Making Sense of the World, Several Senses at a Time; Scientific American
Seeing What You Hear:
We can usually differentiate the sights we see and the sounds we hear. But in some cases, the two can be intertwined. During speech perception, our brain integrates information from our ears with that from our eyes. Because this integration happens early in the perceptual process, visual cues influence what we think we are hearing. That is, what we see can actually shape what we “hear.”
This passage sparked a possible clue as to why Asperger individuals will look briefly at a person’s face, but then look away during conversation, an act that is criticized as a “social crime.”
I can’t claim that all Asperger people are visual thinkers, but many are: What if we avoid looking at faces because our dominant visual sense makes it difficult to hear people correctly? I have often described my “conversational” behavior is to look at a person, including the face, and size them up quickly, and then look away and to carefully listen to what they say. I’m more attentive when listening. My visual sense is so dominant that “looking” is too much distraction.
I’ve frequently noticed that neurotypicals hear what they want to hear; a person will state some fact or opinion that is straightforward and difficult to misinterpret, but the “audience” will immediately distort the message and attack the speaker. It seems to be a treasured neurotypical type of conflict.