Study of recurring beeps supports ‘magical world’ theory of autism

Children with autism do not predict repeating sights and sounds, even after experiencing them dozens of times over a few minutes.

The findings support the ‘magical world’ hypothesis, in which an inability to detect patterns and predict what happens next underlies some of autism’s core features. If social behavior seems random, for instance, it would be hard to know what to do in social situations. And if sensory stimuli always come as a surprise, a person would naturally be more sensitive to them.

Researchers presented the unpublished findings yesterday at the 2017 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

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12th November 2017