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Posts Tagged "autism"

@ScientificAmerican

New E-Book Takes Aim at Understanding Autism

The term “autism” comes from the Greek word “autos,” meaning self, used to describe conditions of social withdrawal—or the isolated self. Around 1910, a Swiss psychiatrist first used the term to refer to certain symptoms of schizophrenia. Later, in the 1940s, physicians Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger independently used that name to describe what was [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Real Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness

woman-writing-oil-on-linen-by-valerie-hardy-248x300

This blog appears in the In-Depth Report Genius, Suicide and Mental Illness: Insights into a Deep Connection “There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”          —Salvador Dali The romantic notion that mental illness and creativity are linked is so prominent in the public consciousness that [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Q & A with Temple Grandin on The Autistic Brain

RW Temple headshot best_0

To many, Temple Grandin is the public face of autism. Grandin’s story has significantly increased autism awareness around the world, and has increased society’s appreciation of the unique and positive characteristics of the autistic mind. But Grandin is much more than just a label: in addition to being an activist, Grandin is also an author, professor, [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Review of The Autistic Brain

The-Autistic-Brain3-198x300

To many, Temple Grandin is the public face of autism. A professor of animal science at Colorado State University, Grandin’s story has significantly increased autism awareness around the world, and has increased society’s appreciation of the unique and positive characteristics of the autistic mind. Therefore, it is with immense respect, enthusiasm, and attention to detail [...]

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Bering in Mind

Autistic Savants: Geniuses of Obscure Devotions

(The following is a companion piece to the Slate article, “Eugene Hoskins Is His Name: The long-forgotten story of a black autistic man in Oxford, Miss., who crossed paths with William Faulkner.” You can read that story by clicking here.) When Professor Hiram Byrd opened up the autistic savant Eugene Hoskins’ private notebook back in [...]

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Budding Scientist

Students with Autism Gravitate Toward STEM Majors

Invited Guest Post by Marissa Fessenden (@marisfessenden) U.S. business and policy leaders have made it a priority to increase the number of students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known as STEM. But one source of STEM talent is often overlooked: young people with autism spectrum disorders. A study published late last [...]

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Guest Blog

You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential

"One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts." —Albert Einstein While Einstein was not a neuroscientist, he sure knew what he was talking about in regards to the human capacity to achieve. He knew intuitively what we can [...]

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Guest Blog

In the wake of Wakefield: Risk-perception and vaccines

Last May British medical authorities stripped Dr. Andrew Wakefield of his license to practice medicine. In case the name isn’t familiar, Wakefield was the lead author of the 1998 paper published in The Lancet (and later retracted) that set off worldwide fear of vaccines. Now the British Medical Journal has jumped in, publishing an investigative [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Can Synesthesia in Autism Lead to Savantism?

Daniel Tammet has memorized Pi to the 22,514th digit. He speaks ten different languages, including one of his own invention, and he can multiply enormous sums in his head within a matter of seconds. However, he is unable to hold down a standard 9-to-5 job, in part due to his obsessive adherence to ritual, down [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Read the Thoughts of a Boy with Autism

Reprinted with permission from SFARI.org, an editorially independent division of the Simons Foundation. (Find original story here.) The autism described in The Reason I Jump is quite different from the mostly social disorder that I, as a researcher and clinician, find in textbooks and journal articles. The new bestselling book, featuring the remarkable testimony of [...]

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Observations

Searching for the Onset of Autism

Diffusion Tensor Image of Brain at Risk for Autism

Early behavioral intervention has shown some promise as a way to help children with autism. But it’s difficult to see the hallmarks of autism before two years of age with today’s diagnostic criteria. Could we find other methods? Seeking to answer that question is Jed Elison at the California Institute of Technology, who is working [...]

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Observations

Maternal Diabetes, Obesity During Pregnancy Might Raise Child’s Risk for Developmental Disorders

pregnancy obesity diabetes developmental disorder

Mothers-to-be know they must be extra vigilant about what they put in their bodies—avoiding too much seafood, and making sure they get plenty of fruits and vegetables, for instance. But research has been piling up suggesting that the mother’s overall weight and metabolic health before—and while—she is pregnant can also have a lasting impact on [...]

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Observations

Autistic children have trouble catching on to patterns in real-world scenarios

autistic children have trouble searching for objects in real world environments

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often exhibit a heightened ability to pick out patterns and excel at other visual-spatial tests. But a new study puts this presumption to the test in a more real-world scenario and finds that ASD kids are actually found wanting when it comes to search skills. The stereotype that ASD [...]

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Observations

Neuroscience meeting: Emory University starts center to research autism and other disorders

SAN DIEGO—"Trust in a Bottle." That’s the marketing slogan for a product called Liquid Trust, a spray that purportedly increases trust. Don’t buy it. The oxytocin craze has now outpointed the pheromone frenzy for attracting a public enthralled by the easy fix. The fascination is fueled by 25 to 30 studies in humans that show [...]

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Observations

Autism and mammography: Two stories of statistical confusion

whiteboard with figures on it

DENVER—There was substantial public outcry last year when new recommendations for mammograms came out suggesting that women could wait until age 50 to start breast cancer screening—and then only get screened every other year. Figures in support of the new policy were bandied about in the news and in doctors’ offices, regarding lives saved from [...]

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Observations

Biomechatronics aims to erase the entire concept of ‘disability’

Hugh Herr at Idea Festival

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Hugh Herr has made it his mission to eliminate the word "disabled" from our vocabulary when describing people who require assistance of some sort to perform the daily tasks that most people take for granted. Listening to Herr speak here Thursday at Idea Festival, it’s not hard to believe he’ll succeed. Herr’s credibility comes [...]

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Observations

New MRI maps assess connectivity to establish “brain age” curve for children and adults

brain connections maturity during development

As children grow, brambles of short brain connections are gradually pruned down to longer, stronger neural pathways. Research has shown this trend to follow a fairly standard curve during normal development to adulthood, and scientists are now using this information to create predictive models of brain maturation. This approach allows for calculations of "brain age" [...]

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PsiVid

A Chat with Temple Grandin and Richard Panek about “The Autistic Brain”

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I am so pleased to announce that renowned animal scientist and autism expert, Temple Grandin, and her co-author of her latest book, “The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum“, Richard Panek, will be our guests on another collaborative Scientific American/Read Science! episode. Join us Monday, September 9, 2013 at 1pm EDT at the Google + [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How Do You Spot a Genius?

Drawing of Bobby Fischer and chess board

The November/December Scientific American Mind, which debuted online today, examines the origins of genius, a concept that inspires both awe and confusion. Some equate genius with IQ or creativity; others see it as extraordinary accomplishment. As this issue reveals, genius seems to arise from a mosaic of forces that coalesce into a perfect storm of [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Scientists Scan Children’s Brains for Answers to Mental Illness

kid practices getting her brain scanned

In a room tucked next to the reception desk in a colorful lobby of a Park Avenue office tower, kids slide into the core of a white cylinder and practice something kids typically find quite difficult: staying still. Inside the tunnel, a child lies on her back and looks up at a television screen, watching [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Science Remains a Stranger to Psychiatry’s New Bible

By Ferris Jabr* Part 2 of a series In the offices of psychiatrists and psychologists across the country you can find a rather hefty tome called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM). The current edition of the DSM, the DSM-IV, is something like a field guide to mental disorders: the book pairs [...]

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