Greater capacity to detect sound in ND

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feral botanist
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08 May 2017, 11:34 pm

https://scienceblog.com/493934/greater- ... advantage/

People on the autistic spectrum can take in more sounds at any given moment compared to non-autistic people, according to new research from UCL.

Researchers from the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) used two behavioural experiments to examine whether an increased capacity for processing sounds in autism could underlie both difficulties and enhanced auditory abilities that are found in the condition.

The study, published today in Cognition, found autistic people are better at detecting a target sound that is hidden amongst other sounds, and notice irrelevant background information more often when listening to a conversation.

This might explain why some tasks are easier for autistic people (e.g. picking out a melody from a piece of music) but others tasks are more difficult (e.g. staying focused on the teacher during a school lesson). It also suggests that autistic people have an increased capacity to take in sounds, relative to non-autistic people, rather than an inability to filter out irrelevant sounds.

“This increased capacity may offer an explanation for the auditory superiorities seen in autism such as heightened pitch detection: if you can take in more information, then you can perform many tasks more efficiently. However, somewhat counterintuitively, this same ‘skill’ could result in the sensory overload that is often reported in autism – an issue which can be very distressing, and subsequently interfere with social communication,” explained lead author Dr Anna Remington (UCL Institute of Education).



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08 May 2017, 11:53 pm

I recently read a really long article in The Guardian about Osama Bin Laden's family's life on the run.

What was interesting, was that at one point during the family's imprisonment in Iran, the gate was left open, and guess who spotted it? Osama's autistic son, Saad, who then got the kids to make a run for it, reasoning that the guards wouldn't shoot at the kids.

I generally have a problem with a lot of 'evolutionary science' that comes up with all kinds of far-fetched theories about social structures and culture, but there must exist some evolutionary advantage for autistic genes.


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