Accessibility statement

Autism spectrum conditions affect preferences in valued personal possessions

Posted on 3 October 2017

York researchers provide evidence for "complementary mentalities"

A new paper has been published providing a potential explanation for the incorporation of autism genes in the human evolutionary past.

Penny Spikins (Archaeology), Barry Wright (Health Sciences) and Callum Scott (Archaeology) have demonstrated that individuals with autism have different preferences for personal possessions, which may have had an evolutionary significance. Individuals with autism prefer have a reduced tendency to value and preserve objects as reminders of relationships/attachment figures and place a greater value on the direct practical function of their personal possessions. The latter strategy may have been more selectively advantageous in certain contexts whilst less advantageous in others in the distant evolutionary past. This research is published today in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences (York users can access paper directly this through the library pages).

Read the full paper: