of work that is clearly an example of an autistic special interest. Page has written introductions to books about the music of Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, who is also in this list. In 2007 Page revealed in an article in New Yorker magazine that he had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2000. In 2009 Page’s memoir was published in which he discussed life as an autist. M)

Grigori Perelman (b. 1966, (also known as Grisha Perelman, Grigoriy Perelman) Russian-Jewish mathematician. In 2002 Perelman published his proof of the Poincaré Conjecture, one of the most important and difficult problems in mathematics, proposed by Henri Poincare in 1904. In 2006 he was awarded the very prestigious Fields Medal, but Perelman declined the award and did not attend the IMU congress. He was the first person to decline this award. In March 2010 Perelman was awarded the million dollar Millennium Prize for his proof of the Poincare conjecture. There are reports that Perelman has said he does not need the money. There has been much speculation about whether or not Perelman will accept the prize. Perelman has expressed disappointment with the ethical standards of the field of mathematics. In 2009 Perelman was reportedly not working and was living with his mother in Russia, some sources claiming he has given up mathematics. A biography of Perelman was published in 2009 Perfect rigor, in which the author reportedly argued that Perelman has Asperger syndrome (Gessen 2009).)

John Elder Robison (b.1957, American author of the bestselling 2007 memoir Look me in the eye : my life with Asperger's. Robison is the brother of Augusten Burroughs (pen name), the author of a number of autobiographical books including Running with scissors. John E. Robison is also the manager of J E Robison Service Co which does sales, service, repair and restoration on a number of imported makes of vehicles. Early in his career Robison’s skills in electronics were applied to the rock music industry, working as a sound advisor for Pink Floyd and KISS, and designing the special effects guitars used by KISS during concert tours at the height of their popularity. Later Robison worked in electronic design for the toy manufacturer Milton Bradley. Robison has served on a panel reviewing grant applications for the National Institutes of Mental Health and in 2010 Robison was appointed to two review boards of the controversial charity Autism Speaks. Another book by Robison is expected in 2011. Robison was diagnosed with AS as an adult, and has a son who also has AS. M)

Vernon L. Smith (b.1927, American professor of economics, winner of a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002. Smith is reported as having Asperger syndrome. A TV news story interview with Smith and his wife in which they discuss AS can be viewed at MSNBC. Smith's autobiography was published in 2008 Discovery - a memoir in which Smith discusses evidence for and against the proposition that he has Asperger syndrome. An economics professor who recruited Smith has written “I see him as a living, walking example of the cognitive strengths of autism.” (Cowen 2009). M) 

Richard Stallman (b.1953, sometimes uses the name “rms”, US born with Jewish heritage, software engineer, founder of the free software movement, launched the GNU Project, inventor of the “copyleft” concept, awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1990 and awarded many honorary doctorates and professorships, has been described as a “force of nature”, for many years lead an unconventional squatter lifestyle at a university, speaks a number of languages, an atheist who celebrates December 25th not as Christmas but instead as a parody of Christmas celebrating Newton’s birthday on this date. In an interview Stallman described a difficult and rebellious childhood in which he was sent to a private school in which most students “were either insane or stupid”, and according to another source “Stallman considers himself afflicted, to some degree, by autism, a condition that, he says, makes it difficult for him to interact with people.” (Bezroukov 1996-2006), but in a 2008 article Stallman is quoted as saying he does not have AS, but possibly has a “shadow” version of AS (Tennant 2008). In chapter three of Sam Williams' biography of Stallman Free as in freedom, Williams discusses the idea that Stallman had/has autism with Richard Stallman, a university classmate, and Stallman's mother. Stallman enjoys reading science fiction, including works by Greg Egan, who is also in this list. Stallman occasionally attends science fiction conventions, where he is presumably most unlikely to meet one of his favourite authors. R-H?)

Lawrence Summers (b. 1954, American economist with Jewish heritage, In September 2010 Summers announced that he would be stepping down from his position as Director of the White House's National Economic Council for President Barack Obama and return to teaching at Harvard University. Summers was the Secretary of the Treasury in Bill Clinton’s administration, was Chief Economist of the World Bank, and was the President of Harvard University for 5 years. Summers’ comments at a 2005 conference that women may be under-represented in science and engineering because of innate sex differences caused great controversy and discussion around the world, his views were defended as scientifically justified by popular science writer and academic Steven Pinker. In a 2005 magazine article Richard Bradley discussed the theory that Summers has Asperger syndrome, which Bradley claimed to be the topic of gossip and speculation among the Harvard University community. The famous and outspoken biologist James Watson repeated similar speculation about Summers in his 2007 book Avoid boring people, (which really is the pot calling the kettle black). Summers entered MIT at age 16, was a tenured professor at Harvard at age 28, has uncles on both sides of his family who won Nobel Prizes in economics in the 1970s, and his parents were also economists. M, R-H?)

Satoshi Tajiri (b. 1965, Japanese electronic game designer, creator of Pokémon (also known as Pocket Monsters), as a child was fond of collecting insects, has a working schedule that involves unusual sleeping patterns, reported to be diagnosed with Asperger syndrome)

Daniel Tammet (b.1979, 
born Daniel Corney and changed his surname in 2001 (Foer 2011) by deed poll reportedly because it did not fit his self-image (Johnson 2005). DT is the anonymous name given to Tammet when written about as a case study in science journal papers. Tammet is most famous as a well-presented autistic synaesthete mathematics, memory and language savant who writes autobiographical and psychology books. Tammet has created and operates an online educational company, and has a background in teaching English as a second language (Tammet 2006). 

In 1999 and 2000 Tammet competed in the World Memory Championships (WMC) (under his original surname), attaining a rating of fourth in the world in 2000 (Foer 2011 p.219). Tammet's WMC achievements include winning a gold medal in the "names and faces" event (Foer 2011 p.230). In 2001 Tammet was describing himself as a “World-class mentathlete, memory sport pioneer, personal empowerment coach, spiritual development teacher and speaker and a leading authority on Mindpower and Human Potential” at the website that he published at the time: www.DanielTä

In 2002 Tammet was one subject in a study of a group of WMC participants by Maguire et al which found that their memory superiority was not driven by exceptional intellectual ability or structural brain differences but was instead due to "a spatial learning strategy". Tammet and other “superior memorizers” were tested for face memory, but the test used had obvious flaws. As a group their performance was superior but comparable to the bright but normal control group. I found no mention of synaesthesia in that paper, published in the prestigious journal Nature Neuroscience in 2002-3. In 2004 Tammet reportedly became the holder of the British/European record (under his new surname) for remembering and recounting the number Pi to 22,514 decimal places, an event held to raise money for a charity, but according to the “Pi World Ranking List” website, Tammet made an error at 2,964 decimal places limiting his record to that lower figure.

