Were autistic traits responsible for a development in art?

A study by Dr Penny Spikins, Callum Scott and Barry Wright from the University of York suggests that autistic traits, specifically the ability to focus on detail, led to an explosion of realism in art 30,000 years ago. From a Science Daily article:
The ability to focus on detail, a common trait among people with autism, allowed realism to flourish in Ice Age art. Around 30,000 years ago realistic art suddenly flourished in Europe. Extremely accurate depictions of bears, bison, horses and lions decorate the walls of Ice Age archaeological sites such as Chauvet Cave in southern France. Why our ice age ancestors created exceptionally realistic art rather than the very simple or stylised art of earlier modern humans has long perplexed researchers.
While I’m flattered by the idea that autistics were responsible for a development in art, I can’t help but be a bit sceptical. Nonetheless, the authors make a very strong case for their hypothesis.
The study can be found here.

About autismjungle

I am a Software Test Analyst. Shortly before I turned 21 I was officially diagnosed, although I had long suspected I was autistic. Welcome to my blog
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