Monday, November 02, 2009

Possible Reason FC Develops Easily in ASD

A recent study reported children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may rely more on physical feedback than visual cues when performing tasks. This could provide a basis for the apparent relative ease with which some children become cooperative with facilitators who then appear to be channeling their communications. This phenomenon required sympathetic behavioral synchrony, but in view of this report, more on the part of the facilitator than on the part of the child.

From the Nature news release: "Reza Shadmehr at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and his colleagues asked children with ASD and children with typical development to play a video game in which they learn to use a robotic arm to capture animals. As training progresses, a force is applied to the arm that the children must correct for. In some instances, the corrective force that the children apply was measured, revealing how their brains build a generalized mental model of the way in which the robotic arm works.

Those children with ASD who were most reliant on the physical feedback to build this mental model had larger deficits in motor control, imitation and even social function."

[Nature 460, 155 (9 July 2009) | doi:10.1038/460155d; Published online 8 July 2009
Neurology: Feeling out autism]

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