The Neanderthal theory

Invented 2001-04-24
Last modified 2007-01-14

Modified reconstruction of Gibraltar Neanderthal child


The evolution of Homo
    Primate evolution
    The cold adapted species
    The warm adapted species
    Homo Sapiens
    Could Neanderthals really be a true species?
    Archaeological evidence
    Geographical correlation
    Culture and ethnical groups
    Music and dancing
    Medical plants
    Neanderthal age and maturation pace
Genes of special interest
    Neanderthal nuclear-DNA
    Y chromosome
    PDHA1 shows hybridization
    Hemochromatosis - HFE
    Factor V Leiden
    Friedreich Ataxia - FRDA
    Cystic fibrosis - CFTR
    Rhesus factor
    Skin color, hair color, freckles and eye color - MC1R
    Phenylketonuria - PKU
    Huntington's Disease
    Multiple Sclerosis
    IgA, celiac, autoimmune diseases and autism
Populations of special interest
    Palaeo Eskimo (the Dorset people)
Neanderthal symbiotic animal relations
    Gender differences in autism rates
    Score distributions
    Prinicipal Component Analysis (PCA)
    Differences in biology
    Intellectual abilities and disabilities
    Nonverbal communication differences
    Social differences
Climate adaptations
    Seasonal affective disorder and hibernation
    Seasonal birth
    Slower maturation
    Activity level
    Overweight and eating disorders
    Pastoralism, hunting and diet
    Glacial floods
Other differences
    Brain size
    Language differences
    Differences in eye contact
    Differences in pain sensitivity
    Executive functions
    Instructions and directions
Neanderthal group dynamics
Psychiatry and other theories
Environmental factors
My own surveys supporting the theory
Racial aspect (controversial, don't read if you get offended by races)
How to prove or refute the theory
Abreviations used


Elizabeth Morgan 

Helped me with background material about various diseases like hemochromatosis, Factor V Leiden, cystic fibrosis, SLE, other autoimmune diseases, and found various links to supportative evidence

Various autistic and ADHD individuals on discussion forums

Helped me with ideas about behavior and provided comments about the theory


In the past there have been numerous theories for the cause(s) of autism, Asperger's syndrome, ADHD and Tourette syndrome. Most of these theories can at best explain small parts of these diverse syndromes. Many of them extend their findings in spectacular ways to be able to claim to explain larger parts of the autism spectrum with little success.

This theory approaches the problem from a new radical viewpoint. Instead of approaching autism as a disorder, brain defect or the result of poor socialization or parenting, it claims that autistics are fully functional.

All the areas that are central to autism are related to species-typical adaptations that vary widely between species. These include nonverbal signals, social organization, sensory acuteness, motor skills, general preferences, sexuality, physical traits and biological adaptations. Some of this diversity in autistics is poorly understood and virtually unresearched and therefore is not published in peer-reviewed journals. Because of this lack of research, Aspie-quiz, an online questionnary, is heavily referenced for these traits.

Recent genetic research have demonstrated that the Out-of-Africa (OoA) model with no interbreeding fails to explain nuclear DNA diversity in Eurasia. Several models of interbreeding that do explain this diversity exists today. It therefore is quite likely that Neanderthals contributed to the Caucasian genome. Aspie-quiz have demonstrated in a large survey in the US population that Afroamericans have only 1/6 of the autism prevalence of Caucasians. The same survey also indicates that Asians and American Indians have about 1/2 of the autism prevalence of Caucasians.

Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of Aspie-quiz yields axises that seems to be related to the first Eurasian Homo, the formation of modern humans in Africa or South Asia and the hybridization between modern humans and Neanderthals in Europe. These axises seems to be 1.8 million years, 150,000 years and 37,000 years, which fits pretty good with the archaeologic evidences available.

The evolution of Homo

The evolution of various Homo-species is described below.

Primate evolution

Primates originally were very small and evolved during the era of dinosaurs. Higher primates seems to have evolved 40 million years ago in Asia. 1 These then spread to all parts of the world. 2


Oreopithecus was a swamp-ape that lived 7 to 9 million years ago on an isolated island in today's Italy. It seems to be more similar to the later Australopithecus than to any other primate. Homo is next in similarity to Oreopithecus while the African and Asian apes show the least morphological similarity to Oreopithecus amongst the hominoids. Oreopithecus was bipedal, just like humans, unlike the knuckle-walking African apes we supposedly are related to. 3 4 Oreopithecus might be very close to the common ancestor of Pan, Homo and Gorilla. If Oreopithecus was the ancestor of Homo, this would also explain a large number of aquatic adaptations found in today's humans, but not in other primate species.


Australopithecus is most likely a descedant of Oreopithecus, and lived in Africa 3 million years ago. It still was bipedal, but it is unlikely they are direct ancestors of Homo because of the back-evolution to an arboreal life-style. Alternatively, it's possible that Pan is not at all very closely related to Homo and that the similarity in mitochondrial DNA is caused by climatic selection on the mitochondria. 5


The origin of Homo is not clear, but it is very likely that climatic factors played an important role in the evolution of Homo. At Dmanisi in Georgia,  there is an 1.8 million year old Homo erectus skull. 6 This is roughly similar to the start of the ice-ages in Eurasia. 7 It is very likely that brain expansion was largely driven by the unstable climate of Eurasia, which required constant adaptations from their inhabitants. These selective pressures never existed in Africa. Africa instead acted a lot like a refugee area where larger populations could survive for extended periods of time. Frequent hybridization between advanced, but sparse, Eurasian Homo and refugee African Homo ensured that Homo evolved larger brains.

The cold adapted species

Rather than describing all the species or sub-species paleoanthropology likes us to believe existed in Eurasia, it's more convenient to describe them as one single species evolving from Homo erectus to Neanderthals. The earliest finds of Homo in Europe is Ceprano, Italy that is dated to between 800,000 and 900,000 years. 8 The cold adapted species changed from a promiscuous primate species into a endogamous, group-bonded species. Their social structure allowed little or no contact between groups. This was an adaptation to small, sparse populations. The groups consisted of 1-3 females in reproductive age, 1-3 males in reproductive age, children and elderly people. The females probably were related while the males dispersed to other groups at maturity. They matured late and lived long. Their diet was primarily based on meat, and they became adapted to this diet. Neanderthals became cold adapted in various ways. They probability spent the winter in low-activity mode, and built-up supplies during good times.

The warm adapted species

The warm adapted species changed from a promiscuous primate species to a monogamous, pair bonded species. This provided the most efficient solution in their environment. This species evolved from Homo erectus to anatomical modern humans (Hss).  In the process of increasing their brain size, or maybe as a means of reducing parasite loads, they became naked. They lived a nomadic life-style in larger tribes. Their way of living provided advanced social adaptations. Men were hunters, and women gathered and cared for babies. With those roles, came male alliances and warfare. It was more of a rule to find one's partner within the tribe than in another tribe. This lead to evolution of the modern status concept and hierarchies. It also lead to aggression between males, and provided the basis for ethnocentric ideas and racism. The offspring developed fast, and they could reproduce fast. Hss is a patriarchal species and behaves like chimps in many respects.

Homo Sapiens

At 130,000 years ago, a global warming started. This resulted in the melting of the ice-cores over Eurasia. At 125,000 years ago, we find Neanderthals in Finland. 9 In Africa there are a couple of skulls in Herto that are dated to 160,000 years ago, that almost looks like modern humans. 10 It is likely that the warm interglacial resulted in migrations of Herto-looking Homo out of Africa and into South Asia and Near East 130,000 years ago, similar to the Neanderthal migrations north.

Based on archaeological evidences, it seems most reasonable to assume that modern humans originated somewhere in Asia. We have evidences of the first truly modern-looking human skull in China around the interglacial (Liujiang) 11 Modern humans formed when they hybridized with the archaic Asian Homo erectus population. As the interglacial ended, the new population was pushed back into refugee areas in Southern Asia and Middle East. We find modern humans at Skhul and Qafzeh in Israel at the end of the interglacial. 12 These modern humans also hybridized with Neanderthals in Near East, before being pushed back into Africa.

Today the closest descendants of these people seems to be San/Bushmen of South Africa, and South Asian populations. The Bantu population of Africa quite likely represents hybrids between modern humans and archaic African Homo. It is unknown when San came to Africa, but their similarity to East Asians seems to imply a relatively recent migration into Africa, perhaps 20,000 - 30,000 years ago. At 74,000 years ago most of the genetic diversity in Asia was lost, and Asian modern humans got partitioned into two groups by the Toba eruption. Not until 50,000 years ago had this population picked up enough inventions from neighbouring Neanderthal and Homo erectus groups to be able to survive further north. With the invention of tailor-made cloth and efficient central-heating, it became possible for them to compete with Neanderthals in Europe and Northern Asia. 35,000 years ago, modern humans are found in Europe

Could Neanderthals really be a true species?

