Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Amygdala shrinks in some forms of autism"

"MADISON, Wis., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have found the brain's 'fear center' likely shrinks in autism's most severely socially impaired males with autism spectrum disorders.
The federally funded University of Wisconsin study showed teenagers and young men who were slowest at distinguishing emotional from neutral expressions and gazed at eyes least -- indicators of social impairment -- had a smaller-than-normal amygdala, an almond-shaped danger-detector deep in the brain.
The researchers also linked such amygdala shrinkage to impaired nonverbal social behavior in early childhood."