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Approaches to local connectivity in autism using resting state functional connectivity MRI

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00605
  • Neuroscience
  • Original Research Article


While the literature on aberrant long-distance connectivity in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has grown fast over the past decade, little is known about local connectivity. We used regional homogeneity and local density approaches at different spatial scales to examine local connectivity in 29 children and adolescents with ASD and 29 matched typically developing participants, using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Across a total of 12 analysis pipelines, the gross pattern of between-group findings was overall stable, with local overconnectivity in the ASD group in occipital and posterior temporal regions and underconnectivity in middle/posterior cingulate, and medial prefrontal regions. This general pattern was confirmed in secondary analyses for low-motion subsamples (n = 20 per group), in which time series segments with >0.25 mm head motion were censored, as well as in an analysis including global signal regression. Local overconnectivity in visual regions appears consistent with preference for local over global visual processing previously reported in ASD, whereas cingulate and medial frontal underconnectivity may relate to aberrant function within the default mode network.

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