Researchers claim modern man and Neanderthals were isolated for 700,000 years. Coyotes and wolves have been isolated for 1 million years, and far more generations, but can still produce fertile offspring. 13 Similar finding exists between tiger and lions that can interbreed after 5 million years of separation. 14 15 The main reason there were so little interbreeding that it's no long detectable is that it happened by introgression. Introgression is a plausible explanation for current human diversity. 16 Reinforcement is a resistance against hybrids that develops during introgression that is driven by selection. This resistance is not tied to hybrids being impossible, rather to hybrids being negative for the individual. Often females in the rare species develops this resistance first. 17 If you count with both this effect, and the less fitness of most offspring, advantageous hybrid offspring would be rare. Theoretically, a single hybrid offspring which could reproduce would be enough to transfer positive alleles from Neanderthals to modern humans. Because of this, it's no longer possible to trace hybrids with mitochondria-DNA analysis or origin of neutral alleles. 18 Several studies show that Neanderthals contributed to the modern human genome. 19 20 There are two different claims of hybrids in Portugal 21 and Romania. 22 Hybrid vigor is an important concept in biology, and could also be important in human evolution. 23 Bacteria and lower organisms are evolving through symbiosis and gene-transfer between species. 24

Archaeological evidence

The cold-adaptations of Hn obviously evolved gradually. They are already seen to some extent one million years ago in Iberia. The 500,000 years divergence of mtDNA lineages between Africa & Neanderthals support the idea of a northern cold-adaptation starting before 0.5 million years ago.

There is evidence for isolated Neanderthal groups and larger social networks of UP modern humans. This evidence consists of long-distance trading of materials, which is usually absent in the Neanderthal culture (see Desolate landscapes). 25 Large social networks is indicative of male aliances. The relative isolation in Neanderthal fits pretty well with a matrilinear, exogamous group structure, which must isolate itself to work.

There are several evidences against the idea that Neanderthal adapted to cool climate with fire and cloth in Eastern Europe

  1. The evidence from fires indicates they were not primarily aimed at keeping warm. In UP settings, there is a central fire & evidence of isolated shelters. None of this is seen in Neanderthal's Mousterian technology. Their fires are usually found at arbitrary locations, and there is no evidence of activity constrained to shelters. The evidence seems to indicate Mousterian sites were indeed "open-air", and not built with tents & central heating.

  2. There is no evidence for new technology as Neanderthals migrated to colder climates. This seems to indicate their adaptations was not cultural, because this would leave traces of innovations in technology, but rather physiological.

  3. Many sites were abondonded by Neanderthals when climate got worse. It's possible this reflect that Neanderthal cold adaptations wasn't enough to cope with the changes.

  4. Side-scrapers might have been used for hide preparation, although there is more evidence they were used for wood-working in Western Europe. Furs without advanced sewing techniques would be insufficient for cold adaptation, and there is no compelling evidence for Neanderthals sewing in Eastern Europe.

  5. According to micro-wear studies, the predominant use of stone tools was not as weapons, rather wood-working. "Desolate landscapes" also presents compelling evidence that Neanderthals "prey" were in their best age, something that is definitely not normal in a carnevorious species. The mammals they "hunted" were frequently now domestic or domesticable animals (horse, bison (bovine), goat and sheep). Wolf remains are found at a majority of the sites. Small animals are infrequent.

In fact, all the ingrediences of modern pastoral practises are found:

  1. Wood-working for shelters and fences

  2.  Rodeo-type injuries from wrestling large animals

  3. Flutes and whistles for calling upon animals

  4. Animals killed & eaten at the top of their usability

  5. Many of the bones are of currently domestic species, and several of these "speciated" during the Neanderthal era

  6. High-protein diet of Neanderthals

The East European archeological record tells us a lot about the origin of the Aurignacian industry, as well as of West European Cro-magnons. According to 26 the origin of Cro-magnon is not in Middle East, rather South Asia. If this is correct, we should find the origin of the Aurignacian industry in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. "Desolate landscapes" definitely supports this idea. Unlike in Europe, modern humans in Eastern Europe didn't start out with UP technology. They started out with Mousterian industries (Neanderthal technology). There are several sites that resembles the European Szeletian industry believed to be originated by Neanderthals. Only in Eastern Europe, these industries evolved into UP industries gradually, and there is little doubt that the final industry was practised by Hss.

Geographical correlation

Neanderthals have been found in Europe and Middle-East. Europeans have also mass-emigrated to America and Australia. The Afro-American population in US have a considerably lower autism prevalence than Caucasians, American Indians and Asians. 27 28 Cro-magnon and Meanderthals coexisted for millenia in Europe. The long hybridization time means that hybridization was unusual, and all hybrids were back-bred into one of the populations. Forming separate hybrid-populations wasn't possible, since it was very unlikely one hybrid would meet another. For this reason, researchers will never find any populations which are morphological mixes.. After 3-4 generations, a back-bred hybrid offspring will become indistinguishable from other people. Central Asia and later Europe formed the primary hybridization zone. From there both culture and genetic material spread to Far-East Asia, Australia and America. The genetic material did not significantly get back into Africa. The exception to this is the emigration from Europe at the end of the ice-age, the Arabic emigration from Middle East, and the European colonization. Cro-magnon had a high degree of inbreeding, and this is still reflected in a small variation in neutral alleles and mitochondria DNA. This is falsely seen as evidence that Neanderthals and cro-magnon did not mate and produce fertile offspring. The other result of hybridization, larger variation in selective-positive alleles is also seen. Most importantly, many alleles are local, and many of those alleles does not occur in Africa. Another effect of this hybridization is rapid development of technology and art seen in Middle-East and Europe. Later on, the most advanced cultures evolved in the hybridization zone.

Music and dancing

In Africa, music and dancing is mostly tied to rites, that are performed in certain social contexts, and they are exclusively aimed at social activities. 29 This is also evident in black music in America, where social relations are the main theme, while complex music and instruments are typical of non-African music. In Africa, the main instruments are drums and the human voice, while outside of Africa, there is a variety of complex instruments, dances and music, that are more aimed at entertainment, creativity and perfection.  90,000 - 100,000 years ago Neanderthals had phalange whistles. 41 of them have been found in Prolom II in the Crimea. 70,000 - 80,000 years ago there is a flute in Haua Fteah, Libya, which has been found together with Neanderthal mandibles. Finally, 40,000 years ago  there is another flute in Divje Babe 30 Neanderthals are also believed to have sang. 31 Interestingly, both the phalange whistles and flutes seems to have been evolving gradually up until recent times. This seems to indicate they originated in Neanderthals, and where taken over by AMH or hybrids. It's probable that Neanderthals primary use of musical instruments wasn't for entertainment or music, rather as a way to herd animals. This tradition is still seen in today's herding societies.

Medical plants

At the burial at Shanidar, a set of medical plants have been recovered. 32


Grape hyacinth is a stimulant and diuretic. It's also been used historically to hide the snell of humans to prey.


Possibly Althea officiinalis or Marsh mallow. Used to treat inflammation, irritations of the mucous membranes, excess stomach acid, peptic ulceration and gastritis. Can also be applied externally to bruises, sprains, aching muscles, insect bites, skin inflammations and splinters. 


Ragwort or groundsel is used to relieve menstrual cramps and retards bleeding.


Yarrow or milfoil is used as a stomach tonic and anti-diarrheal.


Possibly Centaurea cyanus or cornflower. Infusion is a stimulant, improving digestion and possibly supporting liver as well as resistance to infections. Anti-rheumatic.


A stimulant used for phychoactive purposes. Possibly used by Neanderthals to increase activity-level artificially, and could therefore have reduced their overall activity level over time. This can be an explaination for the need for Ritalina or Amphetamine in todays individuals with ADHD.

The age and maturity pace of Neanderthals

This evaluation is based on the information provided by Jack Couzzo's in his book "Buried Alive". 33 There are both strengths and weaknesses in his reasoning. The main problem is that he tries to fit Neanderthal onto the biblical creation myth.

Let's start with children & young adults. That's where his evidence is impressive. On page 185 there is a table estimating the years Between Pech (a very young child) and Le Moustier

Linear or Angular Meassurement

 Average Rate/Yr


1. Michigan Angular Variable 50



2. Bolton Angular No. 13 



3. Michigan Linear Variable 88



4. Bolton Linear No. 5D 



5. Bolton Angular No. 3 



6. Michigan Linear Variable 182



7. Michigan Linear Variable 185





26.7 +/-1

This 7 meassures are different rates of growth, using large modern studies. It's quite remarkable that all of them gives very similar results for the age differences between Le Moustier and Pech. Using dental dating methods, Pech is believed to be between 2 and 2.5 years old. I'll use the mean 2.25 years. Le Moustier is assumed to be between 16 and 18 years old. I'll use 17 for his age. The difference in age based on dental datings therefore is 14.75 years. This would mean there is a discrepancy between general skull growth and teeth growth of 1.81 (26.7 / 14.75). This can be explained by assuming seasonal wear of their teeth. If teeth eruption & wear is proportional to the effective usage-time of teeth, this would be a legal assumption. This means Neanderthals would use their teeth for 1 / 1.81 or 55% of the time, and would not use them for 45%. That translates to 6.5 active months and 5.5 months of hibernation or general inactivity. Using those assumptions, let's calculate the age of various Neanderthals. The general rule for children & young adults would be to multiply the traditional ages by 1.81. This would mean Pech would be 4 years, Gibraltar II 7 years and Le Moustier would be 31 years.

