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Autism May Enhance Math Skills

(Photo illustration.  Credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo illustration. Credit: Thinkstock)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Autism affects about 1 in 88 kids in our country and it can impact social interactions and communication skills. But, according to researchers at Stanford, people with autism may have improved math skills.

Thirty-six children were given math skills tests and those with autism performed extremely well. The researchers took MRIs of the kids’ brains while doing math. They found that autistic kids had increased activity in an area of the brain most known for processing visual objects and perception – an area called the ventral temporal occipital cortex — suggesting that they may have different ways of processing information – ways that can help with math.