The Life Scientific - 9. Uta Frith
Prof Uta Frith is a psychologist and neuroscientist whose elegant experimental work has fundamentally changed how people think about autism and dyslexia.
Professor Uta Frith came from a grey post war Germany to Britain in the swinging sixties, when research into conditions such as autism and dyslexia was in its infancy. At the time many people thought there was no such thing as dyslexia and that autism was a result of cold distant parenting, but Professor Frith was convinced that the explanation for these enigmatic conditions lay in the brain. And she set out to prove this through a series of elegant experiments. Together with her students Francesca Happe and Simon Baron Cohen she developed the idea that people with autism find it hard to understand the intentions of others, known as theory of mind. Neuro-imaging experiments carried out with her husband Professor Chris Frith, meant she was able to show that there is a region in the brain which is linked to dyslexia. Uta Frith talks about her pioneering work that has changed how we view these brain disorders with Jim Al Khalili. Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald.