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Is this research paper accurate?
Yes 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
No 75%  75%  [ 12 ]
Maybe 25%  25%  [ 4 ]
Don't get high off your own supply 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 16

Comet Zed
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29 Feb 2024, 4:53 am

I'd be interested to hear other's thoughts on this piece of research. The gentleman researcher seems to reference a fair bit of his own work and makes some bold assertions about historical figures who were (according to him) Autistic, while claiming the only difference with Autistic brains is how they process information (pretty sure it has been proven that Austistics have had less neural pruning and therefore more highly connected neural networks).

Anyway I don't think this holds much water but I'd be interested to hear if others agree or not.

How the Autistic Brain Processes Information

David Rowland wrote:
How the Autistic Brain Processes Information David Rowland* Independent Researcher registered with ORCID, Canada
Abstract
The cingulate gyrus (CG) of the autistic brain keeps attention perpetually fixated in the left frontal lobe (analytical, logical) with no ability to access the right frontal lobe (emotional, creative), which plays a central role in spontaneity, social behavior, and nonverbal abilities. Autistic people have no innate biologically provided ways of emotionally connecting with other people. Emotions and social adaptation are processed as information rather than as feelings. Autistic people process their emotions intellectually, a process that can take 24 hours, by which time it is impossible to have felt anything. Because autistic people do not feel emotion, they have no emotional reactions and no emotional memories. All memories are of events that happened about which they felt no emotion at the time, and about which they feel no emotion when telling someone about it afterward.

Keywords: Autism, Asperger, Asd, Neurophysiology, Neuropsychology
Introduction
Definition: Autism is perpetual and unrelenting hyperfocus, the state of intense single-minded concentration fixated on one thing at a time to the exclusion of everything else, including one’s own emotions. The probable cause of hyperfocus is a dysfunctional cingulate gyrus (CG), that part of the brain, which focuses attention. [1] Description: Autism is an inherent neurophysiological difference in how the brain processes information. Autistic people live in a specialized inner space that is entirely intellectual, free from emotional and social distractions. They observe the world in detail without feeling any emotional attachment to what they see. [1] Autism is a neurophysiological idiosyncrasy. The only thing different about an autistic brain is the specialized way in which it processes information. As such, autism does not fit the medical definition of disorder (i.e., pathological or diseased condition of mind or body). Michelangelo, Mozart, Paganini, Newton, Darwin, Jefferson, Edison, Tesla, and Einstein were autistic and obviously not suffering from any mental pathology. [1] Historical Research Autism, from the Greek word meaning self, was coined in 1911 by Swiss psychiatrist, Eugen Bleuler, who used it to describe withdrawal into one’s inner world.[2] Autistic children appear to be in a world of their own, isolated and alone with senses that can easily overload. These children talk endlessly about one subject, engage in repetitive behaviors (e.g., wringing hands, rocking body), continually repeat certain words or phrases (echolalia), and are resistant to change. [3] In 1943, psychiatrist Leo Kanner studied the case histories of 11 highly intelligent children who shared a common set of symptoms consistent with autism: the need for solitude, the need for sameness, and to be alone in a world that never varied.[4] Kanner assumed that these children came into the world without innate biologically provided ways of emotionally connecting with other people.[5] In 1944, medical professor Hans Asperger described “a particularly interesting and highly recognizable type of child” who has an autistic personality that is an “extreme variant of male intelligence.” Asperger described four boys who had severe difficulties of social integration that were compensated for by the kind of high level of thought or experience that can lead to exceptional achievements in later life. He chose the label autism for this condition as referring to an inherent fundamental disturbance of contact, the shutting off relations between self and the outside world. Asperger remarked that for those boys, social adaptation has to proceed via the intellect; and in fact, they have to learn everything by the intellect. He considered the autistic syndrome to be a stable personality trait that is genetically transmitted in families. [6] In 1979, psychiatrist Lorna Wing introduced the term Asperger syndrome to describe the autistic personality. Wing personally examined 34 cases fitting Asperger’s description of the autism syndrome and found that they had the following 11 traits in common: [7]  Single-mindedness combined with social isolation;  Pedantic speech, often consisting of lengthy discourses on favorite subjects;  Poor comprehension of other people’s expressions and gestures;  Tendency to misinterpret or ignore non-verbal signs;  Impairment of two-way social interaction;  Inability to understand rules of social behavior;  Lack of the intuitive ability to adapt their approaches to fit in with the needs of others;  Intensely attached to certain possessions;  Excellent rote memories and intensely interested in one or two subjects;  Absorb every available fact concerning their chosen field and talk about it at length, regardless if the listener is interested; and  Thought processes are confined to a literal and logical chain of reasoning.

In 2020, David Rowland discovered that autism is caused by an inherent neurophysiological idiosyncrasy that creates a state of perpetual hyperfocus, which he defines as intense mental concentration fixated on one thought pattern at a time to the exclusion of everything else, including one’s own feelings.[8] Hyperfocus is the sole factor responsible for the autistic person’s withdrawal into an inner space that is entirely intellectual. Hyperfocus keeps a person’s awareness fixated in the analytical/logical left frontal lobe of the brain with no ability to access whatever may be happening in the right frontal lobe, the place where emotions and social connectivity are felt. Hyperfocus explains all 11 traits of Asperger syndrome as listed by Lorna Wing above. Neurophysiology of the Autistic Brain The neurol structure of the autistic brain is the same as for any other brain. What is different about the autistic brain is how it functions with respect to its neurophysiology. Table 1: Autistic Neurophysiology Cingulate Cortex/Gyrus Dysfunctional The cingulate gyrus (CG) is that part of the brain which focuses attention. In autism, the CG keeps the person’s attention trapped in the left frontal lobe, creating a perpetual state of hyperfocus. Left Frontal Cortex/Lobe Dysregulated In the autistic left frontal lobe, alpha frequencies (8-12 Hz) predominate over beta (12.5-30 Hz), which is the exact opposite of the neurotypical brain. Higher alpha frequencies in the left brain appear to be compensating for the inability to access creativity and intuition from the right brain.

Right Frontal Cortex/Lobe Inaccessible
There is normal brainwave activity in the right frontal lobe, with alpha frequencies predominating over beta. However, neural networks may be underdeveloped. The autistic person is completely unaware of anything that happens in his/her right frontal lobe, the place where emotions and social connectivity are experienced by neurotypical people.

Amygdala Inactive
The amygdala plays a central role in the expressing of emotions, especially fear. A dysfunctional CG prevents the autistic person from feeling any emotion, with the result that the amygdala is non-functional. An autistic person never experiences fear.
In a neurotypical brain, the cingulate gyrus (CG) acts like an automatic transmission that seamlessly switches attention back and forth between frontal lobes, as needed. In autism, a dysfunctional CG keeps the person’s attention trapped in the left frontal lobe (logical/analytical) – with no ability to access the right frontal lobe (emotional/creative), which plays a central role in spontaneity, social behavior, and nonverbal abilities. Some neurotypical people are left-brain dominant whereas others are right brain dominant. Autistic people, however, are left brain exclusive. They speak factually, in a monotone voice, and with an expressionless face.[8] The right frontal lobe, the place where emotions are experienced, is inaccessible to autistic people. The amygdala, the place where emotions are expressed, is inactive in the autistic brain. These facts are consistent with Leo Kanner’s belief that autistic children come into the world without innate biologically provided ways of emotionally connecting with other people. [5]

In a neurotypical brain, the amygdala processes emotions associated with fear and stores emotional memories. When faced with a dangerous situation, the amygdala sounds an alarm that sets off a chain of events: hormones course through the body, pupils dilate, heartrate increases, and the body experiences a fight or flight reaction. In extreme situations, all nervous energy goes to the amygdala, which runs totally on instinct and emotion; and that part of the brain which uses logic shuts down completely.
In the autistic brain, none of this happens because the amygdala is non-functional. In every dangerous situation, the autistic person is fully focused on the event itself and is incapable of feeling fear. [9]

