EGI Notes

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Amygdala, Race, and Autism

An interesting connection.


An increased pattern of brain activity in the amygdalas of adults with autism that may be linked to the social deficits that typically are associated with the disorder. Previous research has shown that abnormal growth patterns in the amygdala are commonly found among young children diagnosed with autism. 

Replicating past research, greater amygdala activity was observed for Black faces than White faces. Furthermore, dark-skinned targets elicited more amygdala activity than light-skinned targets. However, these results were qualified by a significant interaction between race and skin tone, such that amygdala activity was observed at equivalent levels for light- and dark-skinned Black targets, but dark-skinned White targets elicited greater amygdala activity than light-skinned White targets. 

Both race and skin tone affect amygdala activity.  My original South Asian theory of White autism hypothesized that the ‘intermediate” phenotypes of South Asians – Caucasian “(“White”) but with dark skins, and with facial features typically different from that of European Whites – confuses the race recognition “software” of the amygdala in young White children, damaging the amygdala “hardware” as a result, leading to aberrant development and function of that brain structure, finally resulting in autism.

Is this the reason autism rates have increased in White countries with the rise of NEC immigration (1965 Immigration Act in America, and the North African/Middle Eastern flood in Europe)?  And, in general, overall increases in inter-continental population diversity seems associated with increased rates of autism. Maybe East Asian phenotypes are responsible as well? That would seem likely.

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