Increased Neural Connections and Autism

There’s more evidence that an increased number of neural connections is associated with autism. One wishes these researchers understood network theory better, because then they would understand that increased neural connections cause positive feedback; and if they understood positive feedback, they would then understand autistic behaviors a great deal better.

Also, children under the age of two have a great many more neural connections than do children older than two. That’s because, at around two, there is massive neural pruning, including of connections and cells themselves. May it be that autistics are essentially neurologically two years old? Or, sometimes, younger?

There is an evolutionary process called neoteny, which may go a ways toward explaining what is happening with the emergence of autism in the human population. It has been theorized that humans are neotenous apes. That is, we retain infant traits while sexually maturing. There’s a great deal of evidence for this, from the turn of toes to the slant of our vaginas to the angle of the neck entering the skull and the flatness of our faces. Could it be that autism is another neotenous step?

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One thought on “Increased Neural Connections and Autism

  1. The age of two when it comes to child development is a notable point for other factors as well. For example, the ground work for children to develp attachment to significant adults is more critical in the first two years of life.
    Makes me wonder what affect is has on a child when both parents are working and the child spends a high percentage of their waking hours at a day care.
    Not weaning a child till after the age of two. What affect does that have?
    And there are probably many other significant factors in a child’s development in the first two years of life.

    Liked by 2 people

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