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Why is Asperger's considered a form of autism?

by GreatEscapist
Tags: asperger, autism, considered, form
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zoobyshoe
#37
Jun7-10, 12:46 PM
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Quote Quote by GreatEscapist View Post
Let's say that ignorance is bliss.

Once I realize that someone is judging me I feel so, I know that I'll have to deal with that. I can usually figure it out, but I never how to respond in a way that will stop/aid the judgment. So if I don't look at them, I don't know that they are doing that. Whether I know they are or not.
Very interesting.

About your thoughts going faster than you can follow them: have you also been diagnosed with ADD?
zoobyshoe
#38
Jun7-10, 01:06 PM
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Quote Quote by mikekhogan447 View Post
Have any of you heard of the neurologist A. R. Luria's book, "The mind of a mnemonist"? In it he describes an eidetic savant--prodigious memory, but executive skills deficits. Luria seems to think that the mnemonist's mental life, which consists in concrete, specific images rather than abstractions and generalizations, "dispossesses" him and even causes social difficulties. Temple Grandin, a famous HFA, also speaks of a memory of concrete images and sensory impressions, rather like watching a movie. This eidetic proficiency might be the flip side of an extreme sensitivity to sensory information, which can lead to unpleasant sensory overload. The sensory impressions are not chunked, abstracted, or simplified.
Luria's mnemonist was profoundly synesthetic, the most elaborate case of synesthesia I've read about. He used this to remember things and it was the foundation of his prodigious memory, but it also overwhelmed him and made it hard to make sense of the external world. Imagine one sensory stimulus triggering synesthetic responses in 3 other senses at once.

Some autistic people have synesthesia, but I don't recall hearing or reading that Temple Grandin has it. What I recall her stressing is that simple sensations are unnaturally amplified: as a child toilet paper used to feel as abrasive as sandpaper to her.
GreatEscapist
#39
Jun7-10, 02:21 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Very interesting.

About your thoughts going faster than you can follow them: have you also been diagnosed with ADD?
Never been diagnosed, but I did exhibit many of the symptoms when I was young. It was bad- spazzy kid that had too much to say.

Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Luria's mnemonist was profoundly synesthetic, the most elaborate case of synesthesia I've read about. He used this to remember things and it was the foundation of his prodigious memory, but it also overwhelmed him and made it hard to make sense of the external world. Imagine one sensory stimulus triggering synesthetic responses in 3 other senses at once.
That goes along with the whole numb-fever-head feeling. I actually do have an amazing memory. (My teachers find it fascinating) I've never taken notes in history class, yet I always remember everything for the test- without studying. I have an amazing mind for names and dates. I still don't like dates, but I'm good at them. I used to have memorized out the 30th place, and that was from just seeing a poster I saw everyday in my precalculus teacher's classroom. I didn't even know I knew it that far out.

It's a strange sensation, really. I didn't even know that wasn't normal, until, one day, it went away. And it was like a whole new world. Amazing. I could have that all the time, but I'd have to take drugs, and I really don't like the idea of being on anti-anxiety medicine. I can cope pretty damn well nowadays.
zoobyshoe
#40
Jun7-10, 08:24 PM
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Quote Quote by GreatEscapist View Post
Never been diagnosed, but I did exhibit many of the symptoms when I was young. It was bad- spazzy kid that had too much to say.
Huh? Who is bad-spazzy kid?
That goes along with the whole numb-fever-head feeling. I actually do have an amazing memory. (My teachers find it fascinating) I've never taken notes in history class, yet I always remember everything for the test- without studying. I have an amazing mind for names and dates. I still don't like dates, but I'm good at them.
Are you saying the numb-fever-head feeling also gave you a good memory?
I used to have memorized out the 30th place, and that was from just seeing a poster I saw everyday in my precalculus teacher's classroom. I didn't even know I knew it that far out.
What did you have memorized out?
It's a strange sensation, really. I didn't even know that wasn't normal, until, one day, it went away. And it was like a whole new world. Amazing.
What went away? The numb-fever-head feeling went away? Your good memory went away?
GreatEscapist
#41
Jun7-10, 08:46 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Huh? Who is bad-spazzy kid?

