Brain Biology

Researchers recently tested visual focus in young children with ASD to assess underlying brain activity. Explore this section to learn more about the observed differences in autistic children’s brains, when compared to their typically developing peers.

Welcome to the Brain Biology Section of Autism Reading Room

Our brains are designed to take in information about the world—both the physical world and the social one. Our brains piece together sensory input detected by our five senses: vision, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. We then interpret this information to make critical judgments: for instance, is someone’s facial expression friendly or threatening? The answer will instruct our bodies how to act in a process known as motor output. This sensorimotor pathway determines the ways in which we interact with the world.

The Brain Biology sections describe key features of the brain and ways in which they are influenced by experience. In addition to explaining basic elements of the nervous system, we relate how brain function relates to brain structure and how both can be shaped by the surrounding environment. Importantly, we unravel how these brain features and relationships may vary in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

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