The bullied brain:another form of "neurodiversity"
Posted Nov 29 2010 12:00am
As most readers of the gadfly blog know, those who oppose a cure for autism being invented believe that autism and what most rational people would consider other types of deficiencies or even defects in the brain of an individual that would impair them in life are just natural variations involving alternative forms of brain wiring.
For this reason, they will be interested to know there is a new form of neurodiversity being researched , namely the effects of bullying on the developing brain. The new science seems to be showing evidence that bullying causes hormonal changes that can produce damage (or change for neurodiversitites) in the brain. It can reduce the growth of neurons, connectivity in the brain, etc.
For example, neuroscientist Martin Teicher conducted brain scans on a variety of adolescents. The ones who had been bullied, were shown to have abnormalities in the corpus callosum, which connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain. There was evidence that the neurons in the corpus callosum had reduced myelin, the white matter of the brain which provides a sheath on the axons of neurons and facilitates transmission of impulses between nerve cells-which would influence functioning of the brain.
Another study suggested that bullied boys have much higher levels of the hormone cortisol than nonbullied controls. It has been suggested this can produce alterations in the hippocampus, the brain structure that controls short term memories. Experiments in bullied rats showed changes to the hippocampus and effects on memory.
Perhaps this is the reason that so many persons in the neurodiversity movement are such bullies. Just as father Flannigan in the movie "Boys town" stated that there was no such thing as a bad boy, they assert there is no such thing as a bad or defective brain only a different one. In fact neurological differences are essential to survival of the species and autistic genes have produced every invention from the spear to the cell phone. Bill Gates success and Einstein's theory of relatively are due to autistic traits or even autism. So by being such bullies and insulting people, they are only ensuring survival of the human race by perpetuating yet another unique form of "neurodiversity".