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Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2018 Jan;29:117-126. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2017.01.007. Epub 2017 Jan 16.

Children with ASD show links between aberrant sound processing, social symptoms, and atypical auditory interhemispheric and thalamocortical functional connectivity.

Author information

1
Brain Development Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, 6363 Alvarado CT, Suite #200, San Diego, CA, 92120, USA. Electronic address: alinke@mail.sdsu.edu.
2
Brain Development Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, 6363 Alvarado CT, Suite #200, San Diego, CA, 92120, USA. Electronic address: rjao@mail.sdsu.edu.
3
Brain Development Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, 6363 Alvarado CT, Suite #200, San Diego, CA, 92120, USA.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex and prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social and communicative deficits, as well as repetitive behaviors and atypical sensitivity to sensory stimulation. Alterations in network connectivity are widely recognized, but their interplay with social and sensory symptoms remains largely unclear. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging and diagnostic and behavioral assessments were used in a cohort of children and adolescents with ASD (n=40) and matched typically developing (TD, n=38) controls to examine the relation between auditory processing, interhemispheric and thalamocortical network connectivity, and social-behavioral symptom severity. We found that atypical processing of sounds was related to social, cognitive, and communicative impairments. Additionally, severity of sensory processing deficits and lower verbal IQ were related to reduced interhemispheric connectivity of auditory cortices in ASD. Increased connectivity between the thalamus and auditory cortex in ASD, however, was associated with reduced cognitive and behavioral symptomatology, suggesting that thalamocortical overconnectivity might reflect a compensatory mechanism in ASD. These findings provide novel evidence for links between auditory sensory deficits and impairments in social interaction and communication.

KEYWORDS:

Auditory; Autism spectrum disorder; Corpus callosum; Functional connectivity; Thalamus; fMRI

PMID:
28223033
PMCID:
PMC5664206
DOI:
10.1016/j.dcn.2017.01.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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