Being featured in the award-winning documentary Brainman (alternative title The Boy with the Incredible Brain) appears to have been a turning point for Tammet. Tammet met Dr Darold Treffert “in the summer of 2004, during filming for the documentary Brainman” (foreword by Tammet of Treffert 2010). Treffert is considered to be an authority on “savant syndrome”, and he told Tammet he met the diagnostic criteria for the condition (Tammet 2006, p. 236). Tammet was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS) at age 25 at the Autism Research Centre (ARC) (Tammet 2006, p.6) and his consultation with Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen of the ARC, considered a leading authority on autism, was shown in the Brainman documentary. Tammet was also examined by the US neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran and his research team in the documentary, and they wrote a short paper about Tammet. In 2005 two popular UK press articles were published reviewing the Brainman doco broadcast on UK television, both including claims that Tammet can “recall the face of every person he has ever met” (Bletchley 2005). In 2006 Tammet’s first autobiography Born on a Blue Day was published, and Baron-Cohen and Treffert both wrote forewords for it. In 2007 two journal papers about Tammet, both by Baron-Cohen and co-authors, were published in different science journals. One of these papers explained that Tammet was given a test of face memory and it was concluded that “...his face memory appears impaired...” (Baron-Cohen et al 2007). Both 2007 papers mentioned Tammet’s Pi record (reported as a European record to 22,514 places) under his new name but did not mention his WMC participation under his old name which included the “names & faces” task. In his 2009 autobiography Embracing the Wide Sky Tammet claimed that “...I have great difficulty remembering faces, even of those of people I have known for many years” (Tammet 2009 p.61) and he then discussed his perception of faces in a way that is eerily similar to the way that the famous synaesthete super memory feat performer Solomon Shereshevskii’s perception of faces was described in the classic case study by Luria The Mind of a Mnemonist (Luria 1987 edition p. 64).

A centrally important feature of the explanation for Tammet's memory feats that has been put forward by Tammet, Baron-Cohen, Treffert, the Brainman documentary and many media reports is that Tammet's performances of superior memory are claimed to be effortless and the result of inborn neurological differences such as autism, synaesthesia and the after-effects of an epileptic childhood, and are not the result of mnemonic techniques or memory training as practiced by memory competition participants. One of the 2007 papers about Tammet by Baron-Cohen and his research team included the assertion that "While some memory experts accomplish similar feats after extensive training, this does not explain DT's abilities, since he has had no explicit training." (Bor, Billington & Baron-Cohen 2007).

Doubts have been raised about Tammet's savantism, synaesthesia and his claimed severe disability in recognizing faces (prosopagnosia). Much of what has been written about Tammet fails to mention his World Memory Championship achievements in 1999 and 2000, his 2001 name change or his participation in the 2002 study of memory contest participants. In the 2011 book Moonwalking With Einstein by WMC champion Joshua Foer, Foer explores the argument that Tammet's achievements are due to well-known memory training techniques and not savantism, synaesthesia, autism or any other inborn peculiarity.

Tammet was reportedly diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy during childhood (Tammet 2006 p.35), and had a paternal grandfather whose life was ruined by adult-onset epilepsy (Tammet 2006 p.36-37). Tammet has a brother who is also diagnosed with AS (Tammet 2006 p.13) (Baron-Cohen et al 2007 p.8). In his first autobiography Tammet described his father’s curiously unnamed mental illness involving physical collapse which had an onset well into adulthood (Tammet 2006 p.99-102), but I found no mention of schizophrenia in this book. In his second autobiography Tammet identified his father as a long-time sufferer of schizophrenia, and one of the 2007 journal papers about Tammet includes a claim that his father has diagnosed with schizophrenia (Baron-Cohen et al 2007). Tammet has claimed to have a WAIS IQ score of 150 (Tammet 2009). He also reportedly has vivid synaesthesia, speaks 11 languages and is creating a new language, has trouble telling left from right, and cannot drive a motor vehicle (Tammet 2006). In the book Born on a Blue Day Tammet identified himself as a Christian in a long term same-sex relationship, and in a 2009 interview Tammet explained that they had parted amicably and he was now with a new partner (Wilson 2009). In his foreword to the 2010 book Islands of Genius by Darold Treffert, Tammet wrote that he was currently working on a novel. According to a 2012 article at a blog at the website of magazine Psychology Today Tammet is living in the south of France with a “talented French photographer” in an apartment in Avignon that has great views, is selling art inspired by synaesthesia through his own website and has a third book Thinking in Numbers: How Math Illuminates Our Lives scheduled for publication in the UK in August 2012. R-H, H, M, A.)

Stephen Wiltshire MBE (b.1974, English architectural artist with West Indian heritage. His electrical engineer father died when he was 3 years old. Stephen was diagnosed with autism at 3 years. Wiltshire’s first word was “paper”, uttered at the age of 6 (Treffert 2010). His talent for drawing was evident early, and he was drawing cityscapes before he learned to speak properly at the age of 9 with the help of special education teachers. Wiltshire was a teen before he was able to cross a road alone. He graduated from art school in 2008. Stephen is famous for his remarkable ability to remember and draw accurately buildings and cityscapes in detail after only one viewing, which is often a helicopter ride. Wiltshire’s art has been featured in a number of commercially successful books and a 2010 calendar. In 2006 Wiltshire was awarded an MBE for services to the art world. During that year he opened his own gallery in London. In addition to his drawing Wiltshire has musical talents and has perfect pitch. Stephen does not like swimming because “the water is always too cold.” Rain Man is reportedly his favourite movie. R-H.)

*L-H denotes people identified as left-handed or initially left-handed in any reputable source or from photographs

*R-H denotes people identified as right-handed in any reputable source of from photographs

*M denotes those who have been at any time formally married or in a long-term defacto or homosexual relationship that has been described as a marriage


About Dan Aykroyd CM 
Gross, Terri. (2004) Comedian – and writer – Dan Aykroyd. Fresh Air. NPR. November 22 2004.
[discusses his childhood diagnosis at around 29 minutes into this radio interview]

About David Bellamy OBE
Bellamy, David (2002) A natural life: the autobiography of David J. Bellamy OBE, Hon FLS, an Englishman. Arrow Books.
[“some special sort of autism” is mentioned briefly in Chapter 18, on page 238 of the paperback edition]

Bellamy, David (2003) Jolly green giant: the autobiography of David J. Bellamy OBE, Hon FLS, an Englishman. (large print edition, first published 2002) Chivers Press.
[Appears to be the same book as A natural life, “some special sort of autism” is mentioned briefly in Chapter 18, on page 325 of the large print edition]

Hattenstone, Simon (2002) The green man. Guardian Unlimited. September 30 2002.

About Richard Borcherds
Baron-Cohen, Simon (2003) The essential difference. Penguin Books, 2003.

[Richard Borcherds' diagnostic consultation described in detail in Chapter 11]
[Chapter 11 " A professor of mathematics" from the book The essential difference]
Cowen, Tyler (2009) Autism as academic paradigm. Chronicle Review. July 13th 2009.
[This excellent article mentions economist and Nobel laureate Vernon L. Smith, Fields Medalist Richard Borcherds and academic Temple Grandin as autistic high achievers. The author is a professor of economics and he writes that he is a former colleague of Smith's.]
Gold, Karen (2000) The high-flying obsessives. Guardian. Guardian Unlimited. December 12th 2000.,4273,4103969,00.html
[Wittgenstein, Einstein, Bill Gates, Richard Borcherds, Temple Grandin]

Singh, Simon (1998) Interview with Richard Borcherds (Fields medallist). The Guardian. simon August 28th 1998.

About Gordon Brown

Harris, Robert (2006) “Autistic” Brown loses the plot. The Sunday Times. TimesOnline. September 10, 2006.,,2087-2350740.html

Osborne, Peter (2010) The paradoxical premier: a man of massive talents, huge contradictions and tragic flaws, Gordon Brown’s achievements – and they were towering – were more than matched by his disastrous misjudgements. MailOnline. May 13th 2010.

Rawnsley, Andrew (2010) The end of the party. Viking, March 2010.

About Warren Buffett

Numerous clips of interviews with Mr Buffett can be found on YouTube and Google Videos.

