Sensing Too Much

Miguel Jiron’s “Sensory Overload”, seen above, is part of the Interacting With Autism Project at New York’s Imagine Science Film Festival. Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, who has Asperger’s, describes her own experience with sensory overload:

I’m flooded constantly by other people’s energy, by sounds, visual images, everything. I can walk into a room and feel all the emotional energy in the room, but it’s completely undifferentiated. I’m unable to translate facial expressions or body language. I’m unable to filter anything out. Everything comes in, but my brain can’t parse it fast enough … I become very disoriented and overloaded. I say too much, or stumble over my words, or simply feel paralyzed and mute.

(Hat tip: Robert Krulwich)