Friday, February 22, 2019

Autism brain works at different speed, study says

Sensory responses are faster, but motor control region is slower - and these variations may help to explain the symptoms

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects about 25 million people worldwide, according to data from 2015. It causes difficulty in communication and social interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior. Despite the many researches on the subject, the causes of autism have not yet been identified - most studies indicate that it is the union of genetic factors with environmental causes.
Now a study by British and Japanese scientists has found that the neural velocity of some areas of the brain may be linked to the cognitive symptoms of people with autism.
To understand the finding, one must remember something somewhat obvious: the sensory areas of the brain that process information related to human reflexes, coming from the eyes, skin and muscles, have short, fast processing times. Areas that process more complex information, such as memory, intelligence, and decision-making, respond naturally more slowly.
But the new study shows that this hierarchy of "neural times" is different in autistic people. The study, which used magnetic resonance imaging, found that the autistic brain processes sensory signals faster than normal. Already the responses of the right caudate nucleus, region of the brain linked to learning and the control of motor impulses, are slower.
Although the caudate nucleus processes information more slowly in the brains of people with autism, it has more neurons. According to the researchers, this may contribute to recurrent and recurrent behavioral patterns, as well as the communication and interaction difficulties faced by autistics.

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