Sunday, February 2, 2014

Autistic Brains Create 42 Percent More Information During Rest

A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroinformatics shows that autistic brains can create 42 percent more information on average while at rest. The research, performed by Case Western Reserve University and University of Toronto neuroscientists, could explain an autistic child’s detachment from his/her environment. “Our results suggest that autistic children are not interested in social interactions because their brains generate more information at rest, which we interpret as more introspection in line with early descriptions of the disorder,” Roberto Fernández Galán, PhD, senior author and associate professor of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, said in a statement. Researchers used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to record brain activity of autistic children, revealing that their brains at rest generate more information than non-autistic children. They also quantified interactions between brain regions and determined the inputs to the brain in the resting state allowed them to interpret the children’s introspection level. The team believes this finding could explain an autistic child’s lack of interest in external stimuli, such as interactions with other people.