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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (14)
- Brain : a Journal of Neurology
- Biological Psychiatry
- Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
- Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
- Social Neuroscience
- Autism Research : Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
- Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
- Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
- Physics of Life Reviews
- Physics of Life Reviews
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Articles by Rajesh K. Kana in JoVE
Sondando o cérebro no autismo utilizando fMRI e Difusão Tensor Imagem
Rajesh K. Kana, Donna L. Murdaugh, Lauren E. Libero, Mark R. Pennick, Heather M. Wadsworth, Rishi Deshpande, Christi P. Hu
Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Técnicas de neuroimagem, como a ressonância magnética funcional e Tensor de Difusão de imagens tornaram-se cada vez mais útil na caracterização dos déficits cognitivos e neural no autismo. Um exame de conectividade do cérebro no autismo a um nível de rede, juntamente com adaptações para a digitalização de crianças com deficiências de desenvolvimento é apresentado.
Other articles by Rajesh K. Kana on PubMed
Brain : a Journal of Neurology. Sep, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16835247
Comprehending high-imagery sentences like The number eight when rotated 90 degrees looks like a pair of eyeglasses involves the participation and integration of several cortical regions. The linguistic content must be processed to determine what is to be mentally imaged, and then the mental image must be evaluated and related to the sentence. A theory of cortical underconnectivity in autism predicts that the interregional collaboration required between linguistic and imaginal processing in this task would be underserved in autism. This functional MRI study examined brain activation in 12 participants with autism and 13 age- and IQ-matched control participants while they processed sentences with either high- or low-imagery content. The analysis of functional connectivity among cortical regions showed that the language and spatial centres in the participants with autism were not as well synchronized as in controls. In addition to the functional connectivity differences, there was also a group difference in activation. In the processing of low-imagery sentences (e.g. Addition, subtraction and multiplication are all math skills), the use of imagery is not essential to comprehension. Nevertheless, the autism group activated parietal and occipital brain regions associated with imagery for comprehending both the low and high-imagery sentences, suggesting that they were using mental imagery in both conditions. In contrast, the control group showed imagery-related activation primarily in the high-imagery condition. The findings provide further evidence of underintegration of language and imagery in autism (and hence expand the understanding of underconnectivity) but also show that people with autism are more reliant on visualization to support language comprehension.
Neuroreport. Nov, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17047454
Brain activity in people with high-functioning autism has been shown to be atypical in a number of ways, including reduced synchronization across areas of activation measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. This activation atypicality has been observed mostly during the performance of cognitive tasks. This study compares the resting-state network of 57 participants with autism and 57 control participants matched for age and intelligence quotient. The results indicate that both groups have a resting-state network that is very similar both in volume and in organization, but in autism this network is much more loosely connected. This functional underconnectivity was observed in the anterior-posterior connections. The results expand the theory of cortical underconnectivity in autism to the resting state of the brain.
Inhibitory Control in High-functioning Autism: Decreased Activation and Underconnectivity in Inhibition Networks
Biological Psychiatry. Aug, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17137558
Inhibiting prepotent responses is critical to optimal cognitive and behavioral function across many domains. Several behavioral studies have investigated response inhibition in autism, and the findings varied according to the components involved in inhibition. There has been only one published functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study so far on inhibition in autism, which found greater activation in participants with autism than control participants.
Neuroreport. Jan, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17259855
Diffusion tensor imaging was used to examine developmental changes in the organization of white matter in a large sample of male participants with autism and controls between the ages of 10 and 35 years. Participants with autism had lower fractional anisotropy in areas within and near the corpus callosum and in the right retrolenticular portion of the internal capsule. Only one area, in the posterior limb of the right internal capsule, showed an interaction between age and group. The findings suggest that reductions in the structural integrity of white matter in autism persist into adulthood. These reductions may underlie the behavioral pattern observed in autism, as well as findings of reduced functional connectivity in functional magnetic resonance imaging signal between activating cortical areas.
Functional and Anatomical Cortical Underconnectivity in Autism: Evidence from an FMRI Study of an Executive Function Task and Corpus Callosum Morphometry
Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). Apr, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 16772313
The brain activation of a group of high-functioning autistic participants was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging during the performance of a Tower of London task, in comparison with a control group matched with respect to intelligent quotient, age, and gender. The 2 groups generally activated the same cortical areas to similar degrees. However, there were 3 indications of underconnectivity in the group with autism. First, the degree of synchronization (i.e., the functional connectivity or the correlation of the time series of the activation) between the frontal and parietal areas of activation was lower for the autistic than the control participants. Second, relevant parts of the corpus callosum, through which many of the bilaterally activated cortical areas communicate, were smaller in cross-sectional area in the autistic participants. Third, within the autism group but not within the control group, the size of the genu of the corpus callosum was correlated with frontal-parietal functional connectivity. These findings suggest that the neural basis of altered cognition in autism entails a lower degree of integration of information across certain cortical areas resulting from reduced intracortical connectivity. The results add support to a new theory of cortical underconnectivity in autism, which posits a deficit in integration of information at the neural and cognitive levels.
