Brain Connections Differ in Children With Autism02/27/13
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A small new study has
identified a distinct and unique pattern in the way brains of
children with autism process information.
Researchers used electroencephalograms (EEGs) to track
electrical activity in the brains of 30 children with autism and
detected certain features in brain connections, according to the
study, which was published Feb. 27 in the journal
Compared to other children, those with autism have more
short-range links within different brain regions but fewer
connections between more distant areas, said the researchers from
Boston Children's Hospital.
They said their findings may help improve understanding about
certain behaviors in children with autism.
A brain network that has more short-range connections than
long-range links helps explain why a child with autism may excel at
specific, focused tasks such as memorizing streets, but is unable
to integrate information across different brain areas into larger
concepts, the researchers said.
"For example, a child with autism may not understand why a face looks really angry, because his visual brain centers and emotional brain centers have less cross-talk," study co-first author Dr. Jurriaan Peters said in a hospital news release. "The brain cannot integrate these areas. It's doing a lot with the information locally, but it's not sending it out to the rest of the brain."
Peters said the finding "may well change the way we look at the
brains of autistic children."
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
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