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Researchers Find Link Between Touch Sensation and Social Difficulties

Researchers have discovered the missing link between touch sensation and social difficulties for individuals with autism.

Based on a study conducted at EXPLORA in Ghent University, someone on the spectrum may encounter difficulties identifying touch sensations in the acts of others.

According to Autism Research Institute, the five senses of someone on the spectrum may be oversensitive or under sensitive from the environment around them. And various reports have linked this to their challenges in social environments.

To confirm this, researchers from Ghent studied the how brain of those with autism and those without autism utilized their sensory touch to know tactile feelings in the acts of others.

The study found that the brain of an individual with autism registers slower when a touch feeling doesn’t relate to the own touch, while the brains of those with out autism registered faster.

The findings show the brain activity of those with autism is much different from that of somebody without it when dealing with sense of touch. Co-leader of the study Elaine Deschrijver concluded that the findings can produce a critical connection between the social difficulties and sensory sensitivity for those on the spectrum.


The piece was based on an article from The Parent Herald, which can be found here.

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Mike Nickas received his Bachelor of Arts in Film and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University in December of 2015, and is currently pursuing his second BA at the University of South Florida in psychology with a minor in education. He is the former host of the online news show The Week in Neurodiversity. He also currently works for Dr. Mike Rizzo’s Child Provider Specialists in Weston, FL.