Most people are wired to seek pleasure in the company of others, but individuals with autism appear to lack this drive. The chemical messenger dopamine may rouse the brain’s reward center differently in autism, dulling the pleasure from social interaction.
A new study suggests that social contact is more than just a reward — it may also serve to block bad feelings.
The findings raise the intriguing possibility that people with autism don’t recognize loneliness as a bad feeling. As a result, they are less driven to seek out social interaction as a remedy. Original Article »