Next, comes the fallacy of Jack's reasoning. Age of adults. The real problem here is that we don't know the exact age of maturity. Le Moustier cannot be assumed to be mature. The exact time of maturity matters a lot, since skull growth in the measures used in the book beyond maturity falls 20 - 30 times. He assumes maturity and Le Moustier is the same thing, but it's most likely not. The most reliable way to calculate age of maturity, is to estimate average life-span. Since Neanderthals matured 81% slower, they should also have lived correspondingly longer. This means realistic life-spans should range between 100 and 150 years. Using that span, it's possible to use 3 of the measures in the book, and estimate an age of maturity that is realistic. Several iterations proved this age is 36, but I won't go into the calculations, just show that it gives reasonable results.

Gonial angle

On page 306, there is a specification of gonial angles, and the rates. LM (Le Moustier): 110, LC (La Chapelle): 105, LF (La Ferrassie I): 104. Rate in adulthood is 0.026/year. Rate before maturity is 0.86/year (p185). This gives the following table:


Gonial angle

Estimated age

Le Moustier


31 years

Mature Neanderthal


36 years

La Chapelle


65 years

La Ferrassie


103 years

Lower jaw length

On page 306, variable 194, specifies LM: 116.3, LF: 131.3 and LC;132.3. Rate is 0.071mm/year. On page 180, it's stated that the lower jaw grows 1.8mm/year before maturity. This gives the following table:


Lower jaw length

Estimated age

Le Moustier


31 years

Mature Neanderthal


36 years

La Chapelle


120 years

La Ferrassie


135 years

The book claims ages of 211, 225, 231 and 192 for the above. This is because of the assumption of LM being mature. It's very clear you can come up with almost any age with this method, since maturation time is not known. I think 36 +/- 2 of maturation is supported by the data. Outside of this range, age of death of LC and LF is becoming unrealistic.

Lower face height

This is the third measure that can evaluated both in children and adults, as is required when maturity is 5 years after LM. This is the most interesting of them. Neither the traditional dating method, nor the presumed in this book, would explain this. On page 212, there are estimates for this parameter. Modern adults grow 0.063mm/year. Between 16 and 18, there is an increase of 1.98mm, which roughly corresponds to 1mm/year, which I will use as an estimate before maturity. He also discusses the fact that modern humans with heavy tooth-attrition, DECREASE lower facial height. This is because passive tooth eruption is smaller than teeth wear. On page 215, he gives the figures for our Neanderthals. LM: 58.3, LF: 75.8 and LC: 78.7. The problem here is that we have to assume a very high increase in lower facial height of 0.15mm/year to obtain realistic results. Here is a table based on 0.15mm/year:


Lower face height

Estimated age

Le Moustier


31 years

Mature Neanderthal


36 years

La Chapelle


139 years

La Ferrassie


120 years

If Neanderthal had such a large growth as 0.15mm/year, which is over twice the modern rate with SOFT diet, how is this possible? I think the answer once more is hibernation. If we assume they had the modern rate during active periods (55%), and only passive eruption during the rest of the year (45%), we could end up at 0.15mm/year. If their passive eruption was 0.25mm/year, this would contribute to 0.112mm/year of growth (0.25 * 0.45), and the active 0.038mm/year (0.07 * 0.55). On page 211, there is an study that gives rates as high as 0.18mm/year for this parameter, with "no wear".

On page 76, there is an excellent summary of Gibraltar II by Dorothy Garrod:

A. Remarkable jaw muscle development


B. Well-worn teeth 


C. Infantile forehead 


D. Big head 


E. Infantile ear bones


F. Bulbous upper jaw 


G. Small young-looking lower jaw 


F and G is explained by slow-developing teeth, and is the reason for the wrong age-estimates by paleoanthropology. Slower ear development might be related to Neanderthals obvious preference for visual information processing instead of verbal (as evidenced by occipital bun). The forehead is most likely explained by a less advanced social system.

Genes of special interest

Bottlenecks explain worldwide diversity. The major bottleneck is around 74,000 years ago. This probably coincidences with the Toba volcano eruption in Indonesia. 34 The Toba volcano eruption is the largest eruption in the last 2 million years. It probably resulted in worldwide temperature falls of 3-5 degrees centigrade for many years.  It would affect Africa the least, and Neanderthals and Asian populations much more. The second bottleneck is basically an European thing. It's the last glacial maximum 20,000 years ago. This bottleneck would mostly be seen in populations that wasn't affected too much by the Neolithic expansion, like Basque. The third bottleneck is present day hunter-gatherers, that got marginalized by farmers. These bottlenecks are sufficient to explain the largest diversity in Africa, as well as the smallest in Europe. It's also evident that mitochondrial-DNA and Y chromosome histories beyond a major bottleneck will be unreliable, unless you use ancient material. Nuclear DNA is a better choice, since it has larger effective population sizes.

Neanderthal nuclear-DNA

A metagenomic study of Neanderthal nuclear DNA shows that the modern human and Neanderthal lineage split 706,000 years ago. 35 They also claimed that there were uniform gene-flow up until 370,000 years ago. Applying these dates to an introgression model were gene-flow stopped 706,000 years ago yields a time of introgression at 34,000 years ago. In an introgression model, the resulting coalesence time would be expected to be in between the time of hybridization and the lineage split.


Studies of Neanderthal and modern humans mitochondria-DNA shows small differences. In a population based on 700 Eurasians and 240 Africans, all Neanderthal mutations in the youngest Neanderthal from Russia is present except one. 36 Additionally, the analysis show that the genetic difference is smaller between late Neanderthals and moderns than between older Neanderthals and moderns. This is not compatible with a replacement theory.

Y chromosome

A study shows ancient origins more than 100,000 years ago of a set of Y-chromosome mutations not found in Africa. This is indicative of Neanderthal and / or Asian Erectus contribution to our genome. 37

PDHA1 shows hybridization

PDHA1, located on the X-chromosome, shows two very distinct polymorphisms. One exist in both Africa and outside of Africa, while the other only exist outside of Africa. The African version show large diversity, while the non-African version seems to be introduced 50 000 years ago. The common ancestor of the two versions dates more than a million year back in time. 38

Hemochromatosis - HFE

Hemochoromatosis have the highest prevalence in Caucasian groups. 39 Researchers believe that Hemochromatosis originated at least 40,000 years ago in the area we now know as Ireland with a single ancestor. This means this ancestor was a Neanderthal, since Neanderthals would have had great advantage for efficient absorption of iron. The reason Neanderthals needed efficient iron absorption was their frequent injuries during close-combat hunting. Indeed, the cure of hemochromatosis is to loose blood.

Factor V Leiden

Factor V Leiden was introduced in the Northern European population 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. This is in a time when there was no people in Northern Europe, since Northern Europe was covered by ice. It instead coincidences with the cohabitation with Neanderthals, and Northern Europeans have a lot of Neanderthal heritage.

Friedreich Ataxia - FRDA

Freidreich Ataxia (FA), developed on a common haplotype only found in Europe, North Africa and Middle East. It has been dated to 10,000 to 25,000 years ago. 40 It therefore seems plausible that it was introduced into Europe by hybridization with Neanderthals, and later spread  to North Africa and Middle East with the evacuation of Europe at the glacial maximum. FA, like hemochromatosis, is associated with iron transport. The primary cause of FA seems to be oxidative damage by free radicals. Iron accumulation in the mitochondria  is also seen in organs were this gene is active. Most likely, a complex was broken in the hybridization process. Either there was a protective allele in Neanderthals against free radicals, or some mutation in the mitochondria protected them. In the first case, this allele might still be in the modern human gene pool, in the second, it was lost in the hybridization process.


DRD4 has two main alleles 4R and 7R, where 7R is associated with ADHD. It requires six mutations to transfer 4R to 7R, and this is very improbable. There also is no intermediate versions. The estimated age of 7R is 30 000 - 50 000 years, and this fits with the time of the hybridization. Both 4R and 7R occurs in frequencies that indicates they are both ancient. 41

Cystic fibrosis - CFTR

Cystic fibrosis is a very diverse genetic disease. It's estimated to have been introduced 50,000 years ago in Europe. 42 Cystic fibrosis also bears many similar properties to celiac, and might in fact be related to gluten-intolerance. The purpose of CF probably was to protect against infection and parasites. CF is associated with high levels of salt in sweat, and this probably formed some sort of protection, if left on the skin.

Rhesus factor

Rhesus negative blood is found in 15% of the caucasian population, and in over 25% of the Basque population. It's rare in native Indians, Asians and Africans. 43 A rhesus negative mother will have immunological problems if she gets a rhesus positive child. This forms a barrier for hybridization into the Neanderthal population. Over 50% of people with schizophrenia are rhesus negative, and there are indications of similar frequencies in autism and Asperger. 44

Skin color, hair color, freckles and eye color - MC1R

Aspie-quiz have found higher prevalence of red-hair color in autistic people. 45 46 47 Red/auburn hair and fair skin are related to 3 mutations in MC1R (R151C, R160W and D294H) and the origin of those mutations are 50,000-100,000 years, they were introduced by hybridization with Neanderthals. 48 Aspie-quiz have found higher prevalence of brown/hazel eye color in autistic people. 49 50 51 From the number of silent mutations in African versions of the MC1R gene, Dr. Rogers and two colleagues, Dr. David Iltis and Dr. Stephen Wooding, calculate that the last sweep probably occurred 1.2 million years ago, when the human population consisted of a mere 14,000 breeding individuals. 52 In other words, humans have been hairless at least since this time. 1.2 million years ago is similar to the time of the split between the cold and warm adapted population. This might mean that nakedness was the factor that started the divergent evolution between cold and warm adapted humans.

