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Features / Webinars

Webinar: Geoff Bird explores overlap between autism, alexithymia

1 March 2017
The Presenter

Geoff Bird

Associate professor, University of Oxford

Here’s how Bird describes what he will discuss in this webinar:

There is a persistent stereotype that people with autism have a number of social and emotional deficits, such as a lack of emotion recognition and empathy. However, the experiences of many individuals with autism and their families run counter to this idea. Furthermore, the scientific evidence supporting these characterizations leaves much to be desired.

In this webinar, I will discuss my research team’s findings regarding the intersection between autism and alexithymia, a condition characterized by difficulties identifying and describing one’s own emotions. Our work suggests that alexithymia is responsible for some of the emotion recognition and empathy difficulties in people with autism. Our new research suggests that alexithymia may, in fact, explain a great deal of the variability within autism, as well as some of the feature overlap between autism and psychiatric conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

We invite questions before and during webinar presentations in the Comments section.

Press Policy
The Spectrum Webinar Series aims to facilitate the free exchange of ideas among autism researchers, including discussion of published and unpublished research, hypotheses and results. Members of the press may report information presented during a Spectrum webinar only if that material has already been published elsewhere or they have first obtained express written consent from the presenter.

About Webinars
Presentations by leading experts that showcase new findings, useful techniques and emerging topics in autism research. We invite questions before and during the presentations in the Comments section.
  • Pete

    I can’t be there for the webinar because of timezone but I agree with the overlap. I have Aspergers along with other mental conditions and when reporting to my psychologist and psychiatrist it is really difficult to because I can’t tell how I am feeling. I don’t know if treatment have improved or not hence making it difficult for the specialist. It’s hard that I can’t identify my own self

  • Joybe

    I am the parent of a 22-year old with autism. As soon as I started exploring neuroscience (especially affective and social neuroscience) and exploring my son’s sensory functioning, I concluded that alexithymia was a key part my son’s ASD symptoms. That was at least 10 years ago and I’ve been bringing this up with the experts in my state since then. Thank you to Professor Bird and Simons Foundation for highlighting what I believe is an important and overlooked issue.


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