Autistic Fearlessness
Autistic people have no involuntary fear response. Innate fearlessness makes autistic children oblivious to danger. In life-threatening situations, the autistic adult is fully focused on the event itself and incapable of feeling fear or even nervousness in that moment. She or he feels a mildly heightened sense of awareness while coldly calculating risks and mitigating factors that quickly form an immediate plan of action. The author of this article is autistic and in his entire life, including 17 years of experience in martial arts, has never once felt fear of any kind.[1] He has never had a fight-or-flight reaction and has no awareness of how that could feel. Sometimes autistic people may intellectualize about fear, for example saying that after thinking about such-and-such decided it could be a scary thing. However, they are incapable of experiencing any actual fear. If you encounter someone who has never felt fear, this person is most probably locked into autistic hyperfocus. [1]

Litmus Test
Hyperfocus is the unique and defining causal state of autism that creates all of its observed characteristics. Hyperfocus prevents someone from dividing attention between two thought patterns or two stimuli at the same time. An autistic person talking to you is incapable of feeling any emotion in that moment. The surest way to find out if someone is autistic is to ask these five questions, to which you will receive the following responses. [1] 1. How often do you cry? “never” or “rarely” 2. How often do you laugh? “never” or “rarely” 3. What are you afraid of? “nothing” or an intellectual answer 4. What are you feeling now? “nothing” or an intellectual answer 5. Do you ever get bored? “never” Example of an intellectual answer: “No, I’m not angry. That wouldn’t be logical.” Anyone who answers all five questions as above is autistic. Anyone who answers four or fewer as above is not autistic.

Autistic Traits Have a Single Cause
Hyperfocus is the unique cause for all 50 of its observed traits listed below.
Hyperfocus is the perpetual and unrelenting state of intense single-minded concentration fixated on one thought pattern at a time, to the exclusion of everything else. All 50 of these traits are caused by the inability to run two mental programs simultaneously. [1]

Table 2: 50 Autistic Traits Caused by Hyperfocus
Mental Traits
 Intense single-mindedness  Trapped in thoughts, mind always busy
 Tends to overthink everything  Passionately pursues interests, often to extremes  Amasses encyclopedic knowledge about areas of interest  Self-awareness but no social awareness  Interruptions trigger agitation, confusion, or anxiety  Cannot multitask Sensory Overload  Hypersensitive to loud noises and bright lights  Sensory assaults can trigger physiological anxiety  Overwhelmed from hearing unwanted conversations  Overwhelmed by too much information  Sensory overload makes it impossible to think or focus  Difficulty listening to radio or talking with others while driving Emotional Traits  Biologically incapable of feeling emotion  Incapable of emotionally reacting to anything  Processes emotions intellectually  May have physiological responses instead of emotions  Anxiety bypasses the intellect to warn of unprocessed emotions  Incapable of experiencing fear  Can be angry without knowing so  Never (or rarely) cries or laughs  Cannot nurture self psychologically  Shrinks from emotional displays by others  Unable to defend against emotional attacks Social Traits  Considers self to be an outsider  Lacks innate ability to socialize  Unaware of feelings and needs of others  Oblivious to how perceived by others  Unaware of socially appropriate responses  Cannot pick up on subtleties, unable to take hints In Conversation  Cannot stand small talk  Interested only in information  Content of conversation important, context irrelevant  Speaks factually, without emotion  Takes everything literally  Easier to monologue than dialogue  Misses social cues and nonverbal communication  Participating in 3-way conversations may be overwhelming  May have difficulty following topic changes In Relationships  Understands love intellectually but cannot feel love  May understand empathy but unable to feel it  Cannot be emotionally available to others  Others cannot provide an emotional safety net Temperament  Drawn more strongly to certain things than to people  Innate forthrightness tends to scare others  Never bored, always engaged in mental activity  Consistent to daily routines, agitated if routine is disturbed  Spontaneity not possible; activities must be pre-planned  Cannot lie spontaneously; can tell only premeditated lies