Phenylketonuria - PKU

From an article about PKU we read: "He collected samples from 430 patients in different institutions and found the green color in eight Most of the patients were of fair complexion, with a tendency to eczema, broad shoulders, a stooping figure and spastic gait. All were mentally retarded". Eczema, stooping figure and PKU (an european genetic defect) are obviously related. Another study concludes that poor control PKU and autism show similar manifestations in Block Design and Comprehension. 53

Huntington's Disease

Huntington's Disease (HD) is of western European origin. It has a prevalence of 15 per 100,000 in some western European populations. It's rare in Asians and Africans. HD evolved on a specific haplotype background, that is prevalent in European populations only. 54 HD protects against cancer and infectious disease. 55 It's very possible this allele, in conjunction with alleles to protect against it's adverse effects, was the key to Neanderthal's longer life-span. It's also a key for their protection against infectious disease, needed because they also carried CF (Cystic Fibrosis) alleles. It might even play a key role in Neanderthal's abilities to hibernate. EPA and DHA protect brain areas affected by HD in hibernating mammals. 56 These same substances are believed to play a role in relieving ADHD symptoms.


Psoriasis has a 1 - 2 % prevalence in European descent, and much less in other ethnical groups. It's also believed to be located on chromosome 6 in the HLA region. 57

Multiple Sclerosis

Prevalence is highest in European-descent populations, although it increases with latitude. 58

IgA, celiac, autoimmune diseases and autism

There are quite a few studies that confirms a link between low IgA levels and autoimmune diseases, like Celiac Disease (CD). 59 There are also studies that confirms many autistics have lower than normal IgA levels. The link between low IgA levels and otitis media is also interesting. Celiac, also known as gluten intolerance, is often found in people with ADHD and AS. The disease mostly affects people of European descent, and occurs more rarely in African and Asian populations. 60 This co incidents with the probable distribution of Neanderthal genes. It's believed that the origin of celiac hunter populations.

Populations of special interest

Matriarchal societies are a prime indicator of Neanderthal genes. These cluster to Europe, Near East and the Arctic, and usually disappear with agriculture. 61


These people's are often believed to be some of the original Africans, but many of their traits speaks against this idea. They resemble, to European eyes at least, east Asians. They have yellowish rather than black skin, epicanthic folds, shovel-shaped incisors, and many newborns have "Mongoloid spots" at the base of the spine. The Asian appearance is not just a perception of Europeans. In the !Kung language there are three kinds of mammals: !a is an edible animal like a warthog or a giraffe, !oma is an inedible animal like a jackal, hyena, black African, or European, and zhu is a person. Vietnamese in Botswana were immediately identifed as zhu by Bushmen. In other words, their perception of their similarity to Asians is the same as ours (i.e. Europeans'). Genetics group Bushmen with Asians 62 and Bushmen lack the signal of expansion present in other African populations. 63 Bushmen are thought to have introduced live stock into South Africa. 64


Many of the Basque-unique alleles are 10,000 to 34,000 years old. The center of this interval matches the bottleneck in Iberia during the ice-age maximum. Basque alleles are also found in Celt, Scandinavians and in North African Berbers. 65 In Isturitz in Basque country there is an very old flute. This flute is similar to both the older Neanderthal flute, and the later Basque txistu flute. The Basque language is distinct from all other languages. Their language is also special since it originally didn't contain any abstract words. Basque has also for a long time been leading in musical and other creative activities in Europe. The Basque words for dog, sheep, cow, bull, horse and hen seems unrelated to other Indo-European languages, while cat, pig and duck looks like loan-words. This indicates the first group of animals already were domesticated before the end of the last ice-age.


Berbers most likely originate from Iberia during the ice-age maximum. Mitochondria-DNA evidence shows that Berbers have U5, U6, pre-V and V haplotypes. 66 U5, pre-V and V is believed to be of European origin, and U6 is found in Iberia. 67 68


Guanchos came to the Canaries a long time ago. When first encountered, they used stone-age tools, lived in cave-shelters, and lacked many Neolithic inventions. However, they had dogs, sheep, pig, goat, wheat, barley, pea and bean. They also display many features of Northern Europeans / Celts. It also looks like their language is closely related to the Berber language. Women have the higher status characteristic of Neanderthal and Neanderthal ancestry. They used the lunar calendar of the original moon-culture. They liked music and dancing. "The Canary" originates from them.


Etruscans according to most sources have lived long in Italy. Probably several thousand years, since their language is not related to other indo-European languages. Women had higher status and were better treated. 69 70 This is in conformance with Neanderthals and matriarchy. Their sexual activities are quite similar to bonoboo's, 71 which in turn might be similar to Neanderthals. Many gods were female, and many of the goddesses were not continued by the Romans, while many male gods were  The moon is part of their deities  The number 13 of the original moon culture had been replaced by 12. Music and dancing is a fundamental part of their life, just as theatre.


The Minoan culture flourished on Crete until 1450 BCE when the volcano Santorini erupted. It seems to have been a relatively peaceful culture, and nowhere do we find evidence of warefare. 72 It also seems quite likely women occupied important positions in the society. The Minoan culture also seems to have developed a highly accurate calendar, and advanced mathematics. 73 They had a non-indoeuropean language, that nobody yet has been able to decipher.

Palaeo Eskimo (the Dorset people)

The Palaeo-Eskimo was the population living in the Canadian arctic between 2000 BC and 1000 AD. They seemed to be a genuinely cold-adapted population. 74 They were probably related to other Eskimo population like Tlingits and Saami. Their area of origin might very well be somewhere in Caucasus or Central Asia. The most interesting issue is how these Palaeo-Eskimos survived the winter. This is very relevant to Neanderthals as well. Since these people lived in an area with no trees, and hadn't invented sea mammal fuels, it's unconceivable they could keep themselves warm without some genetic adaptations. In fact, torpor, hibernation or at least months of inactivity must have been their way of surviving. Considering outside temperatures could easily drop to -30 degrees Celsius, with frequent blizzards, and months of total darkness, they would simply die of cold and starvation very fast if they didn't have special adaptations. Indeed, it seems likely they got those special adaptations from Neanderthals. Their region of origin is quite right. As soon as they started to live under extreme conditions in the arctic, individuals lacking those special adaptations would quickly be selected against. The Dorset people's demise is also quite telling, and might in fact be a parallel to what happened to Neanderthals. The large, war-oriented Inuit groups obviously drove out the peaceful Dorset people to less favorable hunting-grounds, and they become extinct after a couple of centuries. There are several indications that the Palaeo Eskimos were matriarchal.

Neanderthal symbiotic animal relations

All domestication of animals took place in Eurasia and America, and none in Africa. Of 14 domestic species, 13 originates in Eurasia, and one in America. All the mitochondria DNA lineages also go back more than 100,000 years. This means Neanderthals are the prime candidate of original animal domestication or symbiosis. Autistics show a preference for animals over people 75 and they claim to be able to sense the feelings of animals. 76


Cooperation with wolves were most likely a key to the ability for Neanderthals to survive in the cold Europe. Genetic research shows that dog and wolf parted 135,000 years ago. 77 They also reveal that the dogs ancestor is the European gray wolf. There are wolf remains close to Neanderthals, but not with the pray. This probably means the wolf had a special relation with humans. There are also big similarities between Neanderthal prey and wolves prey. 78 Some people incorrectly believe that dogs must change morph to be dogs and domestic. The main problem with this reasoning is that there is no evidence for a special dog phenotype older than 14,000 years, and analysis of American historical dogs claim they have an Eurasian origin. They must then have been brought with the settlers that crossed the Bering strait at least 15,000 years ago. It's also unlikely that the common dog psychological traits can have evolved in just a few thousands years. It's quite interesting that dogs are sensitive to human cues, 79 and that some humans (probably autistic mainly) are sensitive to dog's cues. This tells us that the original relation between dogs and humans was not as domesticator / domesticated, rather like a symbiotic relation. This view is also presented in "dogs" by Raymond and Lorna Coppinger. They believe dogs first appeared at humans campsites as scavengers. I think this view is fully compatible with early symbiotic relations between dogs and humans. What's more, the selection would not be anything like traditional breeding. The tamest animals would be most successful in this new environment, but selection on body-shape would not occur. Those first dogs would not look anything different from their wild wolves cousins in the archeological record. The book "dogs" also describes how difficult it is to make wolves friendly toward humans. They must be taken very early from the den, and trained for months. 80 Even after this, they will still not be suitable as pets. This must be carried out generation after generation with selection for the most tame ones. There must also be artificial breeding, which would be rather troublesome. I think it's inconceivable that ancient hunter-gatherers would go into this trouble, without even having any great benefit from it.


