Archive for June, 2009

Autism and Humor

Monday, June 29th, 2009

An article came out yesterday that described a study that concluded that autism has one vs. two neurotypical kinds of laughter. In an April posting I was exploring potential differences between autistic vs. non autistic humor. The article that came out yesterday concluded that the autistic engage in only voiced, but not non voiced laughter.

Voiced vs. non voiced consonants are a central focus of linguistics. Chomsky inspired perspectives, currently supported by such writers as Steven Pinker, conclude that language shows no sighs of evolving from society to society insofar as language reflects a change in theory of mind or evolution of mind. Chomsky’s theory of generative grammar posits that we are hard wired or genetically predisposed to learn and use language in the way that we do.

In other pieces I suggest that we might be able to trace a portion of our evolutionary journey by exploring differences in the language structure of aboriginal matrifocal vs. modern langauge groups. The same might apply to exploring the specific differences in the autistic laugh. Perhaps voiced vs. non voiced language use is a signal that correlates with particularly ancient vs non ancient language structures. Are there more used of voiced consonants in aboriginal matrifocal societies?


Autism and Problem Solving Speed

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

I saw an article this morning referring to a study that suggests those with autism are faster at some forms of problem solving.

It would be interesting now if people with larger corpus callosums with a right cerebral hemisphere that had not been pruned in early childhood (with both hemispheres the same size) perform similarly to the people that are autistic in this study.

This reminds me of the studies regarding Tourette’s syndrome that note an often astonishing speed of reflex for people with that condition.


Estrogen, Puberty and Autism

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Posted a piece today, Estrogen, Puberty and Autism, that explores estrogen as a possible influence on the timing of maturation complementing testosterone which may control the rate. The implication is that estrogen levels may influence the emergence of autism, if estrogen effects the timing of testosterone surges resulting in the pruning of cerebral synapses.

Visit this piece for details.


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