Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2017 Jun;25:5-11. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Feb 9.

Autism as an adaptive common variant pathway for human brain development.

Author information

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Department of Psychological Science, Birkbeck, University of London, Henry Wellcome Building, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


While research on focal perinatal lesions has provided evidence for recovery of function, much less is known about processes of brain adaptation resulting from mild but widespread disturbances to neural processing over the early years (such as alterations in synaptic efficiency). Rather than being viewed as a direct behavioral consequence of life-long neural dysfunction, I propose that autism is best viewed as the end result of engaging adaptive processes during a sensitive period. From this perspective, autism is not appropriately described as a disorder of neurodevelopment, but rather as an adaptive common variant pathway of human functional brain development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center