University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

History of Science and Technology/Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science Colloquium

Friday, January 20th 2017
Speaker: Jed Elison, Institute of Child Development - University of Minnesota
Subject: "Considering Temporal Heterogeneity in Autism”
Refreshments served at 3:25 p.m.

The genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity integral to the phenomenon of autism is well characterized, yet recent evidence highlights a third source of variability that warrants careful consideration. Temporal heterogeneity, a term borrowed from ecological theory, considered in the context of psychiatric disorders, denotes observed variability in developmental timing as it relates to disease phenomena. Temporal heterogeneity may represent a specific feature of phenotypic heterogeneity or capture evolving patterns of environmental demands that temporally coincide with changes in the developing organism. And yet, simply entertaining the concept challenges traditional notions of diagnostic stability and issues related to nosology.

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