Cowen, Tyler (2009) Create your own economy: the path to prosperity in a disordered world. Dutton, 2009.
[Vernon Smith, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Peter Mark Roget, Adam Smith, Hermann Hesse, Warren Buffett, Tim Page, Hikari Oe, Craig Newmark, Bram Cohen, Temple Grandin, Glenn Gould, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson are all discussed in this book with reference to the autistic spectrum]
Lawson, Dominic (2008) The snowball: Warren Buffet and the business of life by Alice Schroeder. Sunday Times. TimesOnline October 12th 2008.

[Lawson argues that Buffet possibly has AS, based on info presumably found in the biography that is reviewed]

Rushe, Dominic (2008) Warren Buffet lifts the lid on his secrets. Sunday Times. TimesOnline September 28th 2008.

[an interesting article about the man and the story behind the biography, no mention of AS or autism]

Schroeder, Alice (2008) The snowball: Warren Buffett and the business of life. Bantam, 2008.
[This authorized biography does not mention AS or autism, but does mention Buffett’s “social skill deficiencies” a number of times.]

About Michael Burry
60 Minutes (2010) Extra: the $8.4 billion bet. 60 Minutes. CBS March 14th 2010.;contentBody

60 Minutes (2010) Extra: Wall Street misfit. 60 Minutes. CBS March 14th 2010.;contentBody

Burry, Michael (2010) I saw the crisis coming. Why didn’t the fed? New York Times. April 3rd 2010.
[autism or AS not mentioned]

Kroft, Steve, Devine, L. Franklin (producer) and MacDonald, Jennifer (producer) (2010) Inside the collapse. 60 Minutes. CBS March 14th 2010.
video part 1;housing

video part 2;housing


[Asperger syndrome mentioned]

Lewis, Michael (2010) Betting on the blind side. Vanity Fair. Number 596 April 2010. p. 76-81, 121-126.
[An interesting extract from Michael Lewis’ book, Asperger syndrome described and revealed]

Lewis, Michael (2010) The big short: inside the doomsday machine. W. W. Norton & Company, 2010. [Asperger syndrome mentioned]

Pressler, Jessica (2009) Bad news bears: the guys who bet against the bubble and won. New York. November 3rd 2009.
[brief review of Zuckerman’s book, Asperger syndrome mentioned]

Zuckerman, Gregory (2009) The greatest trade ever: the behind-the-scenes story of how John Paulson defied Wall Street and made financial history. Broadway Business, 2009.

[Asperger syndrome mentioned]

About Tim Burton
Billen, Andrew (2010) We’re all a bit mad. Weekend Australian. Review. March 27-28th 2010 p. 14-15.
[no mention of AS or autism in this article about Helena Bonham Carter and her private life with Tim Burton]

Billen, Andrew (2010) Helena Bonham Carter on bullies, Tim Burton and Alice In Wonderland. Times. TimesOnline March 5th 2010. [same article as above]

Bodey, Michael (2010) Adventures in wonderland. Weekend Australian. June 12-13 2010 Review. p.6-8.
[no mention of AS or autism. Quote from article: "I used to draw because I didn't speak and I would just communicate through drawings..."]

Breskin, David (1992) Tim Burton: the Rolling Stone interview. Rolling Stone. n 634-635, 07.09.1992-07.23.1992. republished at The Tim Burton Collective.

[an interesting interview that includes much talk of depression but no mention of AS or autism]
Burton, Tim and Salisbury, Mark (2000) Burton on Burton. revised edition, Faber & Faber, 2000.

Entertainment News Staff (2005) Helena Bonham Carter’s child craving. Softpedia. November 17th 2005.

Hanke, Ken (1999) Tim Burton: an unauthorized biography of the filmmaker. Renaissance Books, 1999.
[I believe does not mention autism or AS]

O’Brien, Kerry (2010) Interview with the king of quirk Tim Burton. (video) ABC News. June 28th 2010
[was broadcast on the 7.30 Report, includes discussion of Burton’s 2010 art exhibition in Melbourne and depression, no mention of AS or autism]

Sampson, Cory (2004) Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands as a psychological allegory. The Tim Burton Collective.

World Entertainment News Network (2005) Burton may be autistic.

About David Byrne (accessed 2007) Music: Artists: Talking Heads.

Byrne, David (accessed 2007) David Byrne Journal.
[quote from entry dated 4/15/06; “I was a peculiar young man — borderline Asperger's, I would guess.”]

Purcell, Andrew (2007) Imelda: the nightclub years. The Guardian. January 29 2007.,,2000888,00.html

Seed (magazine) editorial staff (2007) David Byrne + Daniel Levitin: the singer/songwriter and the neuroscientist meet up to discuss music. April 30 2007.

About Bram Cohen

Berfield, Susan (2008) BitTorrent's Bram Cohen isn't limited by Asperger's. BusinessWeek. October 16th 2008.

Cohen, Bram (accessed 2008) Bram Cohen quotes. Brainy Quote.
[some revealing quotes by Bram Cohen, AS is mentioned]

Lee, Ellen (2006) Founder of BitTorrent unlocks the secrets of online file sharing. San Francisco Chronicle. August 8th 2006 Edition: final, Section: business, p. F1.

Roth, Daniel (2006) Torrential reign. p. 201-209 In:
Greene, Brian (editor) (2006) The best American science and nature writing 2006. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

Roth, Daniel (2005) Torrential reign. Fortune. October 31 2005.

Thompson, Clive (2005) The BitTorrent effect. Wired. Issue 13.01 January 2005. (2005) Bram Cohen: creator of BitTorrent.

About Helen Dale/Darville/Demidenko
Dale, Helen (2006) My life as a young Australian novelist. Quadrant. May 2006 p. 14-21.
[article with comments, I found Dale’s explanation of why she chose to enter the world of literature, in comment no. 17, interesting]
[not currently in Quadrant archives]

Dale, Helen (2006) The Hand Behind The Hand that Signed. Skeptic. Autumn 2006 Volume 26 No 1. (journal of Australian Skeptics Inc.)
[this is the same article as above, info given about childhood, family, the Demidenko affair, her treatment by journalists, “the chattering classes” and literary people at the time, and her life in recent years. Interestingly, Dale described a childhood in an itinerant family with debt problems which seems incompatible with her private (high) school education at Redeemer Lutheran College, which was not explicitly mentioned. Dale’s most negative description of her father in this article and in other media stories seems inconsistent with the info given on p.47 of the 1996 book by Prior listed below, which says that Dale/Darville’s father was reported in the press as being the same “Harry Darville” who was a candidate for the Greens in the 1993 federal election (winning 4.5% of the vote in Fadden), “and that Helen was his election manager.” In the All in the Mind radio interview listed below Dale/Darville gives 1996 as the date of her father’s appearance in court on a soliciting charge – running for federal parliament in 1993 and in court for soliciting 3 years later? Hard to believe. No mention of AS or autism in this article.]
Dalley, Helen (1997) Helen Darville breaks her silence. Sunday. Ninemsn. June 8th 1997.
[feature story/interview on a current affairs TV show, I found the bit where they discussed Demidenko as a persona interesting, no mention of AS or autism]

Jensen, Erik & Harvey, Ellie (2008) The pain that may explain Helen Darville. Sydney Morning Herald. May 9th 2008.
[“Helen Darville … suggests characteristsics of Aspergers syndrome may explain her aloofness.” In this brief article promoting a feature article it is claimed that Dale is "severely dyslexic".]

