Many researchers have reported atypical brain connectivity in people with autism lying passively in a brain scanner. But those differences may be the result of what participants are thinking about, rather than of an underlying neural defect, according to a poster presented Sunday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: default network
MET, a leading candidate gene for autism risk, influences the strength of connections between brain regions involved in social behaviors, and this effect is especially prominent in people with the disorder. The findings are from a large study using several imaging techniques, published 6 September in Neuron.
Three independent studies presented in May at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in Toronto suggest that much of the brain in people with autism looks the same as that of controls. The results contradict the so-called connectivity theory of autism, which holds that the brains of people with the disorder have weak long-range functional connections compared with controls.
Head movements taint the results of many brain imaging studies, particularly those analyzing children or individuals with developmental disorders, according to two sobering new studies.
People with autism have structural changes in parts of the cerebellum that are distinct from those seen in individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or dyslexia, according to an unpublished meta-analysis presented at the 2011 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Even small head movements inside a brain scanner can affect results, according to a report published 23 July in Neuroimage.