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Autism Res. 2019 Nov 14. doi: 10.1002/aur.2239. [Epub ahead of print]

Specific Functional Connectivity Patterns of Middle Temporal Gyrus Subregions in Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Xu J1,2, Wang C3,4, Xu Z1, Li T1, Chen F5, Chen K6, Gao J7, Wang J8, Hu Q1.

Author information

1
Institute of Biomedical and Health Engineering, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, China.
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
3
School of Psychology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.
4
Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Affective and Social Cognitive Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.
5
College of Mathematics and Statistics, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.
6
School of Automation Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China.
7
School of Information and Communication Engineer, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China.
8
Key Laboratory for Neuroinformation of the Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China.

Abstract

As one of the key regions in the "social brain" network, the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) has been widely reported to be associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but there have been contradictory results in terms of whether it shows hyperconnectivity or hypoconnectivity. Delineating roles of MTG at the subregional level may eliminate the observed inconsistencies and provide a new avenue to reveal the neurophysiologic mechanism of ASD. Thus, we first performed connectivity-based parcellation using the BrainMap database to identify fine-grained functional topography of the MTG. Then, the MTG subregions were used to investigate differences in the functional connectivity in children and adults with ASD using two data sets from Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange database. Four distinct subregions in the human left and right MTG were identified, including the anterior MTG (aMTG), middle-anterior MTG (maMTG), middle-posterior MTG, and posterior MTG (pMTG). The bilateral pMTG was more vulnerable in both children and adults with ASD than in the typically developing (TD) group, mainly showing hypoconnectivity with different brain regions. In addition, the bilateral aMTG and right maMTG also showed altered functional connectivity in adults with ASD compared to the TD group. Moreover, all these altered MTG subregions were mainly associated with social cognition and language, as revealed by functional characterization. Further correlation analyses also showed trends of association between altered connectivity of the left aMTG and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule scores in adults with ASD. Together, these results suggest a potential objective way to explore sub-regional differences associated with such disorders. Autism Res 2019. © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: Four distinct subregions in the human left and right middle temporal gyrus (MTG) were identified, including the anterior MTG (aMTG), middle-anterior MTG (maMTG), middle-posterior MTG, and posterior MTG (pMTG). The bilateral pMTG was more vulnerable in both children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in the typically developing (TD) group, mainly showing hypoconnectivity with different brain regions. In addition, the bilateral aMTG and right maMTG also showed altered functional connectivity in adults with ASD compared to the TD group. Moreover, all these altered MTG subregions were mainly associated with social cognition and language, as revealed by functional characterization. Further correlation analyses also showed trends of association between altered connectivity of the left aMTG and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule scores in adults with ASD.

KEYWORDS:

autism spectrum disorders; coactivation-based parcellation; functional characterization; middle temporal gyrus; resting-state functional connectivity

PMID:
31729198
DOI:
10.1002/aur.2239

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