Malcolm, Lynne (2006) Whatever happened to Helen Demidenko? All in the Mind. ABC Radio National. April 29th 2006.
[transcript of interesting radio interview, discusses her childhood, family, the Demidenko affair and recent life, gives a negative description of her father]

Prior, Natalie Jane (1996) The Demidenko diary. Mandarin.
[a very interesting account of the Demidenko affair from the point of view of a writer “friend” of Dale’s who sheltered her while she was in hiding from hostile journalists, “What immediately caught my attention on this first meeting – apart from her striking appearance – was the way she totally failed to be absorbed into the group.” (p. 15), some unusual autistic behaviour (of Dale’s) described on p. 79]

Wheatley, Jane (2008) Reinventing Helen. West Australian. WestWeekend Magazine. September 6th 2008 p.24-28.
[feature article, Wheatley claims she was considering whether Dale has AS before Dale brought up the subject, Wheatley appears to have summarized and accepted Dale’s description of her childhood in an itinerant family with debt problems from the Skeptic/Quadrant article, which seems incompatible with her private (high) school education at Redeemer Lutheran College, which I could find no mention of in this article, gives a negative description of her father]

Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2008) Helen Darville. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2008) Redeemer Lutheran College. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
[the college gives it’s side of some stories, and this seems to be confirmation that Helen Dale/Darville did attend this school]

Wilson, Katherine (2006) The blogger formerly known as Demidenko. Crikey. September 11th 2006.

Works by Helen Demidenko

Demidenko, Helen (1994) The hand that signed the paper. Allen and Unwin.
[the novel that started it all]

Papaellinas, George (editor) (1995) RePublica: issue 3: Scarred for life. Angus and Robertson.
[Other places by Helen Demidenko is on p. 93-97, about a blonde Ukrainian girl who has won an award and fame, and is invited to make a speech at the outer-suburban Australian public high school that she graduated from. There nothing to indicate whether this is presented as an autobiographical essay or a fictional short story. This volume includes a diverse mixture of genres.]

About the Demidenko Affair
Ryan, Judith & Thomas, Alfred (editors) (2003) Cultures of forgery: making nations, making selves. Routledge, 2003.
[includes a chapter about the Demidenko affair]

The Demidenko file. (1996) editors: John Jost, Gianna Totaro & Christine Tyshing. Penguin, 1996.

Manne, Robert (1996) The culture of forgetting : Helen Demidenko and the Holocaust. Text Publishing.

Manne, Robert (2005) Left right left: political essays 1977-2005. Black Inc.
[includes material from his book about the Demidenko affair]

Prior, Natalie Jane (1996) The Demidenko diary. Mandarin.
[a very interesting account of the Demidenko affair from the point of view of a writer friend of Dale’s who sheltered her while she was in hiding from hostile journalists]

Riemer, Andrew (1996) The Demidenko debate. Allen and Unwin.
[described as sympathetic to Helen D, but even-handed]

Warren, Agnes (1995) Why it took the media so long to write a story about the life of prize-winning author Helen Demidenko. The Media Report. ABC Radio National. August 24th 1995.
[“a language therapist” associated with Dale’s high school is mentioned as one of the people who identified “Helen Demidenko” as Helen Darville]

Who's who?: hoaxes, imposture and identity crises in Australian literature. (2004) editors: Maggie Nolan & Carrie Dawson. University of Queensland Press.

About Greg Egan
Greg Egan's Home Page

Hassler, Donald M. & Wilcox, Clyde (2008) New boundaries in political science fiction. University of South Carolina Press, 2008.
[Egan not identified as autistic here, but the autism of two fictional characters created by Egan discussed, can be previewed at Google Books]

Westfahl, Gary (2006) Homo aspergerus: evolution stumbles forward. Locus Online. March 6th 2006.
[H. L. Gold, H. P. Lovecraft and Greg Egan identified as possible cases of AS]

About Tim Fischer
Fischer `mildly autistic' as child (1999) The Newcastle Herald (includes the Central Coast Herald). Dec 14, 1999. Edition: Late, Section: News, pg. 5

McLeonard, Kieran (1999) Tim Fischer tells of life with autism. AM Archive. ABC Local Radio. 13th December 1999.

On the brink 1 – Tim Fischer. Life Matters. ABC Radio National. 13th December 1999.
[“The first of our series 'On the Brink', about the teenage years…” Fischer claimed to have had a degree of autism]
Rees, Peter (2001) The boy from Boree Creek: the Tim Fischer story. Allen and Unwin, 2001.
[parts can be read through Google Book Search, Tim Fischer and autism discussed on pages 318-319]
Wright, Tony and Gray, Darren (1999) Fischer claims autistic links with his child. The Age (Melbourne). December 14th 1999. Edition: National, Section: News, pg. 3

About Bill Gates

Benaron, Lisa (2009) Autism. Greenwood Press, 2009. [book series: “Biographies of disease”. A discussion box on pages 56-57 checks Gates against DSM-IV criteria for AS and the author concludes that “it seems highly likely that Gates would be given a diagnosis of AS if he were to seek out an evaluation”. ]

Bill Gates. (1998) Recorded September 2nd 1998.
[video of Bill Gates rocking]

Caplan, Arthur (2005) Would you have allowed Bill Gates to be born?: advances in prenatal genetic testing pose tough questions. May 31 2005.
[it might be worth noting that when this article was published was half owned by Microsoft and half owned by NBC Universal, was a component of MSNBC which was 18% owned by Microsoft]
Elmer-DeWitt, Philip & Farley, Christopher Joh (1994) Diagnosing Bill Gates. Time. Vol. 142 Issue 4:p 25.

Isaacson, Walter (1997) In search of the real Bill Gates. Time. January 13th 1997.,9171,1120657,00.html
[a revealing old article about Gates’ personality that discusses his friendship with Warren Buffett, but no mention of AS or autism]

Lowe, Janet (1998) Bill Gates speaks: insight from the world’s greatest entrepreneur. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
[the discussion of Gates and autism only summarizes the Time magazine article, but this book contains much information about Gates’ early life, personality and eccentricities]

Manes, Stephen and Andrews, Paul (1993) Gates: how Microsoft’s mogul reinvented an industry – and made himself the richest man in America. Doubleday, 1993.
[lots of info about a young Bill Gates]

Rivlin, Gary (1999) The plot to get Bill Gates: an irreverent investigation of the world's richest man and the people who hate him. Random House.
Seabrook, John (1994) E-mail from Bill. New Yorker. January 10th 1994. [lengthy old article about Gates’ personality, no mention of AS or autism]

About Temple Grandin
Cowen, Tyler (2009) Create your own economy: the path to prosperity in a disordered world. Dutton, 2009.

[Vernon Smith, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Peter Mark Roget, Adam Smith, Hermann Hesse, Warren Buffett, Tim Page, Hikari Oe, Craig Newmark, Bram Cohen, Temple Grandin, Glenn Gould, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson are all discussed in this book with reference to the autistic spectrum]

Elder, Jennifer and Thomas, Marc (Illustrator) (2005) Different like me: my book of autism heroes. Jessica Kingsley, 2005. 
[Grandin and many other famous people are profiled in this book for a junior readership written by the mother of an autist]

Grandin, Temple (2008) The way I see it: a personal look at autism and Aspergers. Future Horizons, 2008.

Grandin, Temple (1995) Thinking in pictures: and other reports from my life with autism. 1st edition. Doubleday. 1995.

Grandin, Temple (with Margaret Scariano) (1991) Emergence: Labeled Autistic. Arena Press, 1991.

Ratey, J., Grandin, T. Miller, A. (1992) Defense behavior and coping in an autistic savant: the story of Temple Grandin, PhD. Psychiatry. 1992 Nov;55(4):382-91.