Intellectual Processing
Autistic people live in an inner space that is entirely intellectual.[11] They learn everything by the intellect, including social adaptation.[6] This inner space is logical and analytical. Thinking is in black-and-white terms (e.g., something is either true or it is not, a theory either makes sense or it does not). The autistic mind is on a continual quest for information about topics of interest. These people engage in conversation for the sole purpose of exchanging information. Emotions as Information Autistic people have no innate biologically provided way of emotionally connecting with other people. [5] They process their emotions intellectually, a process that can take 24 hours, by which time it is too late to have felt anything. Physiological anxiety warns of an unprocessed emotion. Identifying and naming the emotion in question instantly relieves the anxiety. [10] Emotions are processed by the autistic brain as information. Because autistic people do not feel emotion, they have no emotional reactions and no emotional memories. All memories are of events that happened about which they felt no emotion at the time, and about which they feel no emotion when telling someone about it afterward. [9]

Sensory Processing
Autistic people focus their eyes on what is directly in front of them and pay no attention to their peripheral vision. When walking forward, they see where they are going but tend to be oblivious to where they are stepping or to low doorways. They trip, fall, and bang their heads more frequently than do neurotypical people.
Autistic people can be subject to visual overload.
Seeing too many words on a page may cause the person’s mind to go disturbingly blank. Seeing too many products on shelves may trigger anxiety. Bright lighting displays in stores may trigger intense anxiety.

Autistic people have hypersensitive hearing that subjects them to sensory overload from hearing unwanted conversations and from background noises. Sudden loud noises may trigger anxiety.
Some autistic people are hypersensitive to touch. Rough textures and close-fitting clothing flood the brain with more information than it can process. Hugs are unbearable to these people.

Conclusions
What is different about the autistic brain is how it processes information.
Hyperfocus keeps the person’s attention fixated in the left frontal lobe (analytical, logical) with no ability to access the right frontal lobe (emotional, creative), which plays a central role in spontaneity, social behavior, and nonverbal abilities.

Autistic people have no innate biologically provided ways of emotionally connecting with other people. Social adaptation proceeds by the intellect.
Autistic people process their emotions intellectually; a process that can take 24 hours, by which time it is too late to have felt anything. Physiological anxiety warns of an unprocessed emotion. Identifying and naming the emotion in question instantly relieves the anxiety.
Emotions are processed by the autistic brain as information. Because autistic people do not feel emotion, they have no emotional reactions and no emotional memories. All memories are of events that happened about which they felt no emotion at the time, and about which they feel no emotion when telling someone about it afterward.

References 1. Rowland D. Redefining autism. Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research 2020;(02). 2. Rowland D. Autism’s true nature. Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research 2021;(02). 3. Blatt G. “Autism”, Encyclopedia Britannica. 4. Montgomery S. Temple Grandin. New York, 2012: Houghton Mifflon Harcourt, p 22. 5. Kanner L. “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact”. Nervous Child, 1943. 6. Grandin T, Panek R. The Autistic Brain. New York: 2014, First Mariner Books, pp 5-7. 7. Frith, U. Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Cambridge, 1991: Cambridge University Press, pp 37-92. 8. Wing L. Asperger syndrome: a clinical account. Psychological Medicine 1981;(11):115-129. 9. Rowland D. Neurophysiology is what makes the autistic brain different. Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research 2023;(02). 10. Rowland D. The neurophysiological cause of autism. Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology 2020;11(5):001-004. 11. Rowland D. Autism as an intellectual lens. Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Reearch 2023;(02). Citation: David Rowland (2024) How the Autistic Brain Processes Information. Jr Neuro Psycho and Brain Res: JNPBR-187


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Last edited by Comet Zed on 29 Feb 2024, 8:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

Bestiola
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29 Feb 2024, 6:26 am

Sorry, but the link doesn't work. At any rate, I wouldn't trust any researcher who's referencing their own research to a high degree.