Mitochondria DNA analysis shows that Bos taurus (domestic cow), has a common ancestor between 10,100 and 37,600 years ago. This matches the bottleneck cattle went through when the European population had to leave at the end of the ice-age. African and European cattle had a common ancestor 22,000 - 26,000 years ago. That matches well with the last glacial maximum. 81 It seems conceivable this is the result of cattle and people migrating together from Iberia to North Africa. 82 A study comparing Bos indicus and Bos taurus finds a common ancestor 117,000 - 275,000 years ago. 83 The now extinct British Bos primigenius is more closely related to Bos taurus than is Bos indicus. This means there are three primary breeds of domestic cattle:

  1. The primary breed is found in Sumeria. This represent the original East European breed.
  2. In Southern Portugal as well as in North Africa there is another breed. This represents the original Iberian breed.
  3. The British extinct Bos primigenius represents a domesticated breed during the Neanderthal  period.
Another important factor is lactose intolerance. The lactose enzymes would evolve in parallel with cattle domestication. The most adapted people are of European and especially Scandinavian descent. Least adapted are Asians and Native Americans. Africans lie somewhere in between, mostly being intolerant 84


Genetic evidence shows that three goat lineages go back 201,000 - 282,000 years in time. 85 This seems to indicate that goats were originally domesticated by Neanderthals, and similar to the cattle scenario, diverged in a North African, Sumerian and European breed.


Mitochondrial DNA lineages go back at least 300,000 years. A lot of the lineages are considerably older than 10,000 years when the horse was supposedly domesticated. 86 This result seems to indicate Neanderthals were involved in horse domestication as well. The genetic study also seems to confirm that horses migrated to North Africa and formed Barbs there. They couldn't have been introduced from Middle East with agriculture, since this mitochondiral DNA variant is rare in Arabs. This seems to indicate that horses where already domesticated at the last glacial maximum.


Aspie-quiz have researched many probable Neanderthal traits.

Gender differences in autism rates

Even if there might exist a male bias in mental retarded autistics, there doesn't seem to be any difference in autistics taking Aspie-quiz.




Male:Female Ratio



347 of 769
402 of 752




1702 of 3595
1216 of 2462




859 of 1363
781 of 877




694 of 1389
525 of 877




1022 of 2344
982 of 2351




896 of 1580
835 of 1362




1091 of 2317
847 of 1444


Score distributions

Several psychiatric disorders are often mixed in individuals. There is no natural boundary between them, nor is there a clear boundary to normal. 87

There are two distinct bell-curves in Aspie-quiz, but these are related to the Hn-Hs aspect, and not to any specific psychiatric disorder

Prinicipal Component Analysis (PCA)

All versions of Aspie-quiz give similar axises. These are called Hn-axis, Hs-axis and g-axis. The explained variance is listed below for each quiz version. An age for each axis is estimated by assuming Hs axis is 150,000 years, and explained variance is proportional to age.


Hn loading

Hs loading

g loading

































Averaged II-8








As can be seen, the Hn-axis becomes almost two millions years old and the g-axis becomes 37,000 years old, which is the time of the hybridization. The most likely interpretation is that Hn axis is Eurasian diversity, Hs axis is the evolution of modern humans, and g-axis is the introduction of Euroasian diversity through interbreeding with Neanderthals 30,000 - 50,000 years ago. In Aspie-quiz, Hn-axis is used to calculate the Aspie-score, Hs-axis is used to calculate neurotypical score, and g-axis is positively correlated with Aspie ability group and negatively correlated with Aspie disability group. It therefore is likely that g-axis is related to g-factor in intelligence tests.

Differences in biology

The Aspie-biology group contains various biological traits that are related to autism. These traits range from sensory issues to physical differences. 88 The neurotypical biology group contains various biological traits that are missing in autistics. Most of these traits seems to relate to distance-hunting techniques practised by modern humans but not Neanderthals. 89

Sensory issues

  1. Do you notice small sounds that others don't, and feel pained by loud or irritating noise?90
  2. Do you have a very acute sense of taste?91
  3. Do you feel tortured by clothes tags, clothes that are too tight in certain places or are made in the 'wrong' material?92
  4. Are you sensitive to heat, cold, wind and/or changes in air-pressure, humidity etc?93
  5. Do you see yourself as sensitive?94
  6. If you have to be touched, do you prefer it to be firmly rather than lightly?95
  7. Are you fairly insensitive to, or have unusual reactions to, physical pain?96
  8. Are you sensitive to electromagnetic fields?97

Aspie physical traits

  1. Do you have food intolerances?98
  2. Are you lefthanded or ambidextrious?99
  3. Do you have unusual eating patterns?100
  4. Do you have loose joints that have dislocated?101
  5. Are you flat-footed?102
  6. Do you have dandruff?103
  7. Do you have psoriasis?104
  8. Do you have odd teeth; e.g. teeth that are crooked or bigger than usual; gaps; overlaps; underbite etc.?105
  9. Are you shorter than what is normal for your gender?106
  10. Do you have a prominent bulge in the rear of your skull (occipital bun)?107

Missing distance-hunting traits

  1. Do you have difficulty with throwing and catching a ball?108
  2. Do you have a tendency to drop things?109
  3. Do you have difficulties judging distances, height, depth or speed?110
  4. Do you have difficulties with fine motor skills and/or hand-eye co-ordination?111
  5. Can you whistle?112

Intellectual abilities and disabilities

The Aspie ability group contains various superior traits of autistics. Most of these are related to differences in information processing, narrow interests and determination. 113 The Aspie disability group contains various problems of autistics in relation to neurotypicals. Most of these have low correlations and are mostly related to dyslexia, dyscalculia and differences in processing information. Many of these things have only become problematic very recently. 114

Aspie abilities

  1. Do you have unconventional, often unique ways of solving problems?115
  2. Do you focus on one interest at a time and become an expert on that subject?116
  3. Is you imagination unusual, with unique ideas that others don't have?117
  4. Do you have one special talent which you have emphasised and worked on?118
  5. Do you take an interest in, and remember, details that others do not seem to notice?119
  6. Are you very gifted in one or more areas?120

Aspie disabilities

  1. Do you find it difficult to taking notes in lectures?121
  2. Do you find it difficult to read written material unless it is very interesting or very easy?122
  3. Do you have trouble reading clocks?123
  4. Do you often forget were you put things?124
  5. Do you often make spelling errors?125

Nonverbal communication differences

Every primate species have facial expressions and nonverbal communication that are species-typical, 126 and this must have included Neanderthals as well. Differences in nonverbal communication forms the core of autistic problems. The mirror neuron theory 127 proposes that autistics have a deficit in the mirror neuron system, however this seems unlikely. The current research that have been performed points to the mirror neurons being related to nonverbal communication. Monkeys only trigger on a few things that humans do, and so do autistics. Nonverbal communication, and therefore mirror neurons are highly species-typical and doesn't work over the species border. Two groups in Aspie-quiz are related to nonverbal communication. The NT communication group is reflecting autistic problems understanding neurotypical nonverbal communication. 128 The autistic nonverbal communication group is the stim group. 129 Just as autistics have problem gathering information from neurotypical nonverbal communication, it seems like neurotypicals have no idea what autistic stims are about, which is also reflected in the professional literature about autism.

Autistic problems with neurotypical nonverbal communication

  1. In conversations, do you have trouble with things like timing and reciprocity?130
  2. Are you often surprised what people's motives are ?131
  3. Do you have difficulties interpreting body language and/or facial expressions and figuring out what people feel and want, unless they tell you?132
  4. Do you tend to interpret things literally and/or reply to rhetorical questions?133
  5. Do you have problems distinguishing voices from background noise, or from other voices?134
  6. Do you have a monotonous voice and/or difficulty adjusting volume and speed when you talk?135

Autistic nonverbal communication

  1. Have you been accused of staring?136
  2. Do you talk to yourself?137
  3. Do you roll your eyes as part of your communication?138
  4. Do you bounce your leg?139
  5. Do you click or rub a pen for the fun of it?140
  6. In conversations, do you use small sounds that others don't seem to use?141
  7. Do you rock your body?142
  8. Do you thrust your tounge at the wrong occassion?143

Social differences

The Aspie social group contains both some problems related to neurotypical nonverbal communication and differences in social preferences. 144 The obsessive group also contains additional social preferences of autistics. 145 It is not easy to distinguish between real preferences and problems relating to social exclusion and bullying. The neurotypical social group contains social preferences of neurotypicals. Most of these are related to getting along in large social networks with strangers and to sort people in subject-other / friend-enemy categories. 146 The hypothesis that Neanderthals become extinct because of free trade 147 is compelling and seems to match the troublesome situation of autistics in a more globalized world.

