Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What If People With Autism Are Actually Hyperfunctional?

I found this on Time.com

An unconventional theory for autism shows promise in a new study in rats

Most people who think about autism think of people who struggle or are inept in some ways, especially when it comes to social behaviors. But there’s growing evidence that the autistic brain may actually be more super-wired to detect and absorb cues from the outside world.

Now, a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience suggests that the brains of people with autism are actually hyperfunctional rather than stunted or impaired, and that if treated early in a very predictable environment, symptoms could diminish.

In 2007, researchers Kamila Markram, Henry Markram, and Tania Rinaldi developed an alternative theory for what autism is, called the “Intense World Syndrome.” They believe that autism is not some form of mental deficit, but that the brain is actually supercharged and hyperfunctional. This makes stimuli overwhelming to people with autism, causing them to socially and emotionally withdraw as a mode of self-protection.

 In the new study, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), including Henry Markram and Kamila Markram, showed how autism might be treated following this theory.

Read the whole story at Time.com

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