Extreme Resistance to Change

One symptom of autism is an extreme resistance to change of any kind. Children with autism tend to prefer established behavior patterns and a set environment. They develop rituals in play, oppose change, and may become obsessed with one particular topic.

Autism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK believes that the extreme resistance to change in children with autism is rooted in atypical processing of unexpected stimuli. They have done testing on this topic using auditory event-related MRI to determine regional brain activity associated with passive detection of infrequently occurring frequency-deviant and complex novel sounds in a no-task condition.

Children with autism showed reduced activation of the left anterior cingulate cortex during both deviance and novelty detection. The study confirms previous evidence of atypical brain function related to automatic change detection in autism. Abnormalities involved a cortical network known to have a role in attention switching and attentional resource distribution. These results show a connection to the neurophysiological processes and a child with autism’s resistance to change.

Entry Filed under: Behaviors,Common Symptoms

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