A recent study, published online in Scientific Reports, an American journal, has found that special activities occur in the brains while mother and her child with autism spectrum disorder are gazing each other.
The research team of Kanazawa University along with the research team of Osaka University used a special equipment based on magnetoencephalography (MEG) to make three scientifically important discoveries.
1. Brain activities upon gazing each other are low in the case of child with serious autism spectrum disorder.
2. While the activities in child’s brain with autism spectrum disorder are low, the activities in mother’s brain are also low.
3. When mother makes a movement such as nodding in response to her child, the activities in mother’s brain are high.
The equipment can detect electrical activities of the brain in a non-invasive and non-harmful manner, by the utilization of superconducting sensor technology, with very high time and space resolutions.
While a parent and a child are gazing each other, enormous amounts of social information are exchanged in an unconscious manner. That is, reading of the face allows new emotion to emerge, which appears on your own face and affects the other; these interactions continue without cease. Bidirectional interactions are thought to play important roles in the development of child’s sociality.
Simultaneous measurements of brain activities while mother and child are gazing each other by the current study are expected to be a big step to elucidation of development of child’s social brain.