Comet Zed
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29 Feb 2024, 7:44 am

Bestiola wrote:
Sorry, but the link doesn't work. At any rate, I wouldn't trust any researcher who's referencing their own research to a high degree.


Have updated the link, it should work now 8)


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29 Feb 2024, 7:45 am

I couldn't see the paper, but I think it's like a mainframe computer in that when input is received too quickly, it gets "buffered up" and it will take the computer some time to work it off, so in an autistic brain the amount of data that must be buffered is less, whereas an NT brain can process input at the rate it's received. Which is what makes social communication so difficult.


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29 Feb 2024, 8:26 am

First of all, I have not read the paper yet but I just grabbed it to read. Keep in mind that one research paper does not define a complete research break through. This type of research typically takes years multiple teams and the right types of sample sizes that accurately reflect a population.



Bestiola
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29 Feb 2024, 8:34 am

Comet Zed wrote:
Bestiola wrote:
Sorry, but the link doesn't work. At any rate, I wouldn't trust any researcher who's referencing their own research to a high degree.


Have updated the link, it should work now 8)


Great! Well, content aside, his DOI link doesn't work and in that journal he seems to be a "special author", while reviewers seem dubious, if existing. https://kosmospublishers.com/neurology/

It took 4 days for that article to be reviewed, and accepted??
Received Date: February 13, 2023; Accepted Date: February 17, 2024; Published Date: February 28, 2024

He quotes 11 articles, out of which 5 are his. Wing published the article in 1981, not 1979. She coined the term "Asperger syndrome" in 1981., not 1977. His other quotes are messed up too. The Greek term is autos, not autism.

Also he claims "In 2020, David Rowland discovered that autism is caused by an inherent neurophysiological idiosyncrasy that creates a state of perpetual hyperfocus, which he defines as intense mental concentration fixated on one thought pattern at a time to the exclusion of everything else, including one’s own feelings.[8]" Really? He discovered that?? :P

lol "Michelangelo, Mozart, Paganini, Newton, Darwin, Jefferson, Edison, Tesla, and Einstein were autistic and obviously not suffering from any mental pathology. " How can he know that unless he used a time machine and tested them? Tesla had an OCD, about those living before you can't make a valid conclusion.

The methodology is nonexistent, he's just reciting some bits and pieces of information which he misquotes. This wouldn't pass the peer review, and I wouldn't take this article seriously.

Likewise, he says he's an independent researcher who has published 77 articles in three years, it's extremely doubtful that anyone can mass-produce that amount of peer-reviewed and accepted articles. https://www.davidrowland.name/

In one article on cosmology, he cites Wikipedia as a source.

So I agree with you, I wouldn't trust this guy or his "research".



Last edited by Bestiola on 29 Feb 2024, 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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29 Feb 2024, 9:04 am

I started reading the abstract and the conclusion and the research he has done is very interesting. On the contrary, I don't think his research is 100% accurate. For one thing, he's pulling from resources from the past, although their research is important as well.

However, I feel like he could pull from an accurate population of autistic individuals and allistic individuals so that he could with appropriate study methods that are IRB-approved.



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29 Feb 2024, 12:27 pm

Quote:
Because autistic people do not feel emotion, they have no emotional reactions and no emotional memories. All memories are of events that happened about which they felt no emotion at the time, and about which they feel no emotion when telling someone about it afterward.


Really?


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29 Feb 2024, 12:33 pm

If this is the same David Rowland it sounds like he's not a credible person.
"David Rowland experienced consistently poor health for the first 30 years of his life, at which time he made a life changing decision to search for both the nutritional and emotional causes of illness.

