Caring for our children's future
With funding from Autism Speaks, Dr. Yang and his team hope to improve the Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training program’s effectiveness in teaching social skills to adults with autism spectrum disorder. In the first phase of the study, they are evaluating how well the program improves social understanding. Using brain imaging and brain-wave monitoring, they’re also tracking whether and how the program changes brain activity and connections between brain regions involved in social behavior.
“Our early results are beginning to reveal a remarkable degree of malleability in the neural systems involved in social cognition in adults with ASD,” he says. Lay translation: On brain scans performed after the training, the researchers are seeing brain regions associated with social understanding literally light up in ways they hadn’t before.
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