Brains of People with Autism Focus More on Visual Skills - US News and World Report

I have written several times about the "visual" nature of my thought process. This same topic appears in various memoirs by individuals diagnosed with autism. We write about "Thinking in Pictures" and "seeing the shapes of numbers" after being "Born on a Blue Day" (to borrow from two book titles). But why do people diagnosed with ASDs think visually? How does this affect decisions and communications by autistic individuals?

Brains of People with Autism Focus More on Visual Skills - US News and World Report
MONDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- The brains of people with autism concentrate more resources in areas devoted to visual perception, resulting in less activity in areas used to plan and control thoughts and actions, says a new study.

The findings may explain why people with autism have exceptional visual abilities, said the researchers at the University of Montreal.

They analyzed data from 26 brain imaging studies that were conducted over 15 years and included a total of 357 autistic and 370 non-autistic participants.
This research is really a meta-analysis of other studies. The researchers looked at past studies to determine if any generalizations were possible. After "studying the studies" the researchers did indeed find indications that visual areas of the brain are more active, possibly at the expense of other regions of the brain.
The findings offer the "first physiological confirmation that enhanced perceptual processing is a core feature of neural organization in this population," Dr. Laurent Mottron, of the university's Centre for Excellence in Pervasive Development Disorders, said in the news release. "We now have a very strong statement about autism functioning, which may be ground for cognitive accounts of autistic perception, learning, memory and reasoning."
Maybe this helps explain the visual nature of autistic thought in some individual cases?


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