The functional neuroanatomy of autism

Paolo Brambilla, Antonio Y. Hardan, Stefania Ucelli di Nemi, Edgardo Caverzasi, Jair C. Soares, Jorge Perez, Francesco Barale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Autism is a neurodevelopmental syndrome characterized by impaired social and executive functions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a non-invasive technique that allows investigation of the neural networks underlying cognitive impairments in autism. In this article, brain imaging studies investigating the functional brain anatomy of autism are reviewed. Face recognition, theory of mind and executive functions have all been explored in functional neuroimaging studies involving autistic patients. The available literature suggests an involvement of abnormal functional mechanisms in face recognition, mentalization and executive functions in adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome, possibly due to brain maturation abnormalities, and resulting in dysfunctional reciprocal cortico-subcortical connections. Future functional neuroimaging research should investigate subgroups of autistic children and adolescents longitudinally and attempt to integrate genetic, cognitive and empirical approaches. Such studies will be instrumental in furthering understanding of the pathophysiology of autism and in exploring the importance of dimensional measures of the broader phenotype currently defined as autism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalFunctional Neurology
Volume19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

Fingerprint

Neuroanatomy
Autistic Disorder
Executive Function
Functional Neuroimaging
Asperger Syndrome
Theory of Mind
Brain
Neuroimaging
Anatomy
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Phenotype
Research

Keywords

  • Brain imaging
  • fMRI
  • MRS
  • Neuroimaging
  • PET
  • SPECT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Brambilla, P., Hardan, A. Y., Ucelli di Nemi, S., Caverzasi, E., Soares, J. C., Perez, J., & Barale, F. (2004). The functional neuroanatomy of autism. Functional Neurology, 19(1), 9-17.

The functional neuroanatomy of autism. / Brambilla, Paolo; Hardan, Antonio Y.; Ucelli di Nemi, Stefania; Caverzasi, Edgardo; Soares, Jair C.; Perez, Jorge; Barale, Francesco.

In: Functional Neurology, Vol. 19, No. 1, 01.2004, p. 9-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brambilla, P, Hardan, AY, Ucelli di Nemi, S, Caverzasi, E, Soares, JC, Perez, J & Barale, F 2004, 'The functional neuroanatomy of autism', Functional Neurology, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 9-17.
Brambilla P, Hardan AY, Ucelli di Nemi S, Caverzasi E, Soares JC, Perez J et al. The functional neuroanatomy of autism. Functional Neurology. 2004 Jan;19(1):9-17.
Brambilla, Paolo ; Hardan, Antonio Y. ; Ucelli di Nemi, Stefania ; Caverzasi, Edgardo ; Soares, Jair C. ; Perez, Jorge ; Barale, Francesco. / The functional neuroanatomy of autism. In: Functional Neurology. 2004 ; Vol. 19, No. 1. pp. 9-17.
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