Are you saying the numb-fever-head feeling also gave you a good memory?

What did you have memorized out?

What went away? The numb-fever-head feeling went away? Your good memory went away?
*grins* Hellllllooooooo broken train of thought.

1. I said: It (referring to my childhood behavior) was bad- (NOTE THE DASH. IT IS USED FOR EMPHASIS) spazzy kid that never shut up. I forgot the I.

2. No, it didn't. But it made it so that I had nothing better to do with my time than memorize random crap.

3. What about "used to" do you not understand?

4. The head feeling.

Interestingly enough, I have the worst memory for simple things. My mother gets mad at me a lot because I forget to do simple tasks. Like, close the toilet lid, go get a new roll of paper towels, don't forget to turn that in to your counselor...etc. It's like my brain forgets to remind me to remember. I don't have trouble remembering what was said, but I can't remember to well, remember.
rhody
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Jun7-10, 08:54 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
Yes, the circuits may be hypersensitive, But anticipation in turn then explains why circuits would be hypersensitive.

Anticipation of noises, people staring at us, whatever, has the effect of subduing our reaction to such stimuli (we half expect something, so no need to over-react to it). A hypersensitive reaction is what you would get when perceptions are not predicted smoothly.

Now what does anticipation look like at the circuit level? Well, here I would turn to the predictive coding/anticipatory neural net/ helmholtzian/forward modelling neural network literature for theories. And Niwijahan and others looking at anticipation in simple brain circuits, like the retina.

Jumping to the neuroanatomy of the cortex is rather ambitious, but Casanova's minicolumn evidence would fit with the idea that what fails to develop properly at the circuit level is the feedback wiring that contextualises the activity of local processing (whether it is individual neuron receptive fields or larger scales of organisation such as columns and even cortical areas).

Here is a good account of his idea in a blog...

http://a-shade-of-grey.blogspot.com/...nicolumns.html

Note too that Eric Courchesne did earlier work on abnormalities in the cerebellum. So it all adds up to a diffuse failure to develop "well balanced" neurocircuitry. And the essence of that balance in functional terms is the play-off between the predicted and the surprising.

The brain wants to be as little surprised as possible (so that it is then free to focus strongly on what is novel, threatening or otherwise not successfully predicted).

Aspies would be able to understand their fellow humans by taking the time to think things through, work it out. Using attentive effort. Normies have long made it a slick habit and would second-guess their social worlds out of pre-conscious automatism. Just like learning to ride a bike or drive a car.
To all,

Please feel free to continue probing symptoms and aspi behavior.

I wanted to take a little foray deeper with a very basic neurotransmitter discussion.

aperion,

This is about the underlying mechanisms of the brain functions of neurotransmitters. More about the why or potential to explain it than the what in behavior is seen.

What you said in this post made a connection with a bacteria communicating talk by Dr Bonnie Bassler on TED here Fast forward to 3:50 - 7:00 minutes in the talk, basically this involves bacteria, secretion of hormones, quorum sensing, inter and intra species communication. Please keep an open mind while you digest the 3 minute video.

You used the phrase: "predictive coding/anticipatory neural net" it reminded me of the bacteria quorum sensing part of the story by Dr. Bassler. With this fresh in mind, watch this next. Neural Synapse From what I read about neurotransmitters, there are about 50 known, but there is believed to be in the hundreds of them.

See how a neurotransmitter is released, first thumbnail below. Now watch this video: NEURONS AND NEURO-TRANSMITTERS, fast forward to 2:20 - 3:30, and watch a more detailed description of the neurotransmitter action potential, electrical release, followed by reception on the received site adjacent to the sending neuron, which in turn creates an action potential in the next neuron, and the process continues throughout the neural network (mini-column, etc...). See second thumbnail with neurotransmitter release.

