Scientific article
Open access

Early alterations of social brain networks in young children with autism

Published ineLife, vol. 7, e31670
Publication date2018

Social impairments are a hallmark of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but empirical evidence for early brain network alterations in response to social stimuli is scant in ASD. We recorded the gaze patterns and brain activity of toddlers with ASD and their typically developing peers while they explored dynamic social scenes. Directed functional connectivity analyses based on electrical source imaging revealed frequency specific network atypicalities in the theta and alpha frequency bands, manifesting as alterations in both the driving and the connections from key nodes of the social brain associated with autism. Analyses of brain-behavioural relationships within the ASD group suggested that compensatory mechanisms from dorsomedial frontal, inferior temporal and insular cortical regions were associated with less atypical gaze patterns and lower clinical impairment. Our results provide strong evidence that directed functional connectivity alterations of social brain networks is a core component of atypical brain development at early stages of ASD.

Citation (ISO format)
SPERDIN, Holger Franz et al. Early alterations of social brain networks in young children with autism. In: eLife, 2018, vol. 7, p. e31670. doi: 10.7554/eLife.31670
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2050-084X

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Creation03/02/2018 5:51:00 PM
First validation03/02/2018 5:51:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 7:56:59 AM
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