Washington: Researchers have made a breakthrough that could help explain their lack of interest in external stimuli, including interactions with other people.
They discovered that the brains of autistic kids generate more information at rest - a 42 per cent increase on average.
This paper determined that the differences account for the increased complexity within their brains.
Roberto Fernandez Galan, PhD, senior author and associate professor of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, said that their results suggest that autistic kids are not interested in social interactions because their brains generate more information at rest, which they interpret as more introspection in line with early descriptions of the disorder.
The authors quantified information as engineers normally do but instead of applying it to signals in electronic devices, they applied it to brain activity recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG).
They showed that autistic children's brains at rest generate more information than non-autistic children. This may explain their lack of interest in external stimuli, including interactions with other people.
The researchers also quantified interactions between brain regions, i.e., the brain's functional connectivity, and determined the inputs to the brain in the resting state allowing them to interpret the children's introspection level.
The study has been published in journal Frontiers in Neuroinformatics.