Back to the first video about bacteria for a moment and the description about "quorum sensing" when enough bacteria have duplicated and in turn created enough hormones that a threshold is reached (similar to action potential in the case of the neurons and the neurotransmitters they release). I am wondering if there isn't a connection here, for instance in the case of aspi's that the number of neurotransmitters in the neurons is some diminished in both number and diversity of the types of transmitters as well as Zooby states (see quote below) that neurons are damaged in some way keeping the normal neurotransmitter cycle (numbers of neurotransmitters and their receptor sites at less in people who have aspbergers than those who don't. From the bacteria video, it leads me to the question of: are the correct number and diversity of neurotransmitters contained in the neurons (similar to the bacteria example), or is there some imbalance. Is there even a way to count the number and types in a non-aspi brain. Watch the third video: Function of Neurotransmitters to get an idea of the different types of known neurotransmitters and what they have been shown to do.
That being said, I am also curious as the the underlying causes of aspberger's, autism, and now synesthesia. As for the underlying causes for autism, I invite you to have a look at these two posts,

The presence of more cells that are smaller and more densely packed would certainly be significant. I'm not sure what to say, though, because I've seen slides of autistic neurons that show something different: very crippled looking, twisted neurons that have many fewer dendrites.

Zooby's response:

All I can speculate is that there may be several different kinds of neuronal abnormalities that all end up presenting 'autistic' symptoms.
Rhody...

P.S. I had to finish this in one thought and it should take about 30 minutes to digest. I may have made a grammatical or spelling error or two,
but I had to do it in one shot, or I would have lost the bubble so to speak, without the visuals and video's it would have been impossible to do.
Attached Thumbnails
neural synapse.jpg   neurons.jpg  
zoobyshoe
#43
Jun7-10, 08:59 PM
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Quote Quote by GreatEscapist View Post
*grins* Hellllllooooooo broken train of thought.

1. I said: It (referring to my childhood behavior) was bad- (NOTE THE DASH. IT IS USED FOR EMPHASIS) spazzy kid that never shut up. I forgot the I.
Ah, I see.

2. No, it didn't. But it made it so that I had nothing better to do with my time than memorize random crap.
Muy interesante!

3. What about "used to" do you not understand?
I still have no idea what you used to have memorized.

4. The head feeling.
Also very interesting.

Interestingly enough, I have the worst memory for simple things. My mother gets mad at me a lot because I forget to do simple tasks. Like, close the toilet lid, go get a new roll of paper towels, don't forget to turn that in to your counselor...etc. It's like my brain forgets to remind me to remember. I don't have trouble remembering what was said, but I can't remember to well, remember.
Actually I'm pretty spaced out about mundane tasks, too. I don't remember them because they are so damned dull.
GreatEscapist
#44
Jun7-10, 09:04 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Ah, I see.


Muy interesante!


I still have no idea what you used to have memorized.


Also very interesting.


Actually I'm pretty spaced out about mundane tasks, too. I don't remember them because they are so damned dull.
I said that I had pi memorized out the 30th dec. place. Do tell me how can I be more specific for you.

And it's not just dull- it's just anything that revolves around, you know, important things.
zoobyshoe
#45
Jun7-10, 09:22 PM
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Quote Quote by GreatEscapist View Post
I said that I had pi memorized out the 30th dec. place. Do tell me how can I be more specific for you.
Well, you could have been specific enough to say pi in your post:

Quote Quote by GreatEscapist View Post
I used to have memorized out the 30th place...
apeiron
#46
Jun8-10, 03:31 AM
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Quote Quote by rhody View Post
From the bacteria video, it leads me to the question of: are the correct number and diversity of neurotransmitters contained in the neurons (similar to the bacteria example), or is there some imbalance. Is there even a way to count the number and types in a non-aspi brain.
I couldn't really follow the line of your questions here so I can't really offer an answer.

But note I was talking about neuromodulators rather than neurotransmitters - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromodulation

So this is more about the broad tilting of the processing style of brain circuits and brain pathways. Doing things like changing the signal/noise ratio to make the brain more vigilant, or beefing up the goal-pursuing focus by tilting the balance of the circuitry towards internally generated goal states.
messymarsh
#47
Jun8-10, 11:26 AM
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can aspergers form later on in life say when u started having seizures? as that is one of the "calling cards" of it, i display almost all of this behavior but not intell i just recently began having seizurs and what i hate even more, taking the medicin i also have something else id like to post. about how someone else was talking about thinking to fast to follow but not tell i get an answer on this.
messymarsh
#48
Jun8-10, 12:22 PM
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around the age of 15 is what i mean by later in life btw
GreatEscapist
#49
Jun8-10, 01:39 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Well, you could have been specific enough to say pi in your post:
*dies of embarrassment* Oh my, how awful. I could have sworn I said pi...