FMRI Investigation of Working Memory for Faces in Autism: Visual Coding and Underconnectivity with Frontal Areas
Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 17517680
Brain activation and functional connectivity were investigated in high functioning autism using functional magnetic resonance imaging in an n-back working memory task involving photographic face stimuli. The autism group showed reliably lower activation compared with controls in the inferior left prefrontal area (involved in verbal processing and working memory maintenance) and the right posterior temporal area (associated with theory of mind processing). The participants with autism also showed activation in a somewhat different location in the fusiform area than the control participants. These results suggest that the neural circuitry of the brain for face processing in autism may be analyzing the features of the face more as objects and less in terms of their human significance. The functional connectivity results revealed that the abnormal fusiform activation was embedded in a larger context of smaller and less synchronized networks, particularly indicating lower functional connectivity with frontal areas. In contrast to the underconnectivity with frontal areas, the autism group showed no underconnectivity among posterior cortical regions. These results extend previous findings of abnormal face perception in autism by demonstrating that the abnormalities are embedded in an abnormal cortical network that manages to perform the working memory task proficiently, using a visually oriented, asocial processing style that minimizes reliance on prefrontal areas.
Theory of Mind Disruption and Recruitment of the Right Hemisphere During Narrative Comprehension in Autism
Neuropsychologia. Jan, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 17869314
The intersection of Theory of Mind (ToM) processing and complex narrative comprehension in high functioning autism was examined by comparing cortical activation during the reading of passages that required inferences based on either intentions, emotional states, or physical causality. Right hemisphere activation was substantially greater for all sentences in the autism group than in a matched control group suggesting decreased LH capacity in autism resulting in a spillover of processing to RH homologs. Moreover, the ToM network was disrupted. The autism group showed similar activation for all inference types in the right temporo-parietal component of the ToM network whereas the control participants selectively activated this network only when appropriate. The autism group had lower functional connectivity within the ToM network and also between the ToM and a left hemisphere language network. Furthermore, the within-network functional connectivity in autism was correlated with the size of the anterior portion of the corpus callosum.
Atypical Frontal-posterior Synchronization of Theory of Mind Regions in Autism During Mental State Attribution
Social Neuroscience. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18633829
This study used fMRI to investigate the functioning of the Theory of Mind (ToM) cortical network in autism during the viewing of animations that in some conditions entailed the attribution of a mental state to animated geometric figures. At the cortical level, mentalizing (attribution of metal states) is underpinned by the coordination and integration of the components of the ToM network, which include the medial frontal gyrus, the anterior paracingulate, and the right temporoparietal junction. The pivotal new finding was a functional underconnectivity (a lower degree of synchronization) in autism, especially in the connections between frontal and posterior areas during the attribution of mental states. In addition, the frontal ToM regions activated less in participants with autism relative to control participants. In the autism group, an independent psychometric assessment of ToM ability and the activation in the right temporoparietal junction were reliably correlated. The results together provide new evidence for the biological basis of atypical processing of ToM in autism, implicating the underconnectivity between frontal regions and more posterior areas.
Cortical Underconnectivity Coupled with Preserved Visuospatial Cognition in Autism: Evidence from an FMRI Study of an Embedded Figures Task
Autism Research : Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20740492
Individuals with high-functioning autism sometimes exhibit intact or superior performance on visuospatial tasks, in contrast to impaired functioning in other domains such as language comprehension, executive tasks, and social functions. The goal of the current study was to investigate the neural bases of preserved visuospatial processing in high-functioning autism from the perspective of the cortical underconnectivity theory. We used a combination of behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging, functional connectivity, and corpus callosum morphometric methodological tools. Thirteen participants with high-functioning autism and 13 controls (age-, IQ-, and gender-matched) were scanned while performing an Embedded Figures Task. Despite the ability of the autism group to attain behavioral performance comparable to the control group, the brain imaging results revealed several group differences consistent with the cortical underconnectivity account of autism. First, relative to controls, the autism group showed less activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal areas and more activation in visuospatial (bilateral superior parietal extending to inferior parietal and right occipital) areas. Second, the autism group demonstrated lower functional connectivity between higher-order working memory/executive areas and visuospatial regions (between frontal and parietal-occipital). Third, the size of the corpus callosum (an index of anatomical connectivity) was positively correlated with frontal-posterior (parietal and occipital) functional connectivity in the autism group. Thus, even in the visuospatial domain, where preserved performance among people with autism is observed, the neuroimaging signatures of cortical underconnectivity persist.
