Just had a random, semi-formed thought about my autistic brain on my way back from my almost-daily trip to the coffeeshop to read over a latte. The idea is that my brain stores sets of information about this scenario or that context, that are situationally relevant, in discrete bundles. When entering into a known environment, we spool up into a sort of local cache the information set relevant to it. If some new stimulus happens in that environment, it takes us some extra time to process it because we haven’t previously stored that stimulus into the currently-cached information set. When we move from that environment into another, we have to re-save the first environment’s information set in case anything new needs to be added, clear our local cache, and then load into the local cache the relevant information set for the new environment. The single-mindedness or monotropic pattern autistic brains often exhibit means that it’s even more complicated, or can be more complicated, than my earlier ideas about how autistic task switching isn’t two things but five, in that entire information sets are being switched in and out of our local cache. This doesn’t even reach, of course, the matter of entering into an entirely new environment, where in advance we had to make some educated guesses about a relevant information set and then struggle to adapt it on the fly. I suspect this erupted to mind in part due to Jesse Meadows’ reference to “slow processing”, in a piece I linked earlier, percolating in the background.


  1. It occurred to me later to wonder if what I’ve called the uncollapsed autistic wave function is some sort of failure either of the local cache, or of the process of saving and loading information sets to and from storage. Thinking about it now, I’d imagine it’s more of an issue with failing to load even a transitional (e.g. “walking somewhere”) information set into the local cache, leaving the cache completely empty and leaving me uncertain (sometimes paralyzingly so) of what’s supposed to come next.