Autism has long been a scientific enigma, mainly due to its diverse and seemingly unrelated symptoms -- from social and communication disorders to restricted interests -- and their lack of correspondence to a particular biological ailment.
However, new research from Carnegie Mellon University's Marcel Just provides an explanation for some of autism's puzzles and gives scientists clear targets for developing intervention and treatment therapies.
Published in the journal "Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews," Just and his team used brain imaging and computer modeling to show how the brain's white matter tracts -- the cabling that connects separated brain areas -- are altered in autism and how these alterations can affect brain function and behavior. The deficiencies affect the tracts' bandwidth -- the speed and rate at which information can travel along the pathways.
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