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Autistic daydreams
POSTED 2006-05-11 00:10:53 LATEST UPDATED 2006-05-14 07:41:15
psychology PEOPLE with autism seem not to daydream in the way that other people do.

When the minds of non-autistic people are "idle", a network within the brain involved in social and emotional thought is, in fact, active. People often drift into daydreams at these times, but when we have to concentrate on a task, we suppress daydreaming.

A team from the University of California at San Diego used functional MRI to show that while this network is more active in non-autistic people when their brains are resting than carrying out a cognitive test, there is no difference between the active and resting brains of people with autism (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0600674103).

"The absence of this activity in autism might mean that they have a different sort of internal thought," says co-author Daniel Kennedy.

Source: From issue 2551 of New Scientist magazine, 10 May 2006, page 18

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