Amygdala in Autism: Not Adapting to Faces Analysis
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Amygdala in autism: Not adapting to Faces Analysis
The amygdala is a vital brain structure that regulates the mental and emotional state. If the amygdala were to be affected by a disturbance the mental conditions of the individual would be severally hindered. Disturbances to the amygdala can lead to a mental condition known as autism. The article The Amygdala in Autism: Not Adapting to Faces by Michael V. Lombardo focuses on a specific symptom of autism, the symptom is the individual not being able to adapt to faces. The author does this by analyzing a study done by Kleinhans involving this matter.
The article starts out by explaining the experiment done by Kleinhans. Kleinhans test subjects consisted of adults with autism and subjects with a stable mental condition. They would be presented with two sets of neutral faces for about five to six minutes. This would all be done while conducting a Functional magnetic resonance to the test subjects. The author Lombardi emphasis the importance of Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tool that was used for study. Lombardi described the fMRI in the article The Amygdala in Autism: Not Adapting to Faces as (2009) “having the power to provide insight into how subpopulations of a neuron within a small area selectively respond to different stimuli” The FMRI allows the experimenter to analyze the neurons being affected by the level of stimuli in a subject. This is necessary in order to analyze the stimuli in the test subjects.
The results of the experiment revealed what occurs to people who have autism when they are trying to recognize faces. During the first set of neutral faces presented to both test subjects with autism and those that have a stable mental condition, their amygdala...
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... a few negative factors for this article. One of them is that the author does not compare as much the results of the controlled experiment to human subjects. In doing so, there would be a better understanding of case studies such as for Charles Whitman or Adam Lanza. Another negative factor could be that the author only focuses in describing about one experiment. If he described another experiment it might have helped to understand the amygdala more.
The article itself was very informative and was easy to follow. The only problems were that in the beginning it was difficult to follow and in some areas of the article the analysis of the experiments seem to be repeated too much, the depth of information and the comparison between the experiments described with what occurred with the groups with or without autism helps to understand the importance of the amygdala.