Category Archive: Neuroscience

Feb 04

Quantitative Support Claimed for the Intense World Theory

The Intense World Theory of Autism is an appealing one to me, because it describes my experience, and resonates with much that I have heard described by other autistic people. It was pleasing, therefore, to learn of new research that seems to offer some empirical support to this idea, and perhaps a partial explanation about …

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Dec 17

My Thoughts on Markram’s “Intense World Theory”

I’m delighted to see that autism is being portrayed in a positive light. Maybe more people will pay attention now that a team of neuroscientists is saying what autistic people have been describing for years. I’m totally supportive of what has been described as the “Intense World Theory” and wish to praise the Markrams for having …

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Nov 04

The Turing Problem

I just listened to a 20-minute radio segment that reduced me to tears. Alan Turing was a hero of mine long before I knew anything about autism. Once I discovered my own autism and began to be able to see signs of autism in people I knew, either personally or from reading about them, I …

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Aug 01

Brain Fitness, Alzheimer’s, and Autism

An amusing and informative essay on the brain appeared in a recent (July 29) issue of The New Yorker. Entitled “Mentally Fit: Workouts at the brain gym” by Patricia Marx, the article chronicles her investigation of the “brain fitness” industry. The article is partly behind a paywall, so if you’re not a subscriber you can …

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Jul 02

Caveat Emptor: TMS as Snake Oil

On the eve of my next visit to the TMS Lab at Beth Israel in Boston*, I came upon this blog post: TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION FOR AUTISM   I’ve added a comment to that post, so won’t repeat myself here, but I did want to point out the very valid caveats they list. They talk …

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May 20

DSM-5 Published to a Chorus of Criticism

The long-anticipated revision to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has been published. Although the exact wording of many sections of the book had not been widely known pre-publication, the essential features of its changes have been known for some time now. And the drumbeat of criticism has been constant. …

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Apr 29

It’s Time to Stop Pouring Research Money Down the Genetic Sinkhole

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and others have protested the disproportionate amount of money that is spent on “basic” research (i.e. trying to understand the underlying neurobiology of autism) versus how much is spent on “pragmatic” research (learning how to make effective services available to improve the quality of life for autistic people). In …

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Apr 17

Okay, I’m Superman

It pains me to write these comments, critical of one of my favorite neuroscience writers, but it must be done. V.S. Ramachandran has just published an online article that has taken an enormous amount of flak on Twitter, some of that from me. Also, the very first comment to the article cites a study that …

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Mar 22

Empathy as a Form of Communication

Receptive and Expressive Language All communication has two aspects: receptive language and expressive language. Receptive language is what we hear and understand. Expressive language is what we say to others. I believe that empathy is also a form of communication; one that is as essential to each of us as is spoken, written, or signed …

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Mar 22

We’re Taking Over the World! Autism Now 2%, up from 1.2%

Good news! Those of us who are autistic are finally starting to get more recognition as to the important part of the population that we are. This follows closely on recent revelations in the Lancet that there is a close relationship between autism, bipolar, major depression, and schizophrenia. Just as autism is now understood to …

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