Autism and the Internet
I wonder whether increasing internet use and decreasing interpersonal interaction among children have anything to do with the rising incidence rates of autism spectrum disorders. Does extended isolation negatively effect mirror neuron development and other vital areas of the social brain (imagine a child interacting with online virtual objects on a computer screen instead of with his peers outside in the park)? Or is it the other way around (autistic children prefer to spend more time in front of the computer screen rather than interact with peers)? This would be an area worth further investigation.