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An aberrant precision account of autism.

Lawson, RP; Rees, G; Friston, KJ; (2014) An aberrant precision account of autism. Front Hum Neurosci , 8 , Article 302. 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00302. Green open access

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Abstract

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by problems with social-communication, restricted interests and repetitive behavior. A recent and thought-provoking article presented a normative explanation for the perceptual symptoms of autism in terms of a failure of Bayesian inference (Pellicano and Burr, 2012). In response, we suggested that when Bayesian inference is grounded in its neural instantiation-namely, predictive coding-many features of autistic perception can be attributed to aberrant precision (or beliefs about precision) within the context of hierarchical message passing in the brain (Friston et al., 2013). Here, we unpack the aberrant precision account of autism. Specifically, we consider how empirical findings-that speak directly or indirectly to neurobiological mechanisms-are consistent with the aberrant encoding of precision in autism; in particular, an imbalance of the precision ascribed to sensory evidence relative to prior beliefs.

Type: Article
Title: An aberrant precision account of autism.
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00302
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00302
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 Lawson, Rees and Friston. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. PMCID: PMC4030191
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning, perception and action, precision, predictive coding, sensory attenuation, sensory sensitivity, social interaction
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1431235
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