Failure to deactivate in autism: The co-constitution of self and other

ArticleinTrends in Cognitive Sciences 10(10):431-3 · November 2006with3 Reads
Impact Factor: 21.97 · DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2006.08.002 · Source: PubMed


    A new brain imaging study demonstrates that patients with autism have a strikingly different pattern of brain activity compared with control subjects. During cognitive tasks, cortical areas known as the "default state" network--areas that have been implicated in both self-referential processing and processing of socially relevant information--typically reduce their brain activity. In patients with autism, such a reduction was not observed. This new finding indicates that a core deficit in autism might be related to the construal of a sense of self in its relationship with others and will certainly generate exciting new research on the neurobiology of autism.