Tag Archives: Brain Development

Intriguing finding in study of neglected children suggests another one of my (possibly) novel neurodevelopmental hypotheses

Do some neglected or sound-perception-impaired children teach themselves how to amuse themselves by simply looking at and silently analysing their surroundings, and thus develop an inferior temporal lobe that is more developed than it would otherwise have been within the context of brain-stunting deprivation, and in doing this, do these kids gain an advantage over other neglected kids (who will develop ADHD-type behaviours) in learning how to focus their attention and control their own behaviour?* Could this hypothesis help us to understand the development of conditions and abilities associated with strengths and unusual activity in visual processing, things such as hyperphantasia, autism, superrecognition or forms of synaesthesia that involve visual inducers or concurrents (which is just about all of the recognised forms of synesthesia)?*

Seems a bit controversial that this radio story has linked disorders such as autism and ADHD with childhood neglect, but this also sounds very plausible to me, keeping in mind that some kind of unidentified and unknown perceptual disorder in a child or infant could cut the child off from their environment in a way that would mimic extreme childhood neglect, so evil parents are not necessarily a part of a hypothesis based in this idea. I think this is all there is to “autism” – some perceptual (not sensory) disability stopping normal development in communication abilities that the world’s autism experts have not identified or researched.* “Autism” is such a massive cash-cow for so many people in respected positions, it would really upset the apple-cart if its causal mechanism was identified and a remedy found.

*Don’t forget – don’t plagiarise my ideas.

Romania’s orphans — early neglect, brain size and behaviour
Health Report
ABC Radio National

Guest: Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke   Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College London

Host: Dr Norman Swan

Producer: James Bullen

Broadcast: Mon 27 Jan 2020.

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/neglected-children-have-smaller-brains/11893144

 

Teenage super single case study published last year

This study raises questions in my mind about the development of super-recognition. Here’s a case in an adolescent who is nowhere near completing the stages of development of her brain (but does this ever really end?), but she is irrefutably displaying the cognitive talent and characteristics of super-recognizers. How does this information sit with evidence that face recognition is an ability that continues to develop much later than most other cognitive abilities, into the 30s? Will she go on to develop into a super-duper-recognizer as an adult? Has she already reached the peak of her ability and will stay at this level in adulthood? Is the normal trajectory of face memory ability irrelevant to super-recognition?

Rachel J. Bennetts, Joseph Mole & Sarah Bate Super-recognition in development: A case study of an adolescent with extraordinary face recognition skills. Cognitive Neuropsychology. 2017 Sep;34(6):357-376. doi: 10.1080/02643294.2017.1402755. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02643294.2017.1402755?journalCode=pcgn20

 

Louisville psychology researchers seeking babies to participate in studies

Are you a parent of a baby who lives in the area? Infants between 3 and 14 months of age with normal vision and hearing are invited to participate (in person) in some psychological studies, including the study of face perception. Please contact the University of Louisville Infant Cognition Lab:  https://louisville.edu/psychology/cashon/

I don’t see what you see, and vice versa

This blog post from Dr Kevin Mitchell, a synesthesia, brain connectivity and developmental neurogenetics researcher from Trinity College in Dublin at his interesting blog Wiring the Brain is well worth a read, and I think is very relevant to finding an explanation for my gifts and peculiarities in visual perception. I was amazed by the normal variation in size of visual processing areas of the brain, which is probably genetic in origin and isolated from other traits. Australian cognitive science researcher Dr Jon Brock at Macquarie University left a comment suggesting a related possible area for research into autism.

“A negative correlation that has been observed between size of V1 and size of prefrontal cortex in humans might be consistent with such an antagonistic model of cortical patterning.” Fascinating! I’ve got to wonder if this has any relevance to understanding Benson’s syndrome or posterior cortical atrophy or PCA.

Dr Mitchell’s blog has been in my blogroll for a long time, and if you are looking for some interesting holiday reading about the psychology of visual processing or neuroscience, a good starting point might be my blogroll.

Do you see what I see? by Dr Kevin Mitchell December 12th 2012 Wiring the Brain. http://www.wiringthebrain.com/2012/12/do-you-see-what-i-see.html