Mirror Neurons

October 29, 2009 at 11:35 am | Posted in Asperger's, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Very interesting tidbit of Aspie information…. about the brain recognizing (or actually, NOT recognizing sarcasm):

PHYSICAL STRUCTURE OF THE BRAIN

The frontal lobe of the brain affects several processes such as speech, expressive language, emotion, reaction, habits, and judgment. The imaging that has been done suggests that this area of the brain grows and develops much more slowly while other areas grow more rapidly. What you often get is a gifted student that does not know how to deal with people.

New studies that have been released over the past year have begun to explain what is not working correctly. We learn by the process of copying each other. We say things other people we know say. We eat things other people we know eat. We do things that other people we know do. We learn from them.

“MIRROR” NEURONS MAY BE A CAUSE

In the brain we have neurons. Little chemical signals that control what the brain does. These ones have been labeled “mirror” neurons because they make your brain think you are actually doing what you are watching someone else do. People with Autistic spectrums do not produce these neurons when they see someone else doing things. Therefore, if they see someone making a movement with their face and they don’t know what it means, they are not going to repeat the seemingly useless gesture at the right time, if at all. After a while they might stop paying attention to the movement at all.

SUBTLE VOICE CHANGES ARE MISSED

Sarcasm is cue based. The words are the same but the voice changes. This would be considered a subtle cue and these are often missed. Analogies are not understood unless the connection is understood.

But there is hope. Specific training can often be highly effective in helping Aspergers children learn the skills needed.

HOW TO TEACH ASPERGERS KIDS TO UNDERSTAND THESE SUBTLE CLUES

Basically, Aspergers is treated by training the child how the world outside of their mind works. Because they have trouble recognizing that other people are having different thoughts than them, they have to be taught this. Once they have learned that, they can be trained to respond to other people in a way that will help them get what they need. Then they will be taught about relationships and the give and take of conversations and friendships.

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taken from the newsletter which you can subscribe to (free):

http://www.aspergerssociety.org/articles/06.htm

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