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Asperger’s syndrome may not lead to lack of empathy

People with autism can feel others’ pain, two new studies show.

Autism robs people of social and language skills and locks people in their own worlds. Scientists thought that the social defects were due in part to an autistic person’s inability to determine what other people think and feel and adjust behavior accordingly. But new research from scientists in Switzerland and the Netherlands shows that the brains of people with Asperger’s syndrome or other high-functioning autism spectrum disorders do respond with empathy to others’ pain or emotion.

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