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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Video: What autism teaches us about normal development

by  /  18 October 2009

This article is more than five years old. Autism research — and science in general — is constantly evolving, so older articles may contain information or theories that have been reevaluated since their original publication date.

Some of the most profound mysteries of human nature relate to how we communicate and interact with each other. Matthew Belmonte, assistant professor of human development at Cornell University, talks about how studying people with autism — from their problems in joint attention to their remarkable attention to detail — can help understand these aspects in healthy people.

Belmonte is part of a collaboration that’s using a video game, called Astropolis, to test the perceptual, attentional, social and cognitive abilities of people with autism all at once, rather than the piecemeal studies typically done. He discussed this project at a Sunday afternoon session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.