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Letters   |    
Does the “Dynamic Core” Approach Help to Manage Autistic Behavioral Disorders?
Fatemeh Bakouie; Shahriar Gharibzadeh; Farzad Towhidkhah
The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2011;23:E1-E1.
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Neuromuscular Systems Laboratory, Biomedical Engineering Faculty, Amirkabir University of Technology

Correspondence: Shahriar Gharibzadeh, Neuromuscular Systems Laboratory, Biomedical Engineering Faculty, Amirkabir University of Technology, Somayyeh, Hafez, Tehran, Iran e-mail: gharibzadeh@aut.ac.ir

To the Editor: Autism is a neural development disorder in which some aspects of cognition, perception, and information-processing are disturbed. It seems that autistic patients have difficulties with processing complex situations. For example: 1) one main problem of autistic patients is their problematic involvement in social interactions, which are simply the hardest thing our brains have to process;1 2) motion sensitivity of autistic patients is significantly decreased for second-order (texture-defined) stimuli;2 3) auditory tests show that spectrally- and temporally dynamic tasks involving complex operations (evaluation, attention) are not performed appropriately in autistic persons.3 We suggest that the abovementioned autistic behaviors may be interpreted by the dynamic core hypothesis (DCH) of consciousness. According to the DCH, consciousness arises from a group of neurons (the dynamic core), whose dynamics are simultaneously differentiated and integrated. Based on this view, in conscious states, the dynamic core integrates different pieces of input information that have high entropy and variability, leading to conscious perception of these complex inputs.4 We suppose that ineffective dealing with complex stimuli in autistic patients may be the result of complexity-reduction in the dynamic core, which, in turn, leads to narrowing of consciousness. The cause of dynamic core complexity-reduction in autism may be related to some neurological findings: 1) some researchers suggest that atypical neural connectivity may lead to disturbed visual information-processing in autism;2 and 2) The gray matter in the brain of autistic patients is locally decreased in the mirror-neuron system (MNS) areas. MNS is supposed to be the basis of empathic behavior, which has a key role in social interactions. Moreover, cortical thinning of MNS in areas involved in emotion and social behavior was correlated with autism severity.5 We believe that behavioral treatment may help to repair the dynamic core defect in autistic patients. We propose that interacting with complex inputs at different levels of complexity must be taught to autistic patients. In accordance with our idea, some researchers have found that proper reward can increase response variability in autistic patients.6 This finding is a clue to increasing complex behaviors in autism as a result of proper training strategy. Meanwhile, newer studies in autism claim that “many educational approaches to autism have proceeded without a clear theoretical rationale.”7 We believe that using a DCH approach to managing autistic patients may be a beginning for dealing with this challenge.

Happé  F;  Ronald  A;  Plomin  R:  Time to give up on a single explanation for autism.  Nature Neurosci 2006; 9:1218–1220
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Bertone  A;  Mottron  L;  Jelenic  P  et al:  Enhanced and diminished visuo-spatial information-processing in autism depends on stimulus complexity.  Brain 2005; 128:2430–2441
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Samson  F;  Mottron  L;  Jemel  B  et al:  Can spectro-temporal complexity explain the autistic pattern of performance on auditory tasks? J Autism Dev Disord 2006, 36:65–76
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tononi  GM;  Edelman  G;  Sporns  O:  Complexity and coherency: integrating information in the brain.  Trends Cogn Sci 1998; 2:474–484
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Hadjikhani  NM;  Joseph  R;  Snyder  J  et al:  Anatomical differences in the mirror neuron system and social cognition network in autism.  Cerebral Cortex 2006; 16:1276–1282
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Miller  N;  Neuringer  A:  Reinforcing variability in adolescents with autism.  J Appl Behav Anal 2000; 33:151–165
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Baron-Cohen  S:  The empathising-systemising theory of autism: implications for education.  Tizard Learning Disability Review 2009; 4–13
 
References Container
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References

Happé  F;  Ronald  A;  Plomin  R:  Time to give up on a single explanation for autism.  Nature Neurosci 2006; 9:1218–1220
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Bertone  A;  Mottron  L;  Jelenic  P  et al:  Enhanced and diminished visuo-spatial information-processing in autism depends on stimulus complexity.  Brain 2005; 128:2430–2441
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Samson  F;  Mottron  L;  Jemel  B  et al:  Can spectro-temporal complexity explain the autistic pattern of performance on auditory tasks? J Autism Dev Disord 2006, 36:65–76
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tononi  GM;  Edelman  G;  Sporns  O:  Complexity and coherency: integrating information in the brain.  Trends Cogn Sci 1998; 2:474–484
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Hadjikhani  NM;  Joseph  R;  Snyder  J  et al:  Anatomical differences in the mirror neuron system and social cognition network in autism.  Cerebral Cortex 2006; 16:1276–1282
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Miller  N;  Neuringer  A:  Reinforcing variability in adolescents with autism.  J Appl Behav Anal 2000; 33:151–165
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Baron-Cohen  S:  The empathising-systemising theory of autism: implications for education.  Tizard Learning Disability Review 2009; 4–13
 
References Container
+
+

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