Autism is not associated with any single deficit in the brain.
Instead, the neural bases of autism are likely to lie in the brainâ€™s connections and pathways. Primary research methodologies employed in the search for neural associates of autism are neuroimaging, post-mortem analysis, and animal models. Collectively, these techniques have focused on potential abnormalities in the cerebellum, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. Autism has also been linked to irregularities in neurotransmission, particularly in the GABA-A receptor, serotonin and acetylcholine. There is also evidence that overall brain size is increased in some individuals with autism. Neuroimaging using functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI) suggests that the fusiform â€œface areaâ€ in the temporal lobe may be impaired in people with autistic disorder. This is interesting, because this area of the brain is associated with face recognition (or emotional expression) â€“ autistic individuals often have profound difficulties in recognizing even very basic facial expressions.
autism, brain size, amygdala, neuroimaging, hippocampus, cerebellum, functional magnetic resonance, frontal cortex, temporal lobe
- ID: 872
- Source: DNALC.G2C
The G2C Brain consists of 30 interactive 3-D structures with information on associated functions, disorders, related brain damage, case studies, and links to contemporary research.
Abnormal activity in specific brain regions has been associated with autism spectrum disorders.
Brain scans of close relatives of children with autism reveal clear abnormalities that parallel those seen in autism.
Professor Philip Shaw discusses three brain areas in relation to the neuropathology of ADHD: the frontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus.
Professor Daniel Weinberger describes how neuroimaging techniques are being used to examine the brains of schizophrenic patients.
Neuroimaging studies of autism highlight a dysfunctional mirror neuron system, particularly in an area called the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.
The frontal lobe is part of the cerebral cortex and is the largest of the brain's structures. It is the main site of so–called 'higher' cognitive functions.
Only quite recently have neuroscientists begun to understand the importance of white matter, a long-neglected part of the brain.
Professor Trevor Robbins describes functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, which is used to take detailed images of the functioning brain.
Professor Wayne Drevets explains how positron emission tomography (PET) is used to examine biochemicals in the brain such as serotonin.