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Aspberger’s

Rutgers Neuroscientist Finds a Way to Track and Measure Female Autism, Asperger’s

Dr. Elizabeth Torres

New Brunswick, NJ, September 13, 2017 — A Rutgers University study found that tracking and measuring the involuntary head movements revealed in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans offers a new, more accurate way to detect autism in girls.

Rutgers University-New Brunswick neuroscientist Elizabeth Torres, Ph.D., said the traditional criteria used to diagnose autism are largely based on the observed behavior of children, and since boys in western society are expected to be active, deviations from that norm are easy to spot.

Girls are socialized to be quieter, so autism is harder to observe. Perhaps partly due to these cultural biases, boys are diagnosed with autism five times as often as girls. “The criteria are male-driven, so we’re measuring females with a male ruler,” she said. Continue reading