Autism Research lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.
Humans are a highly social species, allocating numerous brain regions to distinct aspects of social cognition. These regions and corresponding mental abilities serve as tools for understanding which functions are lost and which are preserved in autism.
Autism is characterized by a highly uneven cognitive profile in which some mental functions are preserved or enhanced, whereas others are disrupted. An important asset in the search to understand this complex disorder comes from the study of the typical human mind and brain. Behavioral, developmental and neural data from control subjects support a modular architecture, with distinct cognitive functions implemented in distinct cognitive and neural mechanisms. In this talk, Nancy Kanwisher will consider the functional architecture of the social brain in typical subjects as an avenue for considering which functions are affected and which are preserved in autism.
If this lecture is videotaped, it will be posted here after production.