Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Social parts of autistics' brains hyper-responsive when viewing facial expressions?

Gosh, this is so confusing! Isn't the conclusion in this study abstract the opposite of what we have been led to believe about autistics and face reading?

"Twenty-two adolescents with ASD and 20 healthy adolescents viewed facial expressions (happy, fearful, sad and neutral) that were briefly presented (250 ms) during functional MRI acquisition. To monitor attention, subjects pressed a button to identify the gender of each face."

"When group differences in attention to facial expressions were limited, adolescents with ASD showed greater activation in structures involved in socio-emotional processing."

Shih-Jen Weng, Melisa Carrasco, Johnna R. Swartz, Jillian Lee Wiggins, Nikhil Kurapati, Israel Liberzon, Susan Risi, Catherine Lord and Christopher S. Monk (2011)
Neural activation to emotional faces in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Volume 52, Issue 3, pages 296–305, March 2011. Article first published online: 7 OCT 2010 DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02317.x

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