Adolescents with ASD’s may infer the meaning of complex emotions

CC BY-NC-ND by Ars Electronica

A study looking at the electromagnetic brain waves of adolescents has found that those with Autistic Spectrum Disorders show atypical brain wave activity whilst processing complex emotions.

The study published in JAMA online network journals explains that those diagnosed with ASD’s tend to infer the meaning of complex emotions rather than understand or empathise with them.

The study looked closely at the brain wave patterns of specific parts of the brain involved in social processing and Theory of Mind, also known as ToM. The study included 25 adolescents with ASD (between the ages of 11 and 18) and 25 typically developing adolescents.

Compared to typically developing adolescents, those with ASD showed both over- and under-connectivity in the ToM network, which was associated with greater social impairment. The adolescents with ASD also had increased connectivity between the regions of the MNS and ToM, suggesting that ToM-MNS “cross talk” might be associated with social impairment.

Source: Jama Network