Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sex differences in brain hint at roots of ‘camouflaging’ in autism

Autistic women’s activity in a ‘social’ brain region tracks with the extent to which they mask their autism, according to a new study1.
Their activity in this and another social brain region when they reflect on themselves or others resembles that of their typical peers. Men with autism, by contrast, show less activity in these regions than typical men do.
The new findings reinforce the idea that autism manifests differently in women than it does in men.
“Maybe the idea of a hypoactivated social brain doesn’t apply universally to everyone on the spectrum,” says co-lead investigator Meng-Chuan Lai, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto in Canada.
The findings represent the first attempt to pinpoint brain areas that may be involved when autistic women ‘camouflage,’ or mask their autism traits.