AUTISM

AUTISM

September 21, 2012

Autistic brains respond differently, study says

Posted by: Courtnay Peifer  | Star Tribune

The brains of people with autism respond erratically to sights, sounds and touch, unlike those of others, said a study published Thursday in the journal Neuron. That difference might explain such autistic behaviors as repetitive motions and the urge to learn detailed information about narrow topics.

"Imagine you have the experience that your world is completely unreliable," said New York University psychologist David Heeger, one of the study’s authors. "Every time you look at something it looks slightly different, or every time you hear something you hear it slightly differently."

That might make the world a scary place for those on the autism spectrum, said Heeger and Marlene Behrmann, a co-author and an autism expert at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University.

In the study, 14 high-functioning adults with autism and 14 people without the disorder did a task while lying in a magnetic resonance imaging machine. As they stared at a computer screen, they saw patterns of...  READ MORE >>

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