Tuesday, April 2, 2013

#Brain Drawing for World #Autism Day

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day.

In my research, I didn't realize that there were different types of autism. The variations are referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). The disease is 4x more likely to effect boys than girls. Scientists are continuing to explore the cause of the disease and treatments.

Autism is loosely described as faulty wiring in the brain. Experiences could include only being able to really experience one sense at a time, like smell or hearing, and it could at times be unbearable. Also there are communicative challenges that are verbal and nonverbal. Irritability or outbursts exhibited by a person with autism is an expression of their frustration with not being able to communicate effectively, if at all. Symptoms also include emotional detachment and repetitive behaviors. Those are only a few behaviors common for those with autism.

The below brain drawing is meant to visualize the inability to sync signals in the brain.


For the drawing, I represented that as a plug and an outlet. For the normal brain, the front and back parts of our brain work instantly and simultaneously together. So the plug would be properly positioned to go into the outlet-making a connection so that information could be transferred throughout the rest of the brain

However, the brain of someone with autism has faulty wiring which prohibits neurotransmitters, or messages, to be sent and processed through the brain. That is shown here in the drawing where from the front of the brain, the prongs of a plugs are not in the correction position to go into the outlet that is bringing messages from the back of the brain.

Also, there are particular areas of the brain that are effected by abnormalities compared to someone without autism:
  • The long blue shape between the plug and outlet is the Corpus Callosum. This structure facilitates the communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. 
  • Below the plug is the Amygdala. The amygdala affects social behavior and emotion.
  • Beneath the brain is the Cerebellum. Abilities like balance, coordination and motor ability are controlled here.
Enjoy your day :)

Michelle Hunter

Contemporary Artist
Tel: (646) 504-5034
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1. Hamilton, Jon, "What's Different About The Brains of People With Autism?" npr.org, June 4 2012
2. Watson, Stephanie, "Discovery Health "What is autism?"" www.health.howstuffworks.com

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