The implications of brain connectivity in the neuropsychology of autism

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that has been associated with atypical brain functioning. Functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) studies examining neural networks in autism have seen an exponential rise over the last decade. Such investigations have led to the characterization of autism as a distributed neural systems disorder. Studies have found widespread cortical underconnectivity, local overconnectivity, and mixed results suggesting disrupted brain connectivity as a potential neural signature of autism. In this review, we summarize the findings of previous fcMRI studies in autism with a detailed examination of their methodology, in order to better understand its potential and to delineate the pitfalls. We also address how a multimodal neuroimaging approach (incorporating different measures of brain connectivity) may help characterize the complex neurobiology of autism at a global level. Finally, we also address the potential of neuroimaging-based markers in assisting neuropsychological assessment of autism. The quest for a neural marker for autism is still ongoing, yet new findings suggest that aberrant brain connectivity may be a promising candidate. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Maximo JO; Cadena EJ; Kana RK
  • Start Page

  • 16
  • End Page

  • 31
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 1