Temple Grandin (movie) (2010) Director – Mick Jackson
[Made for TV biographical movie about Temple Grandin, who is played by Claire Danes.]

Treffert, Darold A. (2010) Islands of genius: the bountiful mind of the autistic, acquired, and sudden savant. Jessica Kingsley, 2010.
[Blind Tom Wiggins, Temple Grandin, Flo and Kay Lyman, Daniel Tammet, Stephen Wiltshire, James Henry Pullen and hyperthymestic syndrome are discussed]

About Daryl Hannah
Erickson, Hal (2006) Daryl Hannah.

Green with envy at Daryl Hannah. MailOnline. April 21st 2007.
[according to this article Hannah was diagnosed as "borderline autistic" at age of 7] (2006) Daryl Hannah. CNET Networks Inc.

Wood, Gaby (2009) A bigger splash. Weekend Australian. July 18-19 2009 Review p. 22-23.
[autism not mentioned but other details of childhood given "They wanted to institutionalise me."]

Wood, Gaby (2009) I'm a little bit of a nerd. Observer. June 7th 2009.
[same article as above]

About Peter Howson

Art Company Scotland

Deveney, Catherine (2007) Autistic temperament. Scotland on Sunday. March 11 2007.

MacDonald, Stuart (2008) Peter Howson: my 'murderous' rage. The Sunday Times. July 27th 2008.

Tierney, Michael (1998) The haunting. The Herald. 26th December 1998.

About Ladyhawke/Pip Brown
Cochrane, Greg (2008) Ladyhawke speaks about Asperger's. BBC News. November 24th 2008.

Lester, Paul (2008) Asperger's, allergies and aubergines. September 11th 2008.

NME (2008) Ladyhawke: 'People shouldn't be scared of Asperger's Syndrome'. NME. November 24th 2008.

Sauma, Luiza (2008) Ladyhawke: 'You have no idea what I have been through'. Independent. November 16th 2008.

About Paul Laffoley
Coleman, Michael (accessed 2008) Laffoley archive: Paul Laffoley biographical info.

Johnson, Ken (2007) A beautiful mind. The Boston Globe. February 11th 2007.

About Deborah Locke
Biennial Australian Autism Conference
Rydges Lakeside, Canberra
Friday, 1 October - Sunday, 3 October, 2004
[includes an abstract of a talk scheduled to be given by Deborah Locke about working as a policewoman on the autistic spectrum]

Deborah Locke: former NSW detective.

Kym, Ali and Dzelde (2010) Underbelly: the real Debbie Webb. Kym Ali and Dzelde blog. Triple M. May 24th 2010.
[no mention of AS or autism in this interesting commercial radio interview]

Lane, Terry (2003) Fair Cop*. The National Interest. ABC Radio National. September 28th 2003.
[Terry Lane interviews Deborah Locke and Dr Janet Chan, no mention of AS or autism]

Locke, Deborah Lee (2003) Watching the detectives. ABC Books for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2003.
[It looks just like a non-fiction biography/police/crime book, it is catalogued by the National Library of Australia as a non-fiction book (it has a Dewey call number and non-fiction subject headings in it’s Cataloguing-in-Publication data), and it is cataloged and shelved as non-fiction in my local public library, but on the copyright page there is a disclaimer stating that it is a work of fiction based on actual events. If it’s true it’s an amazing story. The trials of parenting a child diagnosed with “severe ADHD, moderate to severe autism and global delay” who was born prematurely are described]

Masters, Chris (2004) Corruption Inc. Four Corners. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14th June 2004.
[investigative journalism, no mention of AS or autism]

Masters, Chris (2004) Training day. Four Corners. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27th July 2004.
[investigative journalism, no mention of AS or autism]

Ramsay, Stephen (2008?) Oops, wrong planet.
[a documentary film in which Locke is featured and is described as an aspie]

Rotary Down Under. Issue 520 August 2010. [includes info and photo about Locke being awarded the Outstanding Woman of Achievement Award]
Silvester, John and Rule, Andrew (2010) Underbelly: the golden mile. Floradale Productions and Sly Ink, 2010.
[Chapter 8 “Debbie does detectives” p.118-150 is about Deborah Locke]

Underbelly: the Golden Mile.
[The character Debbie Webb is actually Deborah Locke]

Whistleblowers Australia. (2004) The Whistle: newsletter of Whistleblowers Australia. No. 36. January 2004.
[photo of Debbie Locke with NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney after receiving her Certificate of Merit]

Williams, Robyn (2008) Living with Asperger’s. The Science Show. ABC Radio National. September 13th 2008.
[the soundtrack of the documentary film Oops, wrong planet by Stephen Ramsay, in which Locke is featured and described as an aspie]

About Courtney Love
Brite, Poppy Z. (1997) Courtney Love: the real story. Orion Books.
[diagnosis described on p.7-8]

About Darius McCollum
Haberman, Clyde (2005) Back in Prison, Guilty Mainly of a Fixation. The New York Times. April 12th 2005.

Knight, Sam (2005) On the wrong track. Times Online. April 18th 2005.

Murphy, Dean E. (2001) Crimes of Passion, for Trains; Where the Courts See Guilt, Others Find an Affliction. New York Times. March 15th 2001.
[includes comments by AS expert Tony Attwood]

Tietz, Jeff (2002) The boy who loved transit: how the system failed an obsession. Harper’s Magazine. May, 2002. 
[lengthy article]

About Reg Mombassa (Christopher O’Doherty)
Kaye, Lorien (2010) 100% creative: uncovering Reg Mombassa. Age (The Melbourne). January 30th 2010. 1st edition section A2 p. 21.
[a short review of Waldren’s book in which Kaye criticises Waldren for not paying enough attention to Mombassa’s claims about Asperger syndrome and his “melancholia”.]

Keenan, Haydn (director) (2006) Golden sandals: the art of Reg Mombassa. [a 26 minute PG rated documentary about Mombassa featuring animated versions of his artwork, broadcast on SBS in 2007]
L’Estrange, Sarah (2009) Off the shelf with Reg Mombassa. The Book Show. ABC Radio National. February 15th 2010.
[famous Australians discuss their favourite books in this regular radio series]

Reg Mombassa’s Web Site

Thompson, Peter (2007) Reg Mombassa. Talking Heads. ABC TV. first screened 23rd July 2007.

[transcript of this interview available, no mention of AS or autism]

Waldren, Murray (2009) The mind and times of Reg Mombassa. Harper Collins, 2009.
[A detailed and personal biographical and art book including history of the band Mental as Anything, featuring a lot of eye-catching art and photographs. Asperger syndrome mentioned on pages 32, 55 and 395.]

Waldren, Murray (2009) High anxiety. Weekend Australian. Review. October 24-25th 2009. p. 6-7.
[an extract from the book, illustrated with Mombassa’s art, no mention of AS or autism]

About Caiseal Mor
Caiseal Mor (web site)

Mor, Caiseal (2007) A blessing and a curse: autism and me. Jessica Kingsley, 2007.

Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2009) Caiseal Mor. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Williams, Donna (2007) Audio interview with Caiseal Mor. Oddpod. May 6th 2007.

Williams, Donna (2007) Bestselling novelist, Caiseal Mor comes out as autistic. Donna Williams' Blog. April 22nd 2007.
[a transcript of an interview with Donna Williams]

About Les Murray
Alexander, Peter F. (2000) Les Murray: a life in progress. Oxford University Press.
[Les Murray’s autism mentioned on page 25, his heterochromia mentioned on page 27, his son’s autism described in chapter 18]

Baird, Julia (2006) Les Murray: the poet who helped save the Snowy. Sunday Profile. ABC Local Radio. June 4, 2006.

