Autism explained by weak brain links

Apr 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: New 'Surveyman' software promises to revolutionize survey design and accuracy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gene linked to severity of autism's social dysfunction

Apr 06, 2011

With the help of two sets of brothers with autism, Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a gene associated with autism that appears to be linked very specifically to the severity of social interaction deficits.

Using EEGs to diagnose autism spectrum disorders in infants

Feb 22, 2011

A computational physicist and a cognitive neuroscientist at Children's Hospital Boston have come up with the beginnings of a noninvasive test to evaluate an infant's autism risk. It combines the standard electroencephalogram ...

Recommended for you

Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas

7 hours ago

A frigate carrying French colonists to the New World that sank in a storm off the Texas coast more than 300 years ago is being reassembled into a display that archeologists hope will let people walk over ...

User comments : 0