I have written before on both autism and synaesthesia, but I didn't realize until reading about autistic savant Daniel Tammet and doing some Wikipedia reading, that synaesthesia is a symptom of autism, which makes me wonder if autism isn't just an extreme form of the general case of people losing certain senses and gaining others. Only with autism, the gained sense is mental rather than sight, touch, taste, smell, or hearing.

Ray Charles is probably the most famous of many musicians who appear to have had an improved sense of sound and music due to a loss of sight. I found one mention of autistism on the anosmia Yahoo group, a study on "Co-Occurrence of Autism and Deafness", and page from the National Institute of Mental Health on "Autism Spectrum Disorders," which seems to suggest some correlation between autism and sense of sight. Autism is listed as one possible of cause of numbness, which is the best word I know of for a lost sense of touch, though I'm sure there's something more technical-sounding. I didn't find anything interesting mentioning both autism and ageusia, which is apparently the word for a lost sense of taste.

I don't know enough (or anything really) about human physiology to even know what I'm looking for. I just have a vague suspicion that there are more connections between autism and sense perceptions than I've heard about previously. Neuroendocrinology appears to be where these two fields of study meet. What I'd really like is someone to read the Journal of Neuroendocrinology, and translate where appropriate into something mere mortals can read.

I'd really like to learn more about how brains and bodies interact, and particularly around the fringes like autism and synaesthesia. But I don't have the time to parse a title, much less a whole article like Inhibition by Lipopolysaccharide of Naloxone-Induced Luteinising Hormone Secretion Is Accompanied by Increases in Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Immunoreactivity in Hypothalamic Paraventricular Neurones in Female Rats. Yes, that's a real article.

I guess what I'm looking for is "Neuroendocrinology for Dummies," but I don't expect that book will be published any time soon.