2014年2月3日

研究顯示,自閉症孩童的大腦在「休息」(rest)時能生產更多資訊平均增幅可達42%


Case Western Reserve University and University of Toronto的神經科學家發現,自閉症孩童的大腦在「休息」(rest)的時候能生產更多資訊,平均來說增加幅度可達42%。這項發現解釋了為什麼自閉症患者傾向與環境疏離、內縮在自己的小世界當中。


報導於2013年12月發表於於《 Frontiers in Neuroinformatics》期刊,是針對之前發現自閉症腦細胞連結與一般人不同的後續研究,自閉症患者如此不同正因為大腦複雜的不同。

「我們的研究結果顯示,自閉症兒童對社交不感興趣,因為他們的大腦在靜止時產生更多信息,這符合自閉早期徵候『內省』(introspection)的描述。

研究者使用magnetoencephalography (MEG) 來記錄大腦活動,而非慣常使用的電子訊號系統。他們發現,自閉症兒童的大腦處於靜止狀態時,產生比非自閉症兒童更多的詳細信息。這或許可以解釋為什麼他們不尋求外界刺激,例如與其他人交流。

研究人員還將研究者也把腦部不同區域的交互連結量化,確定大腦達到平靜狀態以讓他們觀察自閉症孩童的內省狀態。

José L. Pérez Velázquez, PhD, first author and professor of neuroscience at University of Toronto Institute of Medical Science and Department of Pediatrics, Brain and Behavior Center表示「這項新的嘗試產生了新的解釋,透過分析大腦活動,我們能夠理解這些孩子的認知。」「測量『認知』並不簡單,但透過精良的物理工程測量工具,還是可以做到一定的程度。」

這項研究支持了神經學家 Henry and Kamila Markram of the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland最近所提出的自閉症「集中強化世界理論」(Intense World Theory),該理論將自閉症解釋為神經線路的高度作用的結果,此活躍並導致過度興奮。

這項展新的初步調查,將更理解大腦內的資訊製造與認知/心理特質的關聯,以及神經學的數據將如何轉化為心理學的解讀。該團隊目前正在使用類似的研究途徑來研究精神分裂症。

此研究的主持人學者Galán,是The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation and former fellow of The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.隨

筆翻譯:Poe Chen
譯者聲明:本篇非逐字翻譯,採句意釋義法。感謝郭小姐、陳小姐提供援助,歡迎校對。

原文引自:

New research from Case Western Reserve University and University of Toronto neuroscientists finds that the brains of autistic children generate more information at rest – a 42% increase on average. The study offers a scientific explanation for the most typical characteristic of autism – withdrawal into one’s own inner world. The excess production of information may explain a child’s detachment from their environment.
Published at the end of December in Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, this study is a follow-up to the authors’ prior finding that brain connections are different in autistic children. This paper determined that the differences account for the increased complexity within their brains.
“Our results suggest that autistic children are not interested in social interactions because their brains generate more information at rest, which we interpret as more introspection in line with early descriptions of the disorder,” said Roberto Fernández Galán, PhD, senior author and associate professor of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.
The authors quantified information as engineers normally do but instead of applying it to signals in electronic devices, they applied it to brain activity recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG). They showed that autistic children’s brains at rest generate more information than non-autistic children. This may explain their lack of interest in external stimuli, including interactions with other people.
The researchers also quantified interactions between brain regions, i.e., the brain's functional connectivity, and determined the inputs to the brain in the resting state allowing them to interpret the children’s introspection level.
“This is a novel interpretation because it is a different attempt to understand the children’s cognition by analyzing their brain activity,” said José L. Pérez Velázquez, PhD, first author and professor of neuroscience at University of Toronto Institute of Medical Science and Department of Pediatrics, Brain and Behavior Center.
“Measuring cognitive processes is not trivial; yet, our findings indicate that this can be done to some extent with well-established mathematical tools from physics and engineering.”
This study provides quantitative support for the relatively new “Intense World Theory” of autism proposed by neuroscientists Henry and Kamila Markram of the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland, which describes the disorder as the result of hyper-functioning neural circuitry, leading to a state of over-arousal. More generally, the work of Galán and Pérez Velázquez is an initial step in the investigation of how information generation in the brain relates to cognitive/psychological traits and will begin to frame neurophysiological data into psychological aspects. The team now aims to apply a similar approach to patients with schizophrenia.
Galán is a scholar of The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation and former fellow of The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

推薦閱讀

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...