Quote Quote by messymarsh View Post
can aspergers form later on in life say when u started having seizures? as that is one of the "calling cards" of it, i display almost all of this behavior but not intell i just recently began having seizurs and what i hate even more, taking the medicin i also have something else id like to post. about how someone else was talking about thinking to fast to follow but not tell i get an answer on this.
Asperger's is congenital. So, no.
zoobyshoe
#50
Jun8-10, 01:54 PM
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Quote Quote by messymarsh View Post
can aspergers form later on in life say when u started having seizures? as that is one of the "calling cards" of it, i display almost all of this behavior but not intell i just recently began having seizurs and what i hate even more, taking the medicin i also have something else id like to post. about how someone else was talking about thinking to fast to follow but not tell i get an answer on this.
With Aspergers and also with seizures there is the important and confusing issue of what they call "co-morbidity" to sort out. Some authorities believe that 60-70% of people with Asperger's also have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In this case we would say the person has Asperger's co-morbid with ADHD. ADHD is not Asperger's, but seems often to come with Asperger's. This creates confusion. What part of the person's behavior is Asperger's and what part is ADHD? A really careful expert, trained in both, can sort one symptom from another but some "experts" cannot:

Some authors estimate that 60% to 70% of Aspies also have Attention Deficit Disorder, which they consider a common comorbidity of Asperger Syndrome. Other authors say that the two cannot exist together. Still others insist doctors have it all wrong and that the two disorders are the same. The real problem is that there is no hard science. No one knows exactly how slight imperfections in brain structure and chemistry cause such problems.
http://www.yourlittleprofessor.com/adhd.html

You should read that whole article at the link. It points out there is additional confusion when a person has Asperger's co-morbid with Obsessive-Compusive Disorder, and it gives a description of the qualitative differences you should look for in trying to separate Asperger's behaviors from ADHD behaviors.

I think GreatEscapist is actually describing an ADD type symptom when she talks about the fast thoughts. At any rate, it's not a "calling card" Asperger's trait at all. I've read blogs by a lot of Aspies, and met a few in real life, who write and speak very deliberately and coherently.

The same thing, fast, pressured thinking, often also shows up extremely often in Bipolar Disorder. If you read the posts of some bipolar people you might get equally exited about the fast thinking and feel you fit in well with that diagnosis. I'm going to guess that if you were to research Asperger's in depth, and actually meet at least a few people properly diagnosed with Asperger's, you'd start to see you're not actually like them in essence. The same with bipolar. The more you become familiar with it the more aware you'd be of how you only resemble it in one or two aspects.

People with Temporal Lobe Seizures often, but not always, experience personality changes after the seizures.

http://professionals.epilepsy.com/pa...porallobe.html

I found that by googling "Epileptic Interictal Personality". There are lots of papers and articles, lots of arguments pro and con. Many experts agree there are changes in the personality after seizures but it's hard to find two who agree on the exact sorts of changes. One thing I think it's always safe to say is that we become "enthusiastic thinkers", as I told you in the thread you started. Suddenly, after the seizures start, the person becomes involved in a world of thinking.

But, with seizures, there is also the problem of co-morbidity to sort out. There is nothing to prevent someone with seizures from also having some other problem. One reference I read stated that something as high as 48% of people with seizures also have clear cut cases of clinical depression. This is true of me, I got that diagnosis. So when I'm feeling especially depressed and my self esteem is at rock bottom I also completely avoid eye contact. I won't hold someone's gaze for longer than a split second and my eyes dart away.

There can be any one of a number of things causing you to avoid eye contact at this point and the superficial resemblance of that to a common Asperger's trait is really neither here nor there. When I'm not feeling depressed I love eye contact, and seek it out. One of the reasons I try to ask Aspies the exact nature of their dislike for eye contact is because I'm trying to sort out the qualitative difference between their dislike for it and other cases where it might occur. Rhody mentioned a friend who doesn't seem to have Aspie traits, but who avoids eye contact. I have to wonder why.

