Research Paper: Deficits in executive control in Autism

Sample Research Paper

There is a general association of the deficit of Executive function (control) with the pathological anomalies or any other aetiologies leading to damage of prefrontal region of the brain and specifically the dorsal region. Researchers still are cautious about findings related to executive dysfunctions in developmental disorders.

They caution that the behavioural or functional disability need not necessarily reflect pathology in the above-mentioned region of the brain which is thought to be involved with the executive function control. Rowe et al (2001) also found inconclusive evidence to support the hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex damage was the sole cause of executive function deficit. It was deducted from the study that executive function could be a result of a collaboration of inputs from the amygdala (Shaw, 2004) along with other regions including thalamus, striatum, hippocampus etc along with temporal and parietal lobes (Rowe et al, 2001). This means that the executive function deficit is the result of more diffuse damage than previously expected.

Several studies have also shown that autistic children fare worse than normal ones in the tasks involving planning and problem solving (Bauman, 2004). Even though this is consensus amongst some researchers that “autistic children have damage to their frontal lobe and the surrounding areas leading them to suffer from executive function deficit as well as mind blindness. These regions appear in proximity to the ones involving the tasks related to the theory of mind (Bauman, 2004).This alone cannot be the basis on which we refute our position as any reliable theory about the autism has to explain the syndrome itself as well as the signs and symptoms that present themselves along with the main features of the syndrome.

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