Probable autistic social preferences

  1. Have you felt different from others for most of your life?148
  2. Do you find the usual courting behavior unnatural?149
  3. Do you sometimes not feel anything at all, even though other people expect you to?150
  4. Is your sense of humor different from mainstream and / or considered odd?151
  5. Do you have high morals and a tendency to stand up for your ideals and beliefs even if they are contrary to general consensus, or if it means social or economical disadvantages?152
  6. Do you feel uncomfortable with strangers?153
  7. Do you dislike it when people turn up at your home uninvited?154
  8. Do you dislike shaking hands?155
  9. Do you prefer to only meet people you know, one-on-one, or in small, familiar groups?156
  10. Are you easily embarrased?157
  11. Do you prefer to talk only when you have something relevant to say?158
  12. Do you have an intense dislike for the military?159


  1. Do you become frustrated if an activity that is important to you gets interrupted?160
  2. Do you prefer to wear the same clothes and/or eat the same food every day?161
  3. Does it feel vitally important to be left undisturbed to persue your special interests?162
  4. Do you need to sit on your favourite seat, go the same route or shop in the same shop every time?163
  5. Do you love to collect and organize things, make lists & diagrams etc?164
  6. Do you have obsessions or compulsions (repeated irresistible impulses to do certain things)?165
  7. Do you have very strong attachments to certain objects, e.g. a favourite cup or a favourite towel and really need to have that precise one?166
  8. Are you punctual, conscientious and perfectionist?167
  9. Have you experienced stronger than normal attachments to certain people?168

Problems related to social exclusion and the majority beeing neurotypical

  1. Do you find preferable/easier to understand & communicate with computers, animals or unusual people?169
  2. Do you feel awkward in romantic situations?170
  3. Do you have more difficulties than others of the same age when it comes to making friendships and getting into relationships?171
  4. Do you tend to feel get nervous, shy, confused and/or like you don't fit in, in various social situations?172
  5. Do you get exceedingly tired after socializing, and need to regenerate alone?173
  6. Do you find yourself more attracted to things, ideas, music, computers, animals, buildings or vehicles than to people and social exchange?174
  7. Do you find it easier to communicate online than in real life?175
  8. Are you more of an observer than one who participates in life - being a detached observer ?176
  9. Are you asexual?177

Social behaviors of neurotypicals

  1. Is a large social network important for you?178
  2. Is creating a social identity important for you?179
  3. Do you appreciate to be in charge of other people?180
  4. Do you have an interest for fashions?181
  5. Do you enjoy gossip?182
  6. Do you find it natural that males take initiatives to start a romantic relationship?183
  7. Is your style and image very important to you?184
  8. Is other people's image of you important to you?185
  9. Do you find it natural to keep track of whom owes whom favours?186
  10. Do you enjoy wearing jewelry?187
  11. Do you enjoy make-up?188

Climate adaptations

To assert the degree of expected change in a cold adapted human population, it's useful to compare with other species that has adapted to cold climates. It seems to be more common for autistics than for neurotypicals to prefer cold weather. 189

Polar bear cold adaptation

The polar bear is believed to have parted from brown bears 100,000 to 250,000 years ago. 190 This is far less generations than H erectus had adapted, and thus we would except to see more changes in Neanderthals than this.

The following happened to polar bears:
  1. Switch of diet from predominately vegetarian diet to carnevorious diet

  2. Widely different teeth, more adapted for a predator.

  3. Year-around activity instead of hibernation

  4. Longer neck

  5. Different color

  6. Thick fur

  7. Huge paws

Today's polar bear is superbly adapted to life in the Arctic

Wolly mammoth cold adaptation

The mammoth parted from Elephants in Africa 5-6 million years ago. 191 Already 2 million years ago, they were fully adapted to Arctic conditions. 192 The Wolly mammoth went all the way from warm-adapted & virtually fur-less to superbly adapted to Arctic conditions in the same time frame H erectus to Neanderthals had.

Artic fox cold adaptation

The artic fox split off 3 million years ago. 193 They have much the same adaptations we would expect in Neanderthals.

  1. The fur of the arctic fox has the best insulative properties among all mammals

  2. Not under any naturally occurring temperatures does it need to increase metabolic rate to maintain homeothermy

  3. Arctic foxes change between summer and winter pelage and thereby adjust insulating properties and enhance camouflage

  4. Well developed ability to reduce blood flow to peripheral regions of the body

  5. In autumn, they can put on more than 50% of their body weight as fat for insulation and as energy reserves


According to a research study, body lice evolved 70,000 years ago. 194 Woven cloth seems to date back at least 27,000 years in Europe. 195 This seems to indicate that clothes and artificial warming is a recent happening in our species. There is no compelling evidence for artificial warming with fires or tailormade clothes in Neanderthals. Therefore, Neanderthals most likely had fur. Without fur they would not be able to survive in Finland in between ice-ages, nor in Europe during the ice-ages. There is a genetic difference called congenital hypertrichosis, which essentially is fur in modern humans. 196 The reports of this "disorder" seems to indicate an origin from guanchos from the canary-islands. It's interesting that this hair is unpigmented.  People with congenital hypertrichosis also show long, prominent back of the nose and a round nose tip and lag in the development of the first and second dentition. It's common with more body-hair in Europeans, and especially in people with autism. 197 Peeling skin flakes from self or others is also common in autistics. 198This seems to be a grooming behavior commonly seen in other primates which indicates an evolutionary past with a fur-coat.

Seasonal affective disorder and hibernation

Seasonal affective disorder  is similar to hibernation. 199 People with seasonal affective disorder have a seasonal clock. 200 It's origin is most likely as a winter adaptation were you like a bear reduce activity and metabolism to survive during the winter. It's very probable that considerably less than 1.7 millions of years is enough to evolve hibernation, given it has a selective advantage. All three of the deepest branches of Mammalians have species that can hibernate. 201 This means the genes required for hibernation is part of all mammalian species, and can be turned on rather quickly. There is also an example of a primate species that can enter torpor. Seasonal affective disorder is related to autism 202 203

Seasonal birth

Seasonal breading is common in primates. 204 Left handedness is associated with birth during spring and summer. 205 Autistics are more often left handed. 206 It therefore seems likely that autistics are involved in seasonal breeding.

Slower maturation

Under harsh conditions it's advantageous to mature and grow slower. This means individuals can survive on fewer resources. A consequence of slower maturing is longer life. Jack Cuozzo shows that Neanderthals matured slower than us, and probably got older. Autistic children often develop according to another slower scheme than other children, and may continue to develop into their 30s. 207 208 It is also believed that a key factor in ADHD might be slower mental maturation. 209 Similar findings exists for schizophrenia. 210


Neanderthals probably collected for the winter season. Maybe they smoked meat and kept in caves. Autism is associated with excessive collection of similar things. 211

Activity level

Large short term variation in activity level is associated with ADHD. Longer term (seasonal) variation in activity level is related to Bipolar, but also to autism. 212 Large variation in activity level can be seen as a winter adaptation. It provides a means to lower brain energy consumption.

Overweight and eating disorders

Eating disorders are common in the western society. Unusual eating-patterns are common in autism. 213 Eating disorders have a logical explanation. Seasonal populations depending on a high-meat diet have a more uneven access to food than tropical hunter-gatherers. The ability to eat food fast is important, just as the ability to be without food for a period of time. Is seems like seasonal affective disorder is related to bulimia. 214 Overweight is a new problem, whose cause is that we don't have to starve through the winter. For Neanderthals, it was essential to be able to increase weight in summer, and loose it during winter. This is probably why they had a broader pelvis. 215 David Comings has associated ADHD and Tourette with weight problems. 216

Pastoralism, hunting and diet

Neanderthals had a high protein diet 217 and killed their prey at close distance. A theory proposes that Neanderthals clinged onto the fur-coat of large mammals and killed them at close distance, possibly after wrestling them down. 218 There is some evidence for this in autistic preferences. Autistics have an urge to climb 219 and an urge to jump over objects. 220 These peculiarities might be related to Neanderthal hunting techniques. Supplements of L-carnosine, carnitine and taurine, that is naturally occurring in a high-meat diet, has positive effects on autistic children. 221 Interestingly the therapeutic dose of L-Carnosine would be present in a diet whose main source of calories was meat.

Glacial floods

A population living near glacial ice might be expected to evolve instincts for detecting extreme floods from glacials. These events would be fatal but yet possibly partly predictable. Autistics have a fascination for slowly flowing water, 222 but are afraid of floods and fast running streams. 223


Most of the finds of Neanderthals are from caves. It's possible that Neanderthals spent a lot of time in caves, or maybe they hibernated there during winter. Autistics have a fascination for caves. 224 Many autistics are afraid of the sound of a motor-bike. 225 A motor-bike sounds similar to a bear. It is possible that the instintive reaction of autistics when they hear the sound of a motor-bike triggers an ancient fear for cave-bears.

Other differences

There are many other differences in autistics as well. Below is a summary of other differences and their possible original function.

Brain size

Neanderthals had a 1500cc brain volume, while modern humans have 1400cc. 226 This means a difference of 7-8% percent. The difference measured on autistic children was 10%. 227 In Aspie-quiz, there is a positive correlation between larger head / hat size and autism in adults. 228 This means the difference doesn't go away after the first year of age, but rather this difference stays.

Differencies in vision

Squinting is highly correlated with autism. 229 and so is using peripheral vision. 230 Autistics tend to close one or both their eyes in strong sun-light. 231

Prosapagnosia 232

Many people with AS are face blind. This is likely because the specialized circuit for analyzing faces is adapted to recognizing Neanderthal faces rather than modern human faces. Aspie-quiz have found that autistics rate Neanderthal faces as more attractive than neurotypicals. 233 It's very interesting that face blind people often use hair and hairlines to recognize people, and very seldom facial features. When they look at faces, they seem to just be blank.

Language differences

Language acquisition is different in autism. Autistics lag behind in using the correct language syntax. Low-level "impairments" are suggested by psychiatry, 234 but since language acquisition is largely innate, it's much more likely there are innate differences in language skills, and probably syntactic skills. Autistic children are forced to learn an alien set of language rules, and this causes them to lag behind peers. Some autistics also have trouble differentiating personal pronouns, 235 which is indicative of adaptation to endogamous groups.

