How interested a child with autism is in a social scene can be determined in the blink of an eye, according to research presented yesterday at IMFAR 2010.
Many parents of children with autism show some mild traits of the disorder. Research on this group — labeled with the ‘broad autism phenotype’, or BAP — suggests that the genetic underpinnings that lead to language or social problems can manifest in very different ways.
Toddlers with autism pay less attention to faces than do healthy controls, but both groups give equal attention to objects, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The findings challenge the idea that individuals with autism have a generalized problem with attention, suggesting instead that they struggle with attending specifically to social stimuli, researchers say.
At 6 months of age, babies who will later develop autism begin to lose some of their social skills and continue to regress until age 3, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
The ability to recognize faces and interpret facial expressions is programmed partly by genes and inherited separately from other traits, according to three independent studies published this year.
Studies on younger siblings of children with autism are finding that during tests of sensory or perceptual processing, these baby sibs show abnormally fast brain responses, rather than a delay.
People born without the large bundle of nerve fibers that bridges the brain’s hemispheres have trouble identifying fearful faces, and don’t look preferentially at others’ eyes to perform this task, according to research presented Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.
Studying the relatively well-defined genetics of Williams syndrome may help unravel the poorly understood genetic and neurobiological roots of autism, researchers say.
The answer to a long-standing mystery in visual neuroscience may also help explain how people with autism perceive faces, according to a study published in March in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The characteristic inability of a person with autism to respond to emotions may stem from sustained arousal in the amygdala, the brain region needed to interpret emotions from facial expressions.