Over and Under: The Ways the Brain Connects in Autism featured on CW 6 News


Amanda Khan, a former SDSU psychology MA student in Dr. Ralph-Axel Müller‘s lab and now a doctoral candidate at Suffolk University in Boston , is first author on an autism functional connectivity paper published in the journal of Biological Psychiatry: A Journal of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Therapeutics. Ralph-Axel Müller, Ph.D., was interviewed by both the San Diego CW 6 News and SDSU NewsCenter regarding this study. The manuscript titled “Cerebro-cerebellar resting state functional connectivity in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder,” discusses the neuroscientists  findings that children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have an increased sensorimotor intrinsic functional connectivity at the expense of connectivity supporting cerebellar participation in supramodal cognition. What results in children with ASD is that the connections between parts of the cerebral cortex, the outer layer of the cerebrum (see pictures above),  and the cerebellum are overdeveloped. Meanwhile, they found that the connections between the cerebellum and another part of the cerebral cortex that is involved in  higher-order cognitive functions such as decision-making, attention, and language are underdeveloped. This study is of particular importance due to the fact that it could contribute to the development of a reliable brain-based test for diagnosing autism.  Click here to view the San Diego 6 News interview and here to read the SDSU article.



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