Clark, Sue (presenter) & Koval, Ramona (interviewer) (2009) The Biplane Houses - Les Murray. Life & Times. ABC Radio National. August 29th 2009.
[a repeat of a 2006 interview from The Book Show in which Murray discussed Asperger syndrome, poetry and reading postcode books, and he read two of his poems that are about AS/autism]

Gray, Robert (2010) The omnivorous writer. Weekend Australian. April 10-11 2010 review p.18-19. [autism mentioned briefly in this review of Taller when prone]

Mares, Peter (2009) Les Murray and the black dog. The Book Show. ABC Radio National, October 8th 2009. [Interview with Murray to promote the republication of his essay Killing the black dog, in which Murray discusses the impact of depression on his writing, and autism briefly mentioned]
Mitchell, Paul (2006) Paul Mitchell reviews Les Murray. Cordite Poetry Review. Number 24, 1st July 2006.
[A review of the book The biplane houses in which Mitchell discusses the influence that he believes Murray's AS has had on Murray's poetry and personality]

Moran, Rod (2007) Murray’s troubled waters run deep. The West Australian. Weekend Extra, page 4, February 10, 2007.

Murray, Les, with introd. by Potts, Robert (2009) It allows a portrait in line scan at fifteen. Times Literary Supplement. TimesOnline. March 30th 2009. [The TLS Poem of the Week, which is about the autistic characteristics of Murray's autistic son]

Murray, Les (2009) Killing the black dog. (revised edition) Black Inc, 2009. [Murray makes reference to his own and his son's autism on pages 22, 32 and 36. The poems Demo and The Averted appear to be about the experience of being autistic.]

Murray, Les (1997) Killing the black dog: essay and poems. The Federation Press. 
[Murray claims to be “very mildly autistic” on page 17]

Neill, Rosemary (2006) Songs of experience. Australian. April 8 2006.

Phillips, Juanita (2007) Lunch with Les Murray. Bulletin. March 20 2007.

Potts, Robert (2004) The voice of the outback. Guardian. May 15, 2004.,12084,1216273,00.html

Thompson, Peter (2010) Les Murray. Talking Heads. ABCTV. broadcast June 21st 2010.

[transcript available, autism mentioned a couple of times]
Wootten, William (2006) Salt, land and tears. Guardian. October 21, 2006.,,1927616,00.html

About John F. Nash Jr.
Arshad M, Fitzgerald M. (2002) John Nash: Asperger’s syndrome and schizophrenia? Irish Psychiatrist. 2002; 3(3) 90-94.

Brooks, Michael (2004) The return of a beautiful mind. New Scientist. December 18th 2004 vol. 184 issue 2478 p.46-49.
[an interesting interview, AS or autism not mentioned]

Lyons V., Fitzgerald M. (2004). The case of Robert Walser. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine. 21, 4, 138-142. [about Robert Walser, also refers to “John Nash who won the Nobel prize for economics …”]

About Craig Newmark
Cowen, Tyler (2009) Create your own economy: the path to prosperity in a disordered world. Dutton Adult, 2009.
[Craig Newmark, Bram Cohen and Temple Grandin are reportedly mentioned in this book]

Newmark, Craig (2009) My nerd thing and Asperger's Syndrome. cnewmark (Newmark's personal blog). January 6th 2009.
[Newmark wonders if he has AS and lists some traits]

Newmark, Craig (2003) Craigslist documentary update. cnewmark (Newmark's personal blog). September 27th 2003.

[Newmark explains that he has been interviewed for a documentary about Asperger syndrome, referring to himself as a "(recovering) nerd".]

Uygur, Cenk (2008) Craig Newmark on the phone with The Young Turks. The Young Turks (website). "07/09/2008"
[video of an interview with Newmark]
Wolf, Gary (2009) The tragedy of Craigslist. Wired. September 2009 17.09 p. 98-109, p.138.

[some obvious hints that Newmark has autistic traits on p. 102, but no explicit mention of AS or autism.]

About Craig Nicholls 

AAP (2008) The Vines cancel tour as Craig Nicholls's condition worsens. Australian. November 17th 2008.,25197,24663892-601,00.html

McCabe, Kathy (2004) Rock and a hard place. (The Sydney) Daily Telegraph. November 20 2004, Edition: 1- state, Section: features, p.27.

McCabe, Kathy (2004) Star's secret agony. (The Sydney) Daily Telegraph. November 20 2004, Edition: 1- state, Section: local, p. 3.

McLean, Craig (2006) Stop Making Sense. Guardian Unlimited. The Observer (Magazine). March 5 2006.,,1723555,00.html

Mathieson, Craig (2009) Playlisted: everything you need to know about Australian music right now. New South, 2009.
[the chapter titled Freedom of choice on p.125-132 is about The Vines and Nicholls and covers Nicholls' diagnosis, not particularly insightful]

Munro, Kelsey (2006) From the ashes with a vengeance. Sydney Morning Herald. September 8th 2006 Edition: first, Section: news, p.13.

Mushroom Music Publishing (accessed 2009) Local songwriters: The Vines: biography. (2006) Craig Nicholls breaks his silence over Aspergers diagnosis. May 19 2006.

Sheffield, Rob (2002) The Vines. Rolling Stone. August 26th 2002.
[cover story, autism and AS not mentioned]

Valentish, Jenny (2008) As long as no one gets hurt … Jmag. Issue 19, July 2008 p. 38-42.
[Valentish find the task of interviewing a rock musician with AS a daunting task]

The Vines (accessed 2009)
[The news post dated November 14th 2008 announced the cancellation of 2008 festival appearances and tour of Japan citing a deterioration in Craig Nicholls’ "mental condition" as the reason, but not explicitly mentioning AS or autism. The news post dated November 10th 2008 announced the cancellation of their Perth show due to Nicholls' severe "flight related anxiety".]

The Vines (2002) The Vines - Get Free (HQ, Live @ Letterman). YouTube. Late Show With David Letterman. Episode dated July 19th 2002?.
[There are other recordings of this performance on YouTube, but not all have the witty comments from after the ad break. The Vines did later return to the Letterman show to do another performance.]

About Gary Numan
Boyd, Brian (2006) Old friends electric. Irish Times. August 11 2006.

Buck, Robbie (2009) Gary Numan. Triple J. March 5th 2009.

[audio of complete interview, Numan talks about AS in his life, and also recounts some most exciting moments as an amateur aviator]
Buck, Robbie (2009) Gary Numan - Interviewed. Triple J. April 16th 2009.
[video of edited interview screened on Triple J TV, Numan briefly mentions his AS]

Freud, James (2002) I am the voice left from drinking: the Models - from the 'burbs to 'Barbados' and beyond. HarperCollins, 2002.
[pages 63-76 cover the time when the Models toured with Gary Numan and some members recorded with Numan. The many differences between the habits and personalities of Freud (a feminine but hetero party boy) and Numan (rather uncouth as a young man and possessing an extreme male brain) are interesting to note. Not surprisingly their recording project was not a success.]

Gary Numan

[AS is discussed towards the end of the page]

Grant, Peter (2007) Gary Numan: Aspergers made me aloof. Liverpool Echo. July 20th 2007.

NME (2006) Gary Numan reveals rare condition. NME. November 6th 2006. (2005) Gary Numan: it’s easy to be happy when you’re financially secure. May 11th 2005.
Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2007) Gary Numan. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Williams, Andrew (2006) 60 seconds: Gary Numan. Metro. November 6 2006.

