Navigation Links
New research explains autistic's exceptional visual abilities
Date:4/4/2011

This release is available in French.

Researchers directed by Dr. Laurent Mottron at the University of Montreal's Centre for Excellence in Pervasive Development Disorders (CETEDUM) have determined that people with autism concentrate more brain resources in the areas associated with visual detection and identification, and conversely, have less activity in the areas used to plan and control thoughts and actions. This might explain their outstanding capacities in visual tasks. The team published their findings in Human Brain Mapping on April 4, 2011.

Aiming to understand why autistic individuals have strong abilities in terms of processing visual information, the researchers collated 15 years of data that covered the ways autistic brain works when interpreting faces, objects and written words. The data came from 26 independent brain imaging studies that looked at a total of 357 autistic and 370 non-autistic individuals. "Through this meta-analysis, we were able to observe that autistics exhibit more activity in the temporal and occipital regions and less activity in frontal cortex than non-autistics. The identified temporal and occipital regions are typically involved in perceiving and recognizing patterns and objects. The reported frontal areas subserve higher cognitive functions such as decision making, cognitive control, planning and execution,'' explained first author Fabienne Samson, who is also affiliated with the CETEDUM.

"This stronger engagement of the visual processing brain areas in autism is consistent with the well documented enhanced visuo-spatial abilities in this population," Samson said. The current findings suggest a general functional reorganization of the brain in favor of perception processes the processes by which information is recorded the brain. This allows autistic individuals to successfully perform, albeit in their own way, higher-level cognitive tasks that would usually require a strong involvement of frontal areas in typical individuals. These are tasks that require reasoning for example, a research participant would be asked if a statement is true or false, or to categorize a range of objects into groups.

"We synthesized the results of neuroimaging studies using visual stimuli from across the world. The results are strong enough to remain true despite the variability between the research designs, samples and tasks, making the perceptual account of autistic cognition currently the most validated model," Mottron said. "The stronger engagement of the visual system, whatever the task, represents the first physiological confirmation that enhanced perceptual processing is a core feature of neural organization in this population. We now have a very strong statement about autism functioning which may be ground for cognitive accounts of autistic perception, learning, memory and reasoning." This finding shows that the autistic brain successfully adapt by reallocating brain areas to visual perception, and offers many new lines of enquiry with regards to developmental brain plasticity and visual expertise in autistics.


'/>"/>

Contact: William Raillant-Clark
w.raillant-clark@umontreal.ca
514-566-3813
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Wistar Institute researcher receives New Innovator award from NIH
2. NC State researchers get to root of parasite genome
3. White Mountain Research Station to host climate change conference
4. Stevens awarded $1M for advanced biofuels research
5. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
6. Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
7. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
8. Researcher working on destruction of chemical weapons
9. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
10. Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
11. The Rett Syndrome Research Trust launches operations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New research explains autistic's exceptional visual abilities
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 7, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ... reported financial results for its quarter and year ended December ... of 2016 was $3.9 million compared to $6.9 million in ... quarter of 2016 was $0.6 million compared to $2.6 million ... fourth quarter of 2016 was $0.5 million, or $0.02 per ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017 The biometrics ... by the confluence of organizations, desires to better ... knowledge-based systems (password and challenge questions), biometrics is ... government systems. The market is driven by use ... between consumer and enterprise uses cases, with consumer-facing ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... MINNETONKA, Minn. , Feb. 7, 2017   ... that supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is ... iMedNet , its innovative, highly flexible and ... iMedNet customers. iMedNet is a ... only provides Electronic Data Capture (EDC), but also delivers ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... MILPITAS, Calif. , Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... posters detailing data on its oral peptide drug ... Congress of the European Crohn,s and Colitis ... in Barcelona, Spain from ... The posters detail preclinical data on Protagonist drug ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... and GREENWICH, Conn. ... private investment firm focused on venture growth investments ... promotion of Josh Richardson , M.D. to ... investments in biotechnology companies.  He is a board ... important roles in Longitude,s investments in Aimmune Therapeutics, ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017   Capricor ... a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing first-in-class biological therapies ... that it has elected to terminate its license ... peptide receptor agonists, including Cenderitide. "Our ... move as we prioritize our efforts to advance ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, ... to treat a variety of dermatological diseases, today ... 1a financing and entered into a $5 million ... intends to use the capital for general corporate ... advancements in the treatment of serious diseases treated ...
Breaking Biology Technology: