Autism explained by weak brain links

April 10, 2006

Poor communication between brain areas in people with autism may give clues to difficulties they have in relating with other people, a study has found.

As the weak links mean they benefit less from social situations, it may explain why they do not interact well, said the study published in Neuroimage, the BBC reported Sunday.

Researchers from the University of London compared brain scans of 16 people with autism spectrum disorders, or ASD, and above-average IQs, as well as 16 volunteers unaffected by ASD.

The two groups were shown four images on a screen -- two of houses and two of faces. They were then asked to concentrate on either the faces or houses and decide if they were identical.

In the control group, paying attention to pictures of faces caused a significant increase in brain activity, but for ASD people it made no impact at all on the brain, explaining their lack of interest in faces.

Both groups had the same reaction to houses.

Research head Dr. Geoff Bird of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience said, "It seems that, for people with ASD, paying attention to a face is much harder to do and doesn't have the same effect."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Adult autism diagnosis by brain scan

Related Stories

Adult autism diagnosis by brain scan

August 10, 2010

Scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King's College London have developed a pioneering new method of diagnosing autism in adults. For the first time, a quick brain scan that takes just 15 minutes can identify ...

GI problems common in children with autism

May 2, 2010

Parents of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) sometimes report that their children suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, such as diarrhea and constipation. However, studies on how prevalent ...

Brain imaging may help diagnose autism

January 8, 2010

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) process sound and language a fraction of a second slower than children without ASDs, and measuring magnetic signals that mark this delay may become a standardized way to diagnose ...

Experts summarize state of the science in autism disorders

October 14, 2009

Scientific understanding and medical treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have advanced significantly over the past several years, but much remains to be done, say experts from the Center for Autism Research at ...

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.