About Tim Page
Fabrizio, Doug (2007) Parallel play. RadioWest. KUER. August 22nd 2007.
[radio interview, AS mentioned]
Maslin, Janet (2009) Reflections on a life lived way outside the box. New York Times. September 2nd 2009.
[one has to wonder if the parts towards the end of this article, a review of Page’s 2009 memoir, are a description of a case of hyperthymestic syndrome]

Page, Tim (2007) Parallel play. New Yorker. August 20th 2007.
[an interesting article]
Page, Tim (2009) Parallel play : growing up with undiagnosed Asperger's. Doubleday, 2009.

Siegel, Robert (2007) Pulitzer-winner on living with Asperger’s. All Things Considered (Science). NPR. August 13th 2007.

[radio interview with Page, AS mentioned]

About Grigori Perelman
Aron, Jacob (2010) Will reclusive mathematician accept $1 million prize? New Scientist. March 19th 2010.

[no mention of AS or autism]
Gessen, Masha (2009) Perfect rigor: a genius and the mathematical breakthrough of the century. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
[Author reportedly argued in this book that Perelman has Asperger syndrome. I have not read this book yet.]

Harding, Luke (2010) Grigory Perelman, the maths genius who said no to $1m. Guardian March 23rd 2010.

[no mention of AS or autism]

Stewart, Will (2010) World’s cleverest man turns down 1$million prize after solving one of mathematics’ greatest puzzles. MailOnline March 23rd 2010.
[no mention of AS or autism]

Zasky, Jason (2009?) Million dollar math problem. Failure.

[biographer Masha Gessen interviewed, no mention of AS or autism]

About John Elder Robison
Burroughs, Augusten (2004) Magical thinking: true stories. Hodder, 2004.
[the chapter titled “Ass burger” on pages 161-168 is about Burroughs’ autistic brother J. E. Robison and their often confusing relationship before Robison was diagnosed as an adult. The page numbers given on the contents page of this book are incorrect.]

Burroughs, Augusten (2003) Running with scissors. Picador, 2003.
[Chapter 9 titled “He was raised without a proper diagnosis” is about J. E Robison, given the pseudonym Troy Burroughs in this book] 

John Elder Robison
Robison, John Elder (2007) Look me in the eye : my life with Asperger's. Bantam, 2007.
[includes a foreword by Augusten Burroughs. On page 179 Robison explains why he did not trust a manager because of his constant smiling which seemed false.]

About Vernon L. Smith
Breit, William & Hirsch, Barry T. (2009) Lives of the laureates: twenty-three Nobel economists. 5th edition. MIT Press, 2009.
[Vernon L. Smith is one of the economists covered in this edition of this book of autobiographical essays. I do not know if AS or autism is mentioned as I have not read this book.]

Cowen, Tyler (2009) Create your own economy: the path to prosperity in a disordered world. Dutton, 2009.

[Vernon Smith and many other famous people discussed in this book with reference to the autistic spectrum. The author of this book is an economics professor who recruited Smith.]

Herera, Sue (2005) Mild autism has ‘selective advantages’: Asperger syndrome can improve concentration. February 25 2005.
[includes a link to a TV news story interview with Smith and his wife in which they discuss AS]

Smith, Vernon L. (2008) Discovery - a memoir. Author House, 2008.
[The author outlines evidence for and against the case that he has Asperger syndrome in chapter 9.]

About Richard Stallman
Bezroukov, Nikolai (1996-2006) Portraits of open source pioneers: chapter 3 Prince Kropotkin of software: Richard Stallman and the war of the software clones.

Gross, Michael (accessed 2007) Richard Stallman, high school misfit, symbol of free software, MacArthur-certified genius. The More Things Change.

Jones, K. C. (2006) A rare glimpse into Richard Stallman’s world. TechWeb News. InformationWeek. January 6th 2006.

[doesn’t mention autism/AS but does cover Stallman’s childhood and personality]

Leonard, Andrew (2002) Code free or die. April 2nd 2002.

Reilly, Michael (2008) Freedom fighter. (online title: Interview: how a hacker became a freedom fighter.) New Scientist. No. 2651 April 12th 2008. p. 42-44.
[AS or autism not mentioned in this interview]

Richard Stallman's Personal Home Page

Tennant, Don (2008) Editor’s notes: Asperger’s oxymoron. Computerworld. October 6th 2008.
[Stallman claims to have not AS but a shadow version of AS]

Williams, Sam (2002) Free as in freedom: Richard Stallman’s crusade for free software. O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2002.
Online book:

[AS discussed in Chapter 3]

About Lawrence Summers
Bradley, Richard (2005) Harvard Rules: the struggle for the soul of the world’s most powerful university. HarperCollins, 2005.

Bradley, Richard (2005) Lawrence of absurdia. Boston Magazine. March 2005.

Razib (2005) Larry Summers has Asperger’s syndrome? Gene Expression. February 17th 2005.
[a thought-provoking article posted in an internet forum following the Summers political incorrectness affair]

Summers, Lawrence (2005) Remarks at NBER Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce, Cambridge, Mass. January 14, 2005.
[the speech that provoked controversy]

Watson, James D. (2007) Avoid boring people: lessons form a life in science. Oxford University Press.
[speculation that Summers may have AS on page 319]

About Satoshi Tajiri
The hot 100 game developers. (2006) Next Generation. Future Network USA. 18th March 2006. p. 1-11.

Plaza, Amadeo (2006) A salute to Japanese game designers. AmpedNews. Amped News Network. February 6th 2006. p. 1-2.

Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2007) Satoshi Tajiri. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

About Daniel Tammet
Azoulai, Shai, Hubbard, Ed, & Ramachandran, V. S. (accessed 2011) Does synesthesia contribute to mathematical savant skills?

Baron-Cohen S, Bor D, Billington J, Asher JE, Wheelwright S and Ashwin C. (2007) Savant memory in a man with number-shape synaesthesia and Asperger Syndrome. Savant Memory in a Man with Colour Form-Number Synaesthesia and Asperger Syndrome.  Journal of Consciousness Studies. volume 14, number 9-10, September-October 2007, p. 237-251.
["DT", the subject of this study, is explicitly identified in the paper as Daniel Tammet]

Biever, Celeste (2009) Peek inside a singular mind. New Scientist. January 3rd 2009, number 2689, p. 40-41.
Online version:
Biever, Celeste (2009) Inside the mind of an autistic savant. New Scientist. January 7th 2009.

Beltchley, Rachael (2005) Brain Man!: Fit at age3 turns Dan into whiz who can add like a calculator and learn a language in 15hrs just like film hero; MIND-BOGGLING SKILLS OF MODEST TEACHER. People, The (London, England) January 30th 2005. republished by The Free Library by Farlex.

Bor, D, Billington, J, Baron-Cohen, S. (2007) Savant memory for digits in a case of synaesthesia and Asperger syndrome is related to hyperactivity in the lateral prefrontal cortex. Neurocase. 2007 Oct;13(5):311-9.
Alternative citation: Neurocase. 2008 13(5-6) p.311-319.
DOI: 10.1080/13554790701844945
[Unfortunately this revealing paper remains behind a paywall. Daniel Tammet is definitely the subject of this study, named “DT” in this paper. The fMRI study failed to find expected activity that would indicate synaesthesia, but did find activity consistent with the use of the memory technique known as “chunking”. Authors tried to explain findings with a claim that Tammet’s synaesthesia is a special type.]

