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Behavioural profiling of autism connectivity abnormalities

  • William Snyder (a1) and Vanessa Troiani (a2)

Abstract

Background

Brain regions are functionally diverse, and a given region may engage in a variety of tasks. This functional diversity of brain regions may be one factor that has prevented the finding of consistent biomarkers for brain disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Thus, methods to characterise brain regions would help to determine how functional abnormalities contribute to affected behaviours.

Aims

As the first illustration of the meta-analytic behavioural profiling procedure, we evaluated how the regions with disrupted connectivity in ASD contributed to various behaviours.

Method

Connectivity abnormalities were determined from a published degree centrality group comparison based on functional magnetic resonance imaging data from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange. Using BrainMap's database of task-based neuroimaging studies, behavioural profiles were created for abnormally connected regions by relating these regions to tasks activating them.

Results

Hyperconnectivity in ASD brains was significantly related to memory, attention, reasoning, social, execution and speech behaviours. Hypoconnectivity was related to vision, execution and speech behaviours.

Conclusions

The procedure outlines the first clinical neuroimaging application of a behavioural profiling method that estimates the functional diversity of brain regions, allowing for the relation of abnormal functional connectivity to diagnostic criteria. Behavioural profiling and the computational insights it provides can facilitate better understanding of the functional manifestations of various disorders, including ASD.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Keywords

Behavioural profiling of autism connectivity abnormalities

  • William Snyder (a1) and Vanessa Troiani (a2)

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Behavioural profiling of autism connectivity abnormalities

  • William Snyder (a1) and Vanessa Troiani (a2)
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