So, I think the changes you notice in your thinking are the direct aftermath of the seizures, and the eye contact thing is circumstantially related somehow. I very much doubt you developed Asperger's.
zoobyshoe
#51
Jun8-10, 02:08 PM
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Quote Quote by GreatEscapist View Post
*dies of embarrassment* Oh my, how awful. I could have sworn I said pi...
Hehehehehe. I was pretty sure you meant pi. I was yanking your chain for not noticing you never actually wrote it. Don't worry, I am very glad you're posting. I always learn so much when I talk to the actual people with these different, interesting conditions instead of reading cold, clinical descriptions.
GreatEscapist
#52
Jun8-10, 02:31 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
With Aspergers and also with seizures there is the important and confusing issue of what they call "co-morbidity" to sort out. Some authorities believe that 60-70% of people with Asperger's also have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In this case we would say the person has Asperger's co-morbid with ADHD. ADHD is not Asperger's, but seems often to come with Asperger's. This creates confusion. What part of the person's behavior is Asperger's and what part is ADHD? A really careful expert, trained in both, can sort one symptom from another but some "experts" cannot:



http://www.yourlittleprofessor.com/adhd.html

You should read that whole article at the link. It points out there is additional confusion when a person has Asperger's co-morbid with Obsessive-Compusive Disorder, and it gives a description of the qualitative differences you should look for in trying to separate Asperger's behaviors from ADHD behaviors.

I think GreatEscapist is actually describing an ADD type symptom when she talks about the fast thoughts. At any rate, it's not a "calling card" Asperger's trait at all. I've read blogs by a lot of Aspies, and met a few in real life, who write and speak very deliberately and coherently.

The same thing, fast, pressured thinking, often also shows up extremely often in Bipolar Disorder. If you read the posts of some bipolar people you might get equally exited about the fast thinking and feel you fit in well with that diagnosis. I'm going to guess that if you were to research Asperger's in depth, and actually meet at least a few people properly diagnosed with Asperger's, you'd start to see you're not actually like them in essence. The same with bipolar. The more you become familiar with it the more aware you'd be of how you only resemble it in one or two aspects.
Comorbidities are awful. But they are common in Asperger's- I agree. But they aren't truly "disorders", so to say, but yet results of the Asperger's itself. (Most- not all)

For instance:
Anxiety disorders (What I have) develop because of the intense fear of people, and a long life of being *different*
OCD develops because, honestly, that really is a part of Asperger's. We all are a little OCD, but Aspie's go to the extreme- "IF YOU TOUCH MY VIDEO GAMES I. WILL. KILL. YOU."
ADHD (I'm sure I have this, but I ain't gonna go back to the psyche. ) develops because there's so much that one knows, and so little time to TELL YOU EVERYTHING THAT I KNOW. AND I MEAN EVERYTHING.
I'm pretty sure bipolar happens because you really do just have that. That would be a sucky comorbidity to have.

Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Hehehehehe. I was pretty sure you meant pi. I was yanking your chain for not noticing you never actually wrote it. Don't worry, I am very glad you're posting. I always learn so much when I talk to the actual people with these different, interesting conditions instead of reading cold, clinical descriptions.
I hate the clinical things. I don't have a long enough attention span to understand it. Prolly why I can't read my college physics books.
rhody
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Jun8-10, 03:09 PM
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Rhody mentioned a friend who doesn't seem to have Aspie traits, but who avoids eye contact. I have to wonder why.
Thanks Zooby,

Just when I thought you forgot about me, hehe, the more you describe your in depth knowledge of this subject the more I want to learn, keep up the good work. Now back to thinking about how to clarify cleanly my last post.

Rhody...
Evo
#54
Jun8-10, 08:06 PM
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Quote Quote by GreatEscapist View Post
OCD develops because, honestly, that really is a part of Asperger's. We all are a little OCD, but Aspie's go to the extreme- "IF YOU TOUCH MY VIDEO GAMES I. WILL. KILL. YOU."
That's not OCD, OCD is a compulsion to do something, usually repetitively, even while you know it's crazy. Like tapping on door knobs until it feels right, jumping into the air when a plane flies over, placing your feet together pointing east when a toilet flushes.


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