A new study led by Weill Cornell Medical College scientists shows that the most common genetic form of mental retardation and autism occurs because of a mechanism that shuts off the gene associated with the disease. The findings, published today in Science, also show that a drug that blocks this silencing mechanism can prevent fragile X syndrome — suggesting similar therapy is possible for 20 other diseases that range from mental retardation to multisystem failure. [quote from the article]
There is evidence that people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, depression, or autism are, in some contexts, more epistemically rational, that is, more responsive to evidence and more likely to form true beliefs, than people without any psychiatric diagnosis. People make more accurate predictions when they are depressed, because the statistically normal way to make predictions is characterized by excessive optimism. People with autism score higher in social interaction games (such as Prisoner’s Dilemma) and are more logically consistent than control participants when making decisions involving possible financial gain, by not responding to emotional contextual cues in the same way as controls (see Tateno 2013 and De Martino et al. 2008). People with schizophrenia are also less vulnerable to a statistically normal but irrational tendency to gamble when faced with a certain loss (Brown et al. 2013) [quote from the article, emphasis added]- Read more at: The OUP Blog
Researchers from the University of Toronto and Case Western Reserve University found that autistic brains generate more information while at rest than neurotypical brains. The scientists used brain scanning technology to measure the difference, and they postulate that it explains why autistics tend to be withdrawn. If the brain is busy processing information while ‘idling’, it may not be able to cope with additional external stimuli. This conclusion supports the “Intense World Theory” of autism. Read more at Medical Daily.