‘How do I know how I think, until I see what I say?’:

The shape of embodied thinking, neurodiversity, first-person methodology


  • Patricia Cain




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I discuss what it’s like to engage in an embodied/enactive creative practice, its qualities and values, and how neurodiversity might benefit research culture. As an Asperger’s thinker with a creative, metacognitive thinking style, I have reached a point of asking through my art practice, How do I make my cognitive difference visible? Referring to my keynote presentation at the 2019 Body of Knowledge Conference, which was both an installation and a conversation about growing into the need for practice, this article takes the reader through the evolution of my thinking about practice as personal growth, to the point of commencing a new project, Making Autistic Thinking Visible. These findings suggest that there is need for research methodologies to be led and developed by different thinking styles, based in self-awareness, including the ‘internal participatory’ research model I suggest. My example contributes to a bigger picture of diversity in human cognitive variation, that can contribute to a more inclusive (consequently expansive) research culture, displacing standard norms which kill possibilities for different forms of knowledge.



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How to Cite

Cain, Patricia. 2020. “‘How Do I Know How I Think, until I See What I say?’: : The Shape of Embodied Thinking, Neurodiversity, First-Person Methodology”. Idea Journal 17 (02):32-57. https://doi.org/10.37113/ij.v17i02.400.