Individuals with ASD experience tremendous social difficulties. They often fail to take turns in conversations and have a hard time maintaining and understanding age-appropriate relationships such as being in love, or having a friend. On top of that, many individuals with ASD are over- and/or under-sensitive to sensory information. Some feel overwhelmed by busy environments such as supermarkets; others dislike being touched, or are less sensitive to pain.
Rushing seems to be about speed. But is it? There is the juxtaposition of what we see on the outside and what is going on in the inside, the movement over time of our understanding of another person’s experience, the various ways in which we grow into our own existential understanding, the ways in which we learn how we age into illness or into health, the ways in which we come to see how we move.
Conversation starters are questions and prompts intended to get people talking. Although often thought of in the context of a dinner party or professional meeting as a way to initiate dialogue with a stranger, conversation starters can also be thought of as ideas that stimulate discussions or impact you in a way that helps you grow both personally and professionally.
Life in the modern era is total chaos. From the constant outbursts of sound, to the ubiquitous bombardment of advertisements, to the racing taxi cabs, cars, and buses, to the sheer swarms of people, even a simple stroll in the city can be massively taxing on your sensory system.
In 2015 the Alchemy Project delivered a pioneering ‘treatment’ for mental illness. It was modelled on contemporary dance training and was a different way of engaging with people and supporting their recovery. It was based on the work of Dance United and its proven, award-winning methodology. The premise was ambitious: that in just four weeks, participants would go from a place of no experience to a high-end artistic professional dance performance.
Our appetite for books on baby care seems unquenchable. The combination of the natural curiosity and uncertainty of the expectant mother, the unknowable mind of the infant, and the expectations of society creates a void filled with all kinds of manuals and confessionals offering advice, theory, reassurance, anecdotes, schedules… and inevitably, inconsistency, disagreement, and further anxiety.
The media is full of stories about how this or that area of the brain has been shown to be active when people are scanned while doing some task. The images are alluring and it is tempting to use them to support this or that just-so story. However, they are limited in that the majority of the studies simply tell us where in the brain things are happening. But the aim of neuroscience is to discover how the brain works.
Many criminal offenders display psychopathic traits, such as antisocial and impulsive behaviour. And yet some individuals with psychopathic traits do not commit offences for which they are convicted. As with any other form of behaviour, psychopathic behaviour has a neurobiological basis. To find out whether the way a psychopath’s brain is functionally, visibly different from that of non-criminal controls with and without psychopathic traits, we talked to Dirk Geurts and Robbert-Jan Verkes
Like all biological traits, human memory reflects a long evolutionary history, most of it shared with other animals. Yet, with rare exceptions, evolution has either been overlooked in discussions of memory or treated in an outdated way. As a result, a simple idea about the cerebral cortex has reigned for more than a century: that its various areas specialize in functions characterized as memory, perception, the control of movement, or executive control (mainly decision-making).
In just a few days, the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting will be kicking off in San Diego, California. I’ve had a number of homes in my 48 years; the most recent being the New York/New Jersey area for the last ten years as part of Oxford University Press. But the longest home, and the one I keep coming back to, is San Diego. The weather is perfect, the multi-cultural facets are inspiring, the local universities top-notch, and the food scene is divine.
The cerebellum is an intriguing part of our brain. Its name is the diminutive form of cerebrum, so literally means ‘little brain’. It is true that, in humans, it occupies just 10% of the brain volume, yet recent research shows it accounts for approximately 80% of the nerve cells; a complex network of approximately 69 billion neurons! Why does the ‘little brain’ contain such a disproportionate number of neurons?
Mood disorders, including major depressive disorder, appear to be more common in those with developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in the general population. However, diagnosing depression in ASD represents a challenge that dates back to Leo Kanner’s original description of “infantile autism” in 1943. Kanner described a disturbance of “affective contact” in those with autism.
There is much that we agree about in our understanding of addiction and what can be done about the harm it causes. However, unusually perhaps for collaborators, we disagree about some important implications of suggesting a rethink of the relationship between addiction and choice. First, what do we agree on? We agree that the relationship between addiction and choice needs rethinking.
A manager at a hotel receives an alarming number of complaints from her guests that they have to wait too long for elevators. So she requests quotes for installing an additional elevator. Turned down by the price tag of that solution, the manager seeks an alternative and decides to give her guests something to do while they wait for the elevator, by installing mirrors or televisions or providing magazines.
It is easy to observe that some people are happier than others. But trying to explain why people differ in their happiness is quite a different story. Is our happiness the result of how well things are going for us or does it simply reflect our personality? Of course, the discussion on the exact roles of nature (gene) versus nurture (experience) is not new at all. When it comes to how we feel, however, most of us may think that our happiness
September is National Recovery Month in the US. Recovery Month is a time dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of substance use and mental disorders. It’s also a time to celebrate those who are in recovery and those who do recover. The goal of the observance month is to educate others that addiction treatment and mental health services are effective, and that people can recover. With respect for this time, we compiled some statistics on addiction disorders to support awareness of these issues and show that individuals are not alone.