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The Queen and I
Date:12/13/2009

Autism has long been considered a condition of extreme egocentrism. The word 'autism' comes from the Greek word 'autos', meaning 'self'. However, recent research shows that individuals with autism are also impaired in thinking about themselves. Lombardo's study helps explain this paradox: "On the surface these two observations seem like opposites, but they may converge on a common neurobiological explanation that the autistic brain responds less to information that is self-relevant," Lombardo says.

The new evidence about the autistic brain will help researchers better understand the social difficulties of individuals with autism.

Lombardo added: "Navigating social interactions with others requires keeping track of the relationship between oneself and others. In some social situations it is important to notice that 'I am similar to you', while in other situations it might be important to notice that 'I am different to you'. The atypical way the autistic brain treats self-relevant information as equivalent to information about others could derail a child's social development, particularly in understanding how they relate to the social world around them."


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Contact: Becky Allen
becky.allen@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-122-333-2300
University of Cambridge
Source:Eurekalert

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