A Systems Level Analysis of the Mirror Neuron Hypothesis and Imitation Impairments in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. Jan, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 20974171
Although several studies suggest an imitation deficit as a key feature of autism, questions have been raised about the consistency of this finding and about the component skills involved in imitation. The primary aim of this review is to examine the uneven profile of imitation deficits found in autism in the context of the mirror neuron system (MNS) dysfunction hypothesis. We use the cortical underconnectivity framework (Just et al., 2004) to examine the coordination of brain areas that orchestrate the communication between the component skills underlying imitation. A comprehensive account of imitation deficit in autism should take into account the regions that are at the core of the MNS (e.g., IFG and IPL) and related regions that feed into the MNS (e.g., STS, Cerebellum) in their functioning and in their coordination. Our findings suggest that the MNS may be associated with mediating familiarity, attention, self-other matching, and social relevance, which may be vital in characterizing the imitation deficits in autism. Such an analysis may have greater clinical and therapeutic value.
Neuropsychologia. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21419144
The ability to conceptualize and manipulate tools in a complex manner is a distinguishing characteristic of humans, and forms a promising milestone in human evolution. While using tools is a motor act, proposals for executing such acts may be evoked by the mere perception of a tool. Imagining an action using a tool may invoke mental readjustment of body posture, planning motor movements, and matching such plans with the model action. This fMRI study examined the brain response in 32 healthy adults when they either viewed a tool or imagined using it. While both viewing and imagining tasks recruited similar regions, imagined tool use showed greater activation in motor areas, and in areas around the bilateral temporoparietal junction. Viewing tools, on the other hand, produced robust activation in the inferior frontal, occipital, parietal, and ventral temporal areas. Analysis of gender differences indicated males recruiting medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices and females, left supramarginal gyrus and left anterior insula. While tool viewing seems to generate prehensions about using them, the imagined action using a tool mirrored brain responses underlying functional use of it. The findings of this study may suggest that perception and imagination of tools may form precursors to overt actions.
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21504992
Accurately reading the body language of others may be vital for navigating the social world, and this ability may be influenced by factors, such as our gender, personality characteristics and neurocognitive processes. This fMRI study examined the brain activation of 26 healthy individuals (14 women and 12 men) while they judged the action performed or the emotion felt by stick figure characters appearing in different postures. In both tasks, participants activated areas associated with visual representation of the body, motion processing and emotion recognition. Behaviorally, participants demonstrated greater ease in judging the physical actions of the characters compared to judging their emotional states, and participants showed more activation in areas associated with emotion processing in the emotion detection task, whereas they showed more activation in visual, spatial and action-related areas in the physical action task. Gender differences emerged in brain responses, such that men showed greater activation than women in the left dorsal premotor cortex in both tasks. Finally, participants higher in self-reported empathy demonstrated greater activation in areas associated with self-referential processing and emotion interpretation. These results suggest that empathy levels and sex of the participant may affect neural responses to emotional body language.
Physics of Life Reviews. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22018722
Recent findings of neurological functioning in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) point to altered brain connectivity as a key feature of its pathophysiology. The cortical underconnectivity theory of ASD (Just et al., 2004) provides an integrated framework for addressing these new findings. This theory suggests that weaker functional connections among brain areas in those with ASD hamper their ability to accomplish complex cognitive and social tasks successfully. We will discuss this theory, but will modify the term underconnectivity to 'disrupted cortical connectivity' to capture patterns of both under- and over-connectivity in the brain. In this paper, we will review the existing literature on ASD to marshal supporting evidence for hypotheses formulated on the disrupted cortical connectivity theory. These hypotheses are: 1) underconnectivity in ASD is manifested mainly in long-distance cortical as well as subcortical connections rather than in short-distance cortical connections; 2) underconnectivity in ASD is manifested only in complex cognitive and social functions and not in low-level sensory and perceptual tasks; 3) functional underconnectivity in ASD may be the result of underlying anatomical abnormalities, such as problems in the integrity of white matter; 4) the ASD brain adapts to underconnectivity through compensatory strategies such as overconnectivity mainly in frontal and in posterior brain areas. This may be manifested as deficits in tasks that require frontal-parietal integration. While overconnectivity can be tested by examining the cortical minicolumn organization, long-distance underconnectivity can be tested by cognitively demanding tasks; and 5) functional underconnectivity in brain areas in ASD will be seen not only during complex tasks but also during task-free resting states. We will also discuss some empirical predictions that can be tested in future studies, such as: 1) how disrupted connectivity relates to cognitive impairments in skills such as Theory-of-Mind, cognitive flexibility, and information processing; and 2) how connection abnormalities relate to, and may determine, behavioral symptoms hallmarked by the triad of Impairments in ASD. Furthermore, we will relate the disrupted cortical connectivity model to existing cognitive and neural models of ASD.