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Our brains scan faces and tag them friend or foe, study shows... REALLY?

Again, more misguided research. Brains don't scan or perceive anything, people do. We scan the supermarket shelves for items we want or our rooms for items we've lost. People have pain, not their brains and people perceive the growling in their bellies when they are hungry...not their brains. The article pins hope on "training brains... but the hope pinned to "training brains" in children with autism makes no sense. We teach children, not their brains. Children are trained - or learn - to ride their bikes, to read and to speak - not their brains.

Children with autism often need to learn to scan. They need to learn to scan rooms for things they need, scan things in order to make comparisons or scan grocery shelves for items on their shopping lists.

When it comes to recognizing emotions, we teach children to respond appropriately to what already is in view...both in terms of behavioral manifestations of emotion and the contextual events surrounding the emotional event. This is not a scanning event as when searching for something. The ascription of anger or happiness is done so language...just as is the ascription of the word (symbol) "blue" to that in the world we have agreed we will call blue. This is taught on parents laps. So is the ascription of psycholgical predicates and emotions. Children with autism have difficulty learning to use language- the conventional use of symbols in rule governed ways. But when circumstances are arranged carefully in contrived ways in order that children recognize the circumstances, situations or transactions to which terms are applied, children on the spectrum can learn to use the appropriate terms. This ability is a function of individuals' capacities for symbol use and proper intervention.



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