Study of Recurring Beeps Supports 'Magical World' Theory of Autism

By Sarah Deweerdt | November 12,  2017 | Spectrum

Children with autism are not capable of predicting what would happen next when are being repeatedly subject to the same type of stimuli. These findings have been recently presented at the 2017 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, DC. They comply with the “magical world” theory, in which an autistic individual cannot focus on essential details and filter out less important information. Researchers studied brain activity in a group of autistic children and a control group of neurotypical children by exposing them to the repeated stimulus – beeping sounds. In control group brain activity diminished over time which is the sign that they got accustomed to the noise. However, autistic children showed equally intense

reaction to every series of sounds. Being unable to recognize patterns, make predictions and disengage from recurring stimuli, autistic people tend to be more sensitive to them.

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