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Brain Cogn. 2011 Feb;75(1):18-28. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2010.10.005. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Distortions and disconnections: disrupted brain connectivity in autism.

Author information

1
Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, School of Psychology, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom. samwass@gmail.com

Abstract

The past few years have seen considerable interest in findings of abnormal brain connectivity in the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We review recent work from neuroimaging and other sources, and argue that there is considerable convergent evidence suggesting that connectivity is disrupted in ASD. We point to evidence both of local over-connectivity and of long-distance under-connectivity, and describe some non-uniformities in this picture, most notably that disruptions appear more severe in later-developing cortical regions. We conclude by discussing a number of extant questions. Firstly, we consider whether aberrant connectivity should be seen as part of the primary pathogenesis of autism, or whether disrupted connectivity in ASD emerges over time. Secondly, we consider how the patterns of disrupted connectivity found in ASD might relate to those being found in a range of other disorders.

PMID:
21055864
DOI:
10.1016/j.bandc.2010.10.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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