CBSNews (2009) Brain man. 60 Minutes. October 8, 2009.;contentBody
[transcript available]

Doerfler, Ron (2008) Lightning calculators III: the media. Dead Reckonings. April 15th 2008.
[Part three of a most interesting series published at a blog, which appears to be the same content as the essay “Lightning calculators” published April 16th 2008.]

Doerfler, Ron (2008) Lightning calculators. April 16th 2008.
[An interesting essay that includes a section titled “Deconstructing the BrainMan Documentary”. Doerfler argues that the producers of the Brainman doco set out to mislead the viewer, and that one mathematical problem solved by Tammet was done by means of memorizing a repeating group. Includes an incorrect statement that Tammet’s Pi record was a world record. The author is a former teacher, author of the book Dead reckoning : calculating without instruments and the blog Dead Reckonings and the website ]

Ericsson, K. Anders (2003) Exceptional memorizers: made, not born. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Vol.7 No.6 June 2003. p.233-235.
[discusses the Maguire et al study which Tammet took part in]

Foer, Joshua (2011) Moonwalking with Einstein: the art and science of remembering everything. Allen Lane/Penguin, 2011.
[includes a chapter about Tammet in which Tammet’s achievements in the World Memory Championship under his original name of Daniel Corney in 1999 and 2000 are discussed, Tammet’s synaesthesia and savantism are questioned and the author considers whether Tammet’s remarkable talents are best explained as the result of training]

Grandin, Temple (2009) How does visual thinking work in the mind of a person with autism? A personal account. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London B Biological Sciences. May 27th 2009  364(1522): 1437–1442. PMCID: PMC2677580 doi: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0297
[Tammet discussed as an autistic “pattern thinker”]

Harvey, Oliver (2005) He can memorise the phone book but finds shopping tricky. Meet..Brain man. Sun, The. May 12th 2005.
["Daniel speaks French, German, Spanish, Lithuanian, and Esperanto and he remembers the face of every person he has EVER met." I accessed the full text of this article through EBSCOhost]

Johnson, Richard (2005) A genius explains. Guardian. February 12th 2005.

KBC Media. (accessed 2011)
[Tammet is "case study" number 5]

Maguire, Eleanor A., Valentine, Elizabeth R., Wilding, John M. & Kapur, Narinder (2002-3) Routes to remembering: the brains behind superior memory. Nature Neuroscience. Volume 6 Number 1 January 2003 p.90-95.
Published online: 16 December 2002 | doi:10.1038/nn988
[According to info about Tammet in an article by Dr. D. Treffert published at the website of the Wisconsin Medical Society, Tammet was one of the World Memory Championship competitors studied in this study by UK researchers, including one from the Institute of Neurology in London.]

Seaberg, Maureen (2012) Daniel's Eyes of China Blue. Tasting the Universe. (blog at website of Psychology Today). May 11th 2012.

Simon, Jane (2005) We Love Telly!: PICK OF THE DAY - THE BOY WITH THE INCREDIBLE BRAIN FIVE, 9pm. Mirror, The (London, England) May 23rd 2005.
[“...unlike many savants, his gift doesn't cause him any disability...”]

Tammet, Daniel (2006) Born on a blue day: a memoir of Asperger’s and an extraordinary mind. Hodder & Stoughton. 2006.

Tammet, Daniel (2009) Embracing the wide sky: a tour across the horizons of the mind. Free Press, January 2009.

Tammet, Daniel (accessed 2009) Optimnem. 
[Tammet’s web site]

The Boy with the Incredible Brain. (2005) Focus Productions (Bristol UK)/Discovery Science Channel for five.
[An episode in the Extraordinary People doco series. Same as or similar to the 60 minute 2005 documentary Brainman. Martin Weitz  credited as director of Brainman and credited as producer of this documentary, apparently directed by Steve Gooder. Martin Weitz, Toby Trackman and Steve Gooder were nominated for the Huw Weldon Award for Specialist Factual (BAFTA) in 2005. The documentary won a Royal Television Society award in December 2005. This is from a press article about the doco: “Martin Weitz, executive producer; Charlie Parsons, executive producer for the Science Channel. Produced for the Science Channel by Focus Productions.” This  47 minute documentary about Daniel Tammet, who was not a boy in this doco but was in his 20s. Tammet displays his incredible calculating and language abilities, describes his synaesthesia, and travels to the United States to meet another famous autistic savant, Kim Peek. This documentary can be viewed through Google Videos or YouTube.]

Treffert, Darold (accessed 2011) Daniel Tammet - Brainman: "Numbers are my friends". Wisconsin Medical Society.
[This is a page about Tammet, whom the “savant syndrome” expert Dr Treffert has met. Treffert has apparently taken a quote from Tammet’s own website Optimnem which includes a claim that Tammet won a gold medal at the “‘Memory Olympics’ in London in 2000” and also a claim that Tammet was studied by researchers at the Institute of Neurology in London which was published “in the New Year 2003 edition of the highly prestigious Nature neuro-scientific magazine.” It appears that this information is no longer published at Tammet’s Optimnem website.]

Treffert, Darold A. (2010) Islands of genius: the bountiful mind of the autistic, acquired, and sudden savant. Jessica Kingsley, 2010.
[Blind Tom Wiggins, Temple Grandin, Flo and Kay Lyman, Daniel Tammet, Stephen Wiltshire, James Henry Pullen and hyperthymestic syndrome are discussed]

Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2011) Daniel Tammet. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
[see the discussion page as well]

Wilson, Peter (2009) A savvy savant finds his voice. The Weekend Australian. January 31-February 1 2009, Inquirer p. 19.

[no longer his, but was once apparently Tammet’s website, which can be viewed in past incarnations using Internet Archive Wayback Machine ]

Internet forum postings and membership profiles from 2001-2002 which appear to be the work of Daniel Tammet
Andersson, Daniel (2001) Psychic Daniel Andersson. Psychics. Yahoo Groups. August 2nd 2001
Andersson, Daniel (2001) Doctor's Advice on the Atkins Diet. Epinions. October 19th 2001.

About World Memory Championship
Memory and Mental Calculation World Records. (accessed 2011)
[gives details of the “Memorising Names and Faces” test]

World Memory Championship (2009) Memory Sports Statistics: Daniel Corney. World Memory Championship.

About Tammet’s Pi Record
Daniel Tammet (accessed 2011) Pi World Ranking List.
[“This was long time claimed as a European Record, as Daniel recited 22,514 decimal places. Unfortunately he made his first mistake at postion 2,965...”]

Pi Memory Feat. (2008) University of Oxford.
[This page might seem like a very authoritative source, but one needs to keep in mind that another source has claimed that the event “was monitored by students from the department of mathematical sciences at Oxford Brookes University” (Lyall 2007), and that is a different university to the University of Oxford.]

Pi Record (2011) Optimnem: Daniel Tammet: the official website.

About Stephen Wiltshire
Cornwell, Jane (2010) Great cities seen by a remarkable mind’s eye. Australian. April 16th 2010 Arts p.15.

Philby, Charlotte (2009) My secret life: Stephen Wiltshire, artist, 34. Independent. January 24th 2009.

The Stephen Wiltshire Gallery

Treffert, Darold A. (2010) Islands of genius: the bountiful mind of the autistic, acquired, and sudden savant. Jessica Kingsley, 2010.
[Blind Tom Wiggins, Temple Grandin, Flo and Kay Lyman, Daniel Tammet, Stephen Wiltshire, James Henry Pullen and hyperthymestic syndrome are discussed]

Copyright Lili Marlene 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.