David has re-discovered an ancient healing method that dramatically accelerates both the healing of the body and the unfolding of spiritual awakening. This modality works by identifying and releasing constrictions in the human energy field – instantly, safely, and permanently.

The Universal Technique® is the easiest, fastest, and surest way to heal from anything and everything — fully explained in this self-training manual, now available at Amazon"
https://universaltechnique.info/david-rowland/


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29 Feb 2024, 1:32 pm

If you click on the author link David Rowland you’ll see his others papers, a short glimpse shows theories about autism how the universe was formed, heart health and quantum physics.

So he’s either the smartest man that ever lived or just a smart man who knows things about science but not a master of a particular sector giving his assumptions based on limited expertise.


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29 Feb 2024, 2:02 pm

I don't think the claim that autistic people don't experience emotions is entirely accurate. Maybe some emotions are systematized and intellectualized but there is some experience of emotions for a lot of autistic people, myself included and also other autistic people I have known.



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01 Mar 2024, 11:03 am

One of the things to look for when it comes to science and research is whether or not you have credible sources that back it up.

I was looking at the references/bibliography and all of those seem to be from past sources. For instance, Temple had an updated version of her book "The Autistic Brain," most recently. She also had updated her version of 'The Way I See It," which is a collection of research articles.



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02 Mar 2024, 5:52 am

blitzkrieg wrote:
I don't think the claim that autistic people don't experience emotions is entirely accurate. Maybe some emotions are systematized and intellectualized but there is some experience of emotions for a lot of autistic people, myself included and also other autistic people I have known.

Agreed. I may struggle to access them sometimes but there are other times when I can't miss them. Death of a loved one being the best counter example I can think of, pure, ugly visceral emotion.

I don't believe I'm always hyper focusing either...


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02 Mar 2024, 5:09 pm

In my case, that information is not very accurate. I'm a very creative person. I'm also more in touch with my emotions that most of the people that I know. If logic was an Olympic sport, I would come in last every time.


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03 Mar 2024, 8:31 am

Interesting read, thanks for sharing. A lot of it seems accurate.

My points of contention:

"No emotional memories. All memories are of events that happened about which they felt no emotion at the time, and about which they feel no emotion when telling someone about it afterward."

Blatantly false, I recall a few episodes feeling strong emotions (anger, fear), but I may not hold any emotion when re-telling the story later.

• Lorna Wing's 11 traits are formulated to pathologize a non-pathological difference in neurology. Example: "Pedantic speech, often consisting of lengthy discourses on favorite subjects" sounds awful and you could make a similarly awful statement pathologizing neurotypical behavior: "Superficial speech, rarely delving into a subject, even their most favorite, consistent avoidance of prolonged discourse and always trying to figure out a persons' intentions just by looking".

"The amygdala plays a central role in the expressing of emotions, especially fear. A dysfunctional CG prevents the autistic person from feeling any emotion, with the result that the amygdala is non-functional."

I need to see some evidence for the amygdala being totally inactive.

"1. How often do you cry? “never” or “rarely” 2. How often do you laugh? “never” or “rarely” 3. What are you afraid of? “nothing” or an intellectual answer 4. What are you feeling now? “nothing” or an intellectual answer 5. Do you ever get bored? “never” Example of an intellectual answer: “No, I’m not angry. That wouldn’t be logical.” Anyone who answers all five questions as above is autistic. Anyone who answers four or fewer as above is not autistic."

I admit I respond to questions 1-4 as "never" or in an intellectual way, but I have definitely felt a kind of boredom or restlessness before. I think the 5/5 threshold is unreasonably high.

"Autistic people process their emotions intellectually; a process that can take 24 hours"

I don't get where this number is pulled from. I'm not sure I even process my own emotions.

Overall, I welcome research of this kind and relate to a lot of the behaviors described in this paper but I'm skeptical about some of the assumptions (or conclusions) about causality, mainly due to my own ignorance in neuroscience.



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03 Mar 2024, 10:54 am

What exactly does it mean to "process emotions"?


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