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Theodore A. Hoppe

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Is autism, or some types of autism, an evolutionary effect.

This is an uninformed notion I have had, and this is the first time I have found support for it.
Toward the end of this TED talk Enriquez provides some numbers on the rate at which autism has increased in a decade, 78%.

He says, "We are trying to take in as much information in a day as people use to take in in a lifetime."
Is autism a rapid evolution of the brain?

Topics: autism evolution
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  • Jun 7 2012: Autism: The Eusocial Hominid Hypothesis

    ASDs (autism spectrum disorders) are hypothesized as one of many adaptive human cognitive variations that have been maintained in modern populations via multiple genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Introgression from "archaic" hominids (adapted for less demanding social environments) is conjectured as the source of initial intraspecific heterogeneity because strict inclusive fitness does not adequately model the evolution of distinct, copy-number sensitive phenotypes within a freely reproducing population.

    Evidence is given of divergent encephalization and brain organization in the Neanderthal (including a ~1520 cc cranial capacity, larger than that of modern humans) to explain the origin of the autism subgroup characterized by abnormal brain growth.

    Autism and immune dysfunction are frequently comorbid. This supports an admixture model in light of the recent discovery that MHC alleles (genes linked to immune function, mate selection, neuronal "pruning," etc.) found in most modern human populations come from "archaic" hominids.

    Mitochondrial dysfunction, differential fetal androgen exposure, lung abnormalities, and hypomethylation/CNV due to hybridization are also presented as evidence.

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3dPqM3qgNSiY3p5TmFRMjhSekdyaV8wWUw0MTZiUQ

    A short video introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk_85vNaSMA

    The full 2-hour video presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6-6Naz-C0M

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