For autism researchers, mundane moments spark ‘Eureka’ insights

Inspiration may strike anywhere, at any time. Albert Einstein purportedly polished his theory of relativity using insights from his dreams. Nikola Tesla is said to have drummed up the concept of an alternating current while taking a walk. And plenty of lesser-known scientists have cried ‘Eureka!’ at 3 a.m. on a sleepless night.

We asked autism researchers to describe the strangest source of inspiration for their work. Many of their ‘Aha!’ moments occurred during ordinary life events — a school dance, a casual conversation or an email exchange. Here’s how several scientists describe the seemingly mundane moments that motivated major projects.

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26th December 2016