Asperger individuals are accused of being rigid, habitual and averse to change. That is an “idea” fraught with misunderstanding, because observers take their superficial judgment to be absolute: that’s what I see, therefore it’s true. And the “symptom” of “liking or preferring” sameness shows up in lists of symptoms that supposedly are diagnostic of Asperger’s. Reasons, causes and explanations are ignored (Aspies are rarely asked for information about our behavior) Environmental conditions are rarely brought into discussions about human thought and behavior, despite intensive research into all things human, animal, plant and geologic; researchers believe in supernatural origins – despite working in disciplines that utilize advanced technology.
It’s a confounding and difficult topic: WORDS and the use of word language create a mirage – a shimmering belief that word concepts are “retrieved from or sent by” a super reality (stocked with superhuman know-it-alls) – that rules physical reality; a super library of the universe from which we draw “ideas” that are True. Unfortunately, human preference, selfishness and instability usually “select” ideas that are selfish, not “True”.
The best indicator that this “supernatural” domain exists solely as a state of confusion within the brain, is the fact that groups of people (geographic, ethnic, religious, or other) somehow get extremely different pieces of information from this supernatural source, and differ about what must be done to please one or more supernatural beings that occupy a non-existent domain from which our “physical environment” is nevertheless believed to be created and controlled.
The population of the supernatural domain (powerful, interfering, comforting, unstable, prone to violence; givers of knowledge, luck, favoritism and plenty of death to one’s enemies) points to its origin in the child brain at its most helpless. Deities begin as ancestors that are compressed into single beings over the centuries; one’s own parents present a personal model of giants who must be controlled, at first with gestures, cries and smiles, but soon with magic words.
Ideas hatched in the supernatural domain of the human brain are some of the most negative, destructive and misery-causing ideas that drive humanity.
Magic words: we tend to see language as a simple process that is mechanical and memory driven, because that is how it’s taught schools, but how amazing the power of words must seem to a helpless infant; words that cause food to “appear” out of nowhere; words that gain attention, warmth, comfort – or terror. Language works a bit like gravity – “spooky action at a distance”. Adults simply forget this phase, because “we” as the manifestation of the adult brain didn’t exist. “Who we are” is a river shaped by environment and experience. Our brains are highly vulnerable to physical abuse!
The widespread presence of the “supernatural effect” in all types of modern social humans, even scientists and those with advanced education, points to a persistence of the “magic word” syndrome into adulthood and old age. It is fundamental to modern beliefs and social organization, as well as to personal and mass communication. If we think about it, why not? Magic words and supernatural ideas are common to all neurotypical humans and become the basis for identification within groups.
For a minority of humans (notably Asperger individuals) supernatural thinking is tremendously irritating and incomprehensible. My question is; Why is this early stage of “supernatural mirage” absent in Aspergers and various other individuals? I know that for me, this “mirage world” never existed, and I know of many Aspergers who say the same. It’s an extremely important difference because the types of ideas produced by supernatural thinking and factual thinking are radically different. So different that one might potentially see separate “brain species”.
Zero to Three.org
- Are there critical periods in the development of every brain function?
- Why does the developing brain undergo these critical periods in its development?
- When is the brain fully developed?
- How does nutrition affect the developing brain?
Does experience change the actual structure of the brain?
Yes. Brain development is “activity-dependent,” meaning that the electrical activity in every circuit—sensory, motor, emotional, cognitive–shapes the way that circuit gets put together. Like computer circuits, neural circuits process information through the flow of electricity. Unlike computer circuits, however, the circuits in our brains are not fixed structures. Every experience–whether it is seeing one’s first rainbow, riding a bicycle, reading a book, sharing a joke–excites certain neural circuits and leaves others inactive. Those that are consistently turned on over time will be strengthened, while those that are rarely excited may be dropped away. Or, as neuroscientists sometimes say, “Cells that fire together, wire together.” The elimination of unused neural circuits, also referred to as “pruning,” may sound harsh, but it is generally a good thing. It streamlines children’s neural processing, making the remaining circuits work more quickly and efficiently. Without synaptic pruning, children wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, or even see properly.
What is a “critical period” in brain development?
Pruning or selection of active neural circuits takes place throughout life, but is far more common in early childhood. Animal studies have shown that there are certain windows of time during which the young are especially sensitive to their environment: newborn mice must experience normal whisker sensation in the first few days of life or they will develop abnormal tactile sensitivity in the face region; cats must be allowed normal visual input during the first three months or their vision will be permanently impaired; and monkeys need consistent social contact during the first six months or they will end up extremely emotionally disturbed. Many of the same critical periods appear to hold for human development, although we are less certain about their exact length. Thus, babies also require normal visual input or they may suffer permanent impairment; children born with crossed or “lazy” eyes will fail to develop full acuity and depth perception if the problem is not promptly corrected. Language skills depend critically on verbal input (or sign language, for babies with hearing impairments) in the first few years or certain skills, particularly grammar and pronunciation, may be permanently impacted. The critical period for language-learning begins to close around five years of age and ends around puberty. This is why individuals who learn a new language after puberty almost always speak it with a foreign accent.