Differences in eye contact

Many primate species regard direct eye contact as a threat. The same thing seems to be happening in autistic children. 236 It seems like autistics both are acused of staring 136 and of lacking eye contact. 237

Differences in pain sensitivity

Neanderthals often had "rodeo-type" injuries. This probably was caused by wrestling large (semi) domestic animals. Masochistic males get pleasure from being spanked by a female dominatrix. Autistic individuals frequently have unusual sensitivities for pain. 238 96 They are both more sensitive to touch, and less sensitive to pain. This might have it's origin in sexual selection, and in Neanderthal habits of wrestling large mammals. Possibly it served the function of better handling the pain afflicted on them in their handling of animals, and this formed a ritual where spanking were used to harden their bodies. The pain differences would separate common pain from wrestling from dangerous pain. This is what is manifested in the pain differences in autism.

Executive functions

Executive functions are about planning and organisation. It seems like Neanderthals didn't plan and organise their dwellings in the same way as modern humans did. In Desolate landscapes 239 p. 129 it is claimed:

"The mapped occupation floors on the East European Plain reveal a recurrent pattern of randomly distributed artefact and or faunal debris concentrations of varying size and density. Former hearths are associated with some debris concentrations, but also found in isolated contexts; a consistent pattern of linkage between the two features seems to be lacking."

"The occupation floors reveal a low degree of structure or organization in the use of space. The contrast with open-air sites occupied by modern humans during the later Upper Paleolithic (OIS 2) is especially striking. Many of the latter contain highly structured arrangements of former dwellings, hearths, pits, and debris concentrations with parallels to the organization of modern hunter-gatherer camps (see chapter 6)." This same differences are often found in autistics.

Instructions and directions

It seems like many autistics have a hard time to handle verbal directions and instructions. 240 Many also find it differcult to instruct or give directions. The evolutionary origin of these traits must have been in larger social settings, with specializations of functions. The traits are commonly used to convey information of where to find things and people. Group isolation in Neanderthals, which in the archaeological record is seen as using resources of local origin, would make these traits less useful. Lack of specialization and the group keeping together at all times, would make them even less useful.

Neanderthal group dynamics

The sexuality group in Aspie-quiz contains unusual sexual preferences and gender issues. 241 In Africa, homosexuality seems uncommon 242 and the HIV-epidemic is largely due to heterosexual activities. 243 In Europe, the spread of HIV is largely by homosexual activities. The Neanderthal group bonding likely looked strikingly similar to bonobos. Bonobos are a female dominated species. The bonobo female uses non-reproductive sex to handle males. They are also highly promiscuous, and cannot select to mate with only alpha males, rather mate with all the males in their group. The Schadenfreude and Rousseau affect, as well as masochism must have it's origin in a female dominant species. For this reason, Neanderthals must have been a female dominated species. Some autistics feel they were born with the wrong gender. 244 It is common for autistic females to be tomboys and for autistic males to be more passive than is normal. Autistics also more often than normally engage in BD/SM and thus masochism. 245 They are also more often homo- and bisexual. 246 Chimps have a high rate of male infanticide, and males often use coercive methods to mate with females. This manifests itself as male violence against females, rape and infanticide in modern humans. All these traits originated in Hss, and are expected to have been more or less non-existent in Neanderthals. Violence against females, rape and infanticide are fundamentally incompatible with masochism. Bonobos engage in all kinds of sex. They do this because of the need to control males. By having sex with all the males in the group, they insure that males don't know if they are fathers or not, and therefore they will not commit infanticide. Their aggressive behavior is also controlled in this way. This correlates with unusual sexual behaviors in humans. Unusual sexual preferences is more common autistics. 247 Since Neanderthals were female dominated, it's very probable Neanderthal females needed to use this same tactic to control males. Monogamy within the group was probably not part of Neanderthal behavior. Rather, the group in itself functioned like a group-level analogy of monogamy. We might label it endogamous groups. Females needed to ensure that males stayed in the group, and just didn't pregnate the females and move onto a new group. If they allowed this, males would surely choose this route, as this would maximize their reproductive output. Another reason for this is that males switching between groups would commit infanticide and the one's that stayed would experience paternal uncertainty. It's crucial that females had some means of assuring that males stayed in the group. They solved this by not allowing males to participate in reproduction until they had shown their loyalty and abilities to the group. It is common for autistics to not like to socialize with stangers 153 and to bond strongly with group-members. 168 From this evolved special interests, that many autistics males have. These are also keys to success for many professionals and scientists. Special interests are often long-term, and this indicates that males had to impress on females during long periods of time. Sex was the glue that kept the group together, in much the same way it is in bonobos, but only men that had shown loyalty were allowed to participate in reproduction. Exhibitionism was a courtship cue used by males. 248 Exhibitionism is more common in Western Europe than in Africa. 249 Reproduction was most likely seasonal.

Here are some key issues in the group structure:

  1. Masochism and exhibitionism is analogue to bonobo's to non-reproductive sex. 250 It served an important function in keeping the group together, as well as keeping males from committing infanticide and probably as a means of population control. Females were fully in charge of mate choice and reproduction.

  2. All kinds of sex was practiced. This serves as the origin for homosexuality, bisexuality and group sex. This is the same as is seen in bonobos.

  3. The group core was made up of females, and they probably were related.

  4. Males were accepted into the group by other males. Today this manifests itself as voluntary cuckoldry, a very odd behavior where whites invite blacks and other non-whites to have sex with their partner. The reason they choose non-whites, is that only males not part of other groups were allowed. Whites by these males are identified with other groups, while blacks are identified with "other" and not part of any group.

  5. A strong sense of group-identity is expected. This has connections to the large amount of societies, clubs and indeed internet groups today's Neanderthal descendants like to participate in. It's a replacement for their preference for a group identity.

  6. The group was isolated from other groups, and sex was not practiced between groups, since this would violate paternal certainty in males. The group worked because males knew the group would take care of his offspring, and because females required showing quality through long-term focusing abilities (special interests).

  7. Female aggressiveness toward females not present of their own group is expected. This is the analogue to the male-male competition of male dominant humans. Female-female aggression would function as a means of keeping males in the group. It's anticipated that today's autistic females have a notion of owing their males. This kind of female-female competition would be intense in Neanderthals.

Psychiatry and other theories

Evidence against the defect-theory

Here follows some links against the brain-damage, deficit and disorder theories.

  1. Disassociation between frontal lobe and social abilities251
  2. Disassociation between brain damage and executive functions252
  3. Different brain function in autism253
  4. Neurotypical behavior can be seen as a disorder254

A Motor theory of autism 255

This is a theory from psychiatry, that concentrates on one aspect of autism, speech. There is some interesting information in this theory, despite the negative image it gives of autism. There are interesting parallels between Basque and the unusual language-patterns in autism. Problems with pronouns. They barely exist in Basque. Absence of abstract words. All Basque abstract words are loan-words. In Basque, they often invent new words as they are needed. The same thing can be seen when autistic people invent words the for ones they can't remember. Most interesting is that many linquistics now consider many parts of our language as innate. This can lead to the speculation that autistic people have another innate-language capability that is not fully compatible with our current languages. Those with low IQ then would fail to develop language, since they cannot compensate for this.

A Topological Theory of Autism 256

The topology theory says that in areas with sparse populations, more autism is present. It also says that autism is more common the more to the north you live. This has good correspondence to how Neanderthals lived. Since they had to live mostly on animal diet, they were few and lived far apart in small groups.

A theory of general impairment of gene-expression manifesting as autism 257

This theory has some important implications for how genes operate. If you instead of primates and other non-humans think in terms of Neanderthals and modern humans as factors, some interesting conclusions can be made. It is likely that mental retardation, autoimmune diseases and many other gene-incompability issues in autism could be related to this.

Temperament types 258

An Internet-based study shows that people with ADHD often belong in some of the temperamental groups ENTP, ENFP, INFP, or INTP. 259 These groups are relatively rare in the population, and their total part of the population is only 10%. At the same time, some believe the prevalence of ADHD is around 10%. This means there must be a strong link between ADHD and temperament. There is also considerable overlap between criteria of aspie and INTP.

Thom Hartmanns hunting hypothesis of ADD 260

People with ADHD are characterized by Thom Hartmann, as having very good traits for hunting. This characterization is not quite accurate since motor-problems also is part of ADD and autism, and it is unlikely that Neanderthals were hunters in the modern sense.

Environmental factors

Heavy metal sesnistivities

The severity of autism is very likely related to environmental factors and genetic predispositions. 261

Gut bacteria

New research about bacterial symbiosis in our guts seems very interesting. It seems like we have several hundred of beneficial bacterial species interacting with our DNA. The bacteria is interacting with Hss genes, but not necesarily with Neanderthal genes. Our defenses against bad bacterias are also very complex, especially in the gut. This may indeed explain several negative consequences of autism, but only if autistics are genetically different from other humans. It indeed seems like stomach problems are much more common in autism, and that several metabolic disorders are as well. We also know that several causes of mental retardation might be related to metabolism. This can be explained in 3 different ways:

  1. Our immune system is attacking modern Homo sapiens bacteria because it think it's an enemy. This could lead to autistics lacking essential digestive bacterial species.

  2. Some of the bacterias went exctinct with Neanderthals.

  3. The bacterial strains might be available in nature, but due to our sterile diet, we don't get it in large amounts enough.

  4. Modern medicines like antibiotics kills essential bacteria


Neanderthals suffered from arthritis, 262 unlike Eskimos, who ate the same diet. It is believed that celiac can trigger arthritis. Therefore, it's possible that some Neanderthals had food-allergies, possibly celiac.


