Join us for a live chat today (Monday, September 9) at 1 pm EDT with renowned animal scientist and autism expert Temple Grandin and science writer Richard Panek. They will discuss their latest book, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum." SA blogger Joanne Manaster and her co-host Jeff Shaumeyer will lead the discussion as part of another collaborative Scientific American/Read Science! episode

Viewers may join in at this Google + event link or on Scientific American’s YouTube channel. The chat also will be archived afterwards on both the SciAm and Read Science! Youtube channels. (In case you missed it, our first collaboration was with biologist E.O. Wilson, which you can view here.)

Temple Grandin is the author of several best-selling books about autism and autistic spectrum disorders. Grandin is an inspiring and strong role model for children with these disorders and their parents. She has consistently provided “neurotypicals” a much-needed window into the mind of those on the spectrum.

Grandin earned a PhD in animal sciences at University of Illinois-Urbana (where Manaster has worked her entire career) and is currently on faculty at Colorado State University. Grandin credits her autism and associated sensory issues as providing her with a perspective that helped her understand animals and inspired her to create more humane livestock handling systems. This work is well documented in her book Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. She says that she “thinks in pictures” rather than through vocabulary, an insight that was the topic of her book Thinking in Pictures: Other Reports from My Life with Autism. She serves as a shining example of who has learned to assess and use her strengths and also work around limitations to make a difference in the world.

In The Autistic Brain, Grandin and Panek help readers understand autism by discussing the latest scientific research, including brain imaging, genetics and much more. They express dismay at the dearth of scientific research into sensory issues that plague those on the spectrum and address the topic of the ever-changing DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) definition of autism and other spectrum disorders.

The chat will begin in the video viewer below at 1 pm EDT. If you have questions in advance, feel free to post them below in the comments section or in the comments section on Scientific American's YouTube page or G+ event page.