Researchers reveal new mechanism behind more male autism August 15, 2012 in Autism spectrum disorders.
Excerpt: New University of Otago research into two sex hormones released by the testes of male fetuses and boys may help solve the enduring mystery of why autism is much more common in boys than girls.
Excerpt 2: “…brains of children with ASD grow atypically fast during early development, creating an infant with a large brain. Their brain development then becomes atypically slow…”
When does their brain become atypically slow? Is it during the first two years of life when brain development is unequivocally most dependent on the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones that pare synaptogenesis / brain growth and might prevent the onset of symptoms? In the context of sex differences in brain development, here’s a brief questionnaire. I’ve provided the answers, but feel free to disagree.
Is there a sex difference in the response to nutrient chemicals: No.
Is there a sex difference in the organized response to pheromones: Yes?
If and when researchers understand adaptive evolution in the context of ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction, they might also understand the sex differences in autism spectrum disorders. The sex differences are clearly dependent on how gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) alters organization during prenatal brain development, and how species-specific pheromones associated with activated brain development during the first two years of post-natal experience cause sex differences via their epigenetic effects.
The epigenetic effects are on interactions among all the other neuronal systems and hormone secretion that interact with the GnRH neuronal system, which is central to all developmental differences in the brain of males and females. Think about oxytocin, for example. What does it do outside the confines of GnRH-directed differences in its production and location of its receptors in different tissues? How are the researchers that propose oxytocin causes anything arriving at their conclusions when it cannot possibly cause anything involved in social behavior. It’s a correlate of GnRH pulse frequency and amplitude, silly.
Back to food odors (nutrient chemicals). Does sleep impact socio-cognitive niche construction? Of course it does. Don’t wake the male baby! It’s socio-cognitive niche is being post-prandially constructed, after exposure to sexually dimorphic pheromones from its opposite sex mother.
This blog post is a follow-up to my comments on Study shows gene defect’s role in autism-like behavior
Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338