“Usually, ants of the same species but from different nests, fight each other…” What? Oh yes, everything is alright, don’t worry. No, not today, they’ll take off my bandages in ten days. Yes, I think it would be different when I’ll have to see myself in the mirror… The simulation made me look like Kate Moss, but imagine that I end up looking like Frankenstein… Of course it hurts, my nose was just crashed into pieces… Wait just a second… What’s your problem? You want my photo? This hospital is full of weirdoes… “Out of Frame” Hi Louise, I’m Julie I am the Neurosciences PhD student, we spoke on the phone last week. You follow me? Louise… Louise, do you know why you are here today? Yes, I was diagnosed ASD. Autistic Spectrum Disorder, which is characterized by abnormal social interaction and communication, with limited and repetitive behaviors. Alright. Do you relate yourself to what you’ve just said? No. I don’t know why they’re telling me that, “Abnormal social interaction and communication…” I’ve got 63 friends on www.ants-passion.be. Oh really? Are you interested by ants? Yes, I’ve started a farm of “Camponotus Cruentatus” in test tube which can contain about 50 workers, In a nest, and then, which measures 10×15 CM², with a 50% humidity rate… And I hope reaching between 1000 and 1500 workers in about a year from now, and I… Okay… but in real life, in college for example, do you hang out with other people? Did you make any friends? Oh Louise! It’s you… Happy birthday Bastien. Ah… thanks. What is it? It’s a farm kit for “Componotus Cruentatus”, black matt ants, there are 54 of them, they have a red belly, they’re 16 to 18 millimeters long, And they have a life expectancy of… Okay okay I get it, ants… Alright great. I’ll just put it over here, and I’ll come to get it later. Ah… come in. …No, it’s too hard, I don’t understand people in college. Okay. Our job is to try to understand why for autistic people this social learning isn’t intuitive. In order to do that we will run a few tests. We’ll start with the Eye-Tracking. You’ll be seated in front of a computer and we will show you some videos. The sensors located on the bottom of the screen will allow us to analyze the way you are looking at an image. Thanks to this method, we now know that most of the people look mainly at faces, and in particularly in eyes. This is not the case for autistic people, they look rather elsewhere. MRI is a technique which allows us to obtain a 3D image of the inside of your body, and even of your brain. We think that there is a specific zone in the brain, the Superior temporal sulcus, which is responsible for processing of social information, such as people’s facial expressions. We have found that in people with autism, this zone doesn’t function as well as in other people. That could explain why it’s more difficult for them to understand other people’s reactions. And what about me?