Posts Tagged ‘autism’

boy-autism

Brains of Autistic Children Are Surprisingly Hyper-Connected

In this article for Discover Magazine, I explore a new study that’s found a new difference in the brains of autistic children: Different brain regions aren’t actually under-connected, as some researchers have believed – they’re actually hyper-connected, exchanging information much more than they would in a non-autistic brain. What does this mean? Could it point toward […]

mirrorneurons

What’s So Special About Mirror Neurons?

In this article for Scientific American, I dig into the theory that certain groups of neurons specifically work to interpret the goals of others’ movements. Could these neurons be involved in autism? Could they be crucial for empathy? Some famous researchers say yes… while others say it’s impossible. The discoverers of mirror neurons put forth what they […]

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Musical Learning

A new study throws some light on how musical aptitude can offset one very specific aspect of the aging process. In research comparing older patients with musical training to those without, older people who’d spent time regularly practicing or teaching music consistently displayed much faster neural reaction times to certain kinds of sounds. The idea […]

Autism & Reputation

People with autism process the concept of their social reputation in a fundamentally different way from non-autistic people, a new study finds. Suppose I give you $100, and tell you you can donate some or all of it to the no-kill animal shelter across the street – or you can just pocket the whole wad and walk away. My guess […]

Autistic Development

Certain regions of the brains of autistic children develop much more slowly than in non-autistic brains, a new study reports. As most of our brains mature throughout our adolescent years, our white matter – the tissue that connects separate brain regions and allows them to communicate with one another – undergoes vast amounts of growth, as […]

Autistic Genetics

Some forms of autism seem to be linked with variations in certain genes, a new study says. The deletion of a certain cluster of 27 genes on the mammalian chromosome 16 – specifically a region known as 16p11.2 – causes autism-like features to develop in mouse brains. These mice exhibited hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, and difficulty adjusting to […]

Autism From the Inside

Have you ever wondered how reality feels to a mathematical savant? One person in particular would like to help you with that. Daniel Tammet is an unusual guy for several reasons: he’s a “high-functioning” autistic savant who can recite pi to more than 22,000 digits, he’s got a talent for translating his subjective experiences into words, and […]

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