The hyper-systemizing, assortative mating theory of autism

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Jul;30(5):865-72. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2006.01.010. Epub 2006 Mar 7.


The hyper-systemizing theory of autism proposes that the systemizing mechanism is set too high in people with autism. As a result, they can only cope with highly lawful systems, and cannot cope with systems of high variance or change (such as the social world of other minds). They appear 'change-resistant'. This proposal extends the extreme male brain theory of autism. Finally, evidence is reviewed for autism being the genetic result of assortative mating of two high systemizers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asperger Syndrome / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Social Environment