Brain Connections Differ in Kids with Autism

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
28 Feb 2013

A simple way to define autism is to describe it as: a different brain wiring. We have been repeating this as a metaphore or an analogy to get a better understanding of the condition. Today a research in Boston Children’s Hospital has published an amazing finding by using EEG to track the electrical cross-talk of the brain.

The new study showed that the brains of kids with autism have needless (extra, redundant) connections between brain areas that are close to each other, which unfortunately take a toll on the long-distance associations, compared to neurotypical subjects.

In other words: “More short-range connections within different areas of the brain were found, however they had fewer connections linking far-flung regions.”

That explains why are some kids so talented in certain areas and able to focus very well on them, on the other hand they are unable to connect the dots between various areas of the brain of higher level ideas.

“For example, a child with autism may not understand why a face looks really angry, because his visual brain centers and emotional brain centers have less cross-talk. The brain cannot integrate these areas. It’s doing a lot with the information locally, but it’s not sending it out to the rest of the brain.”

I know understand why we would think that they lack empathy in certain situations. But the fact of the matter is that they cannot connect a picture (certain area in the brain) with an emotion (a farther area of the brain).

In brief: they have high local or short-distance connectivity in the brain, and poor connectivity between remote areas of the brain. That might explain the poor inference skills in kids with autism that sollicite associating different parts of the brain.

Read the full article here:

nadia shanab

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