Alma's have been reported for a long time in certain areas of Russia. Alma's are also part of the local myth's of these people.  In the mid 1800th, a Alma called Zana was captured and later even got several children with locals. 263 264 265 266 It's also interesting to note that people in this area also frequently become quite old.

Characteristics of Zana and Almas:

  1. She had lots of body-hair. Another source says Almas (like Zana) have lots of red hair, but not in the face or on their hands and feet.

  2. Her hair is reddish. This is in perfect correlation with red hair being of Neanderthal origin, and indeed over-represented in the autistic population.

  3. She did interbreed, and the skull of one of her descendants showed peculiarities.

  4. Dislike of cloth. Quite natural if you have excessive body hair. Also matches many autistics.

  5. Dislike of heat. That does match the expectation of Neanderthals (being cold adapted), as well as the preferences of autistic individuals.

  6. Fiery temper. It took 3 years to "tame" her. I would think this fits quite well with female autistics. Also matches the "fiery red-head" saying.


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  101. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 193 Do you have loose joints that have dislocated? Link

  102. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 171 Are you flat-footed? Link

  103. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 177 Do you have dandruff? Link

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  105. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 382 Do you have odd teeth; e.g. teeth that are crooked or bigger than usual; gaps; overlaps; underbite etc.? Link

  106. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 195 Are you shorter than what is normal for your gender? Link

  107. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 197 Do you have a prominent bulge in the rear of your skull (occipital bun)? Link

  108. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 207 Do you have difficulty with throwing and catching a ball? Link

  109. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 205 Do you have a tendency to drop things? Link

  110. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 46 Do you have difficulties judging distances, height, depth or speed? Link

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  116. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 20 Do you focus on one interest at a time and become an expert on that subject? Link

  117. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 140 Is you imagination unusual, with unique ideas that others don't have? Link

  118. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 238 Do you have one special talent which you have emphasised and worked on? Link

  119. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 5 Do you take an interest in, and remember, details that others do not seem to notice? Link

  120. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 19 Are you very gifted in one or more areas? Link

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  142. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 406 Do you rock your body? Link

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  149. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 134 Do you find the usual courting behavior natural? Link

  150. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 78 Do you sometimes not feel anything at all, even though other people expect you to? Link

  151. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 151 Is your sense of humor different from mainstream and / or considered odd? Link

  152. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 99 Do you have high morals and a tendency to stand up for your ideals and beliefs even if they are contrary to general consensus, or if it means social or economical disadvantages? Link

  153. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 366 Do you feel uncomfortable with strangers? Link

  154. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 421 Do you dislike it when people turn up at your home uninvited? Link

  155. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 73 Do you dislike shaking hands? Link

  156. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 34 Do you prefer to only meet people you know, one-on-one, or in small, familiar groups? Link

  157. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 375 Are you easily embarrased? Link

  158. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 261 Do you prefer to talk only when you have something relevant to say? Link

  159. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 159 Do you have an intense dislike for the military? Link

  160. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 361 Do you become frustrated if an activity that is important to you gets interrupted? Link

  161. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 37 Do you prefer to wear the same clothes and/or eat the same food every day? Link

  162. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 25 Does it feel vitally important to be left undisturbed to persue your special interests? Link

  163. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 38 Do you need to sit on your favourite seat, go the same route or shop in the same shop every time? Link

  164. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 22 Do you love to collect and organize things, make lists & diagrams etc? Link

  165. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 51 Do you have obsessions or compulsions (repeated irresistible impulses to do certain things)? Link

  166. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 39 Do you have very strong attachments to certain objects, e.g. a favourite cup or a favourite towel and really need to have that precise one? Link

  167. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 10 Are you punctual, conscientious and perfectionist? Link

  168. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 362 Have you experienced stronger than normal attachments to certain people? Link

  169. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 281 Do you find preferable/easier to understand & communicate with computers, animals or unusual people? Link

  170. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 343 Do you feel awkward in romantic situations? Link

  171. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 91 Do you have more difficulties than others of the same age when it comes to making friendships and getting into relationships? Link

  172. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 81 Do you tend to feel get nervous, shy, confused and/or like you don't fit in, in various social situations? Link

  173. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 66 Do you get exceedingly tired after socializing, and need to regenerate alone? Link

  174. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 69 Do you find yourself more attracted to things, ideas, music, computers, animals, buildings or vehicles than to people and social exchange? Link

  175. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 365 Do you find it easier to communicate online than in real life? Link

  176. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 67 Are you more of an observer than one who participates in life - being a detached observer ? Link

  177. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 139 Are you asexual? Link

  178. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 367 Is a large social network important for you? Link

  179. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 184 Is creating a social identity important for you? Link

  180. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 166 Do you appreciate to be in charge of other people? Link

  181. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 146 Do you have an interest for fashions? Link

  182. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 153 Do you enjoy gossip? Link

  183. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 135 Do you find it natural that males take initiatives to start a romantic relationship? Link

  184. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 150 Is your style and image very important to you? Link

  185. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 181 Is other people's image of you important to you? Link

  186. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 127 Do you find it natural to keep track of whom owes whom favours? Link

  187. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 396 Do you enjoy wearing jewelry? Link

  188. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 395 Do you enjoy make-up? Link

  189. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 175 Do you prefer cold weather over warm weather? Link

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  197. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 415 Do you have more body-hair than others of your gender? Link

  198. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 160 Do you feel an urge to peel flakes off yourself and / or others? Link

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  202. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 105 Do you often get depressed during winter-time (SAD)? Link

  203. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 307 Would you like to sleep all winter? Link

  204. TA Wehr (2001). Photoperiodism in humans and other primates: evidence and implications. PMID 11506380 Link

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  206. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 329 Are you lefthanded or ambidextrious? Link

  207. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 42 Do you look younger than your biological age? Link

  208. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 330 Do you look, feel or act younger than your biological age? Link

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  212. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 306 Do you have regular periods of high activity interspaced with periods of lower activity? Link

  213. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 174 Do you have unusual eating patterns? Link

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  223. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 449 Are you instinctively afraid of floods and/or fast running streams? Link

  224. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 384 Do you have a fascination for caves? Link

  225. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 385 Do you instinctively become frightened by the sound of a motor-bike? Link

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  229. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 178 Do you squint now or have done in the past? Link

  230. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 103 Do you often use peripheral vision? Link

  231. L Ekblad (2004-2007). Aspie-quiz, 391 Do you tend to shut one of your eyes in strong sun-light? Link

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How to prove or refute the theory

Any serious theory needs some ways of proving or refuting it. Since this theory is based on things that happened a long time ago, this is not very easy too do. However, genetics offer some promising possibilities. 

Autism and psychiatric genes

The most important task is to identify autism genes. Without them, there is very little possibility to prove anything. David Comings is actually working on the genetic basic of Tourette (and therefore also autism and co morbid conditions). Essential for the validity of this theory, is that many genes are involved. This seems to be the case too, as David believes there are 600 genes behind.

Age of autism genes

Central to this theory, is that the majority of autism genes should be 30,000 to 50,000 years old when measured for diversity,  and many times older when comparing haplotype differences. This would be the effect of rare hybridization, and the following positive selection of Neanderthal genes. The diversity of these Neanderthal genes would be lost in the hybridization process, as well as any intermediate forms of them. The result is haplotypes that have many mutational differences, and no intermediates. The DRD4 7R gene fits this description, but more genes need to be researched.

Population distribution of autism genes

It's also essential for the validity of this theory that the majority of autism genes are most common in Caucasians, less common in Asians and Amerindians, and least common in black Africans.  

Prevalence studies of autism and other psychiatric conditions

Analogue with the gene argument, it would follow that autism, ADD, Tourette and other psychiatric "disorders" should be most common in Caucasians, less common in Asians and Amerinidians, and least common in black Africans. However, research on this must be made using population studies, and must include more than mentally disabled individuals.

Faceblindness and Neanderthal faces

A real possibility is to check if faceblind people with autistic traits can recognize Neanderthals faces better than modern human faces. This would refute or confirm that prosapagnosia is caused by hybrid genes from Neanderthals

Population based studies of late onset autoimmune disease

The idea of this theory is that autoimmune disease is caused by gene incompabilities, and that autistic individuals will get these more often than others, especially if one or both of the parents are non-autistic. Psychiatry claims autism is caused by autoimmune disease, while this theory claims autistic genes combined with non-autistic genes causes autoimmune disease. Which of these interpretations is correct can be verified by studying prevalence of late onset autoimmune disease in the autistic population. In this case, autoimmune disease cannot  cause autism, and if prevalence is significantly higher, this would tend to support this theory. Online survey's indicate prevalence is 5-10 times higher, but larger random-selection surveys are needed to confirm this finding.

Prevalence of known Neanderthal traits in the autistic population

Online surveys indicate that probable Neanderthal traits / genes like flat foot, crooked tooth / underbite, Rhesus factor, hair color, freckles, factor V leiden and hemochormatosis are several times more prevalent than in the non-autistic population. Random, controlled, survey's could confirm or reject these findings.

Animal domestication

Genetic studies could be used to date remains of wolves / dogs in Neanderthal settings. If it's found the genes of these animals are closer to today's dogs than to wolves, this would indicate dog domestication happened in Neanderthals. Similar procedures can be used with other now domestic species that can be found in Neanderthal "prey".

Abbreviations used

AS = Asperger Syndrom

ADHD = Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

NT = Neuro Typical, i.e. people without AS-traits.