Atypical Neural Activity in Males But Not Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Melissa Kirkovski, Peter G. Enticott, Matthew Edward Hughes, Susan L. Rossell, Paul B. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the right temporo-parietal junction (rTPj) are highly involved in social understanding, a core area of impairment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used fMRI to investigate sex differences in the neural correlates of social understanding in 27 high-functioning adults with ASD and 23 matched controls. There were no differences in neural activity in the mPFC or rTPj between groups during social processing. Whole brain analysis revealed decreased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus in males with ASD compared to control males while processing social information. This pattern was not observed in the female sub-sample. The current study indicates that sex mediates the neurobiology of ASD, particularly with respect to processing social information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-963
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Mentalizing network
  • Sex differences
  • Superior temporal sulcus
  • Temporo-parietal junction
  • Theory of mind

Cite this

@article{6bea0869736349938f73e5b2fe2d59fc,
title = "Atypical Neural Activity in Males But Not Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder",
abstract = "The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the right temporo-parietal junction (rTPj) are highly involved in social understanding, a core area of impairment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used fMRI to investigate sex differences in the neural correlates of social understanding in 27 high-functioning adults with ASD and 23 matched controls. There were no differences in neural activity in the mPFC or rTPj between groups during social processing. Whole brain analysis revealed decreased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus in males with ASD compared to control males while processing social information. This pattern was not observed in the female sub-sample. The current study indicates that sex mediates the neurobiology of ASD, particularly with respect to processing social information.",
keywords = "Autism spectrum disorder, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Medial prefrontal cortex, Mentalizing network, Sex differences, Superior temporal sulcus, Temporo-parietal junction, Theory of mind",
author = "Melissa Kirkovski and Enticott, {Peter G.} and Hughes, {Matthew Edward} and Rossell, {Susan L.} and Fitzgerald, {Paul B.}",
year = "2016",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s10803-015-2639-7",
language = "English",
volume = "46",
pages = "954--963",
journal = "Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders",
issn = "0162-3257",
publisher = "Springer-Verlag London Ltd.",
number = "3",

}

Atypical Neural Activity in Males But Not Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder. / Kirkovski, Melissa; Enticott, Peter G.; Hughes, Matthew Edward; Rossell, Susan L.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.

In: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Vol. 46, No. 3, 01.03.2016, p. 954-963.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Atypical Neural Activity in Males But Not Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder

AU - Kirkovski, Melissa

AU - Enticott, Peter G.

AU - Hughes, Matthew Edward

AU - Rossell, Susan L.

AU - Fitzgerald, Paul B.

PY - 2016/3/1

Y1 - 2016/3/1

N2 - The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the right temporo-parietal junction (rTPj) are highly involved in social understanding, a core area of impairment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used fMRI to investigate sex differences in the neural correlates of social understanding in 27 high-functioning adults with ASD and 23 matched controls. There were no differences in neural activity in the mPFC or rTPj between groups during social processing. Whole brain analysis revealed decreased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus in males with ASD compared to control males while processing social information. This pattern was not observed in the female sub-sample. The current study indicates that sex mediates the neurobiology of ASD, particularly with respect to processing social information.

AB - The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the right temporo-parietal junction (rTPj) are highly involved in social understanding, a core area of impairment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used fMRI to investigate sex differences in the neural correlates of social understanding in 27 high-functioning adults with ASD and 23 matched controls. There were no differences in neural activity in the mPFC or rTPj between groups during social processing. Whole brain analysis revealed decreased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus in males with ASD compared to control males while processing social information. This pattern was not observed in the female sub-sample. The current study indicates that sex mediates the neurobiology of ASD, particularly with respect to processing social information.

KW - Autism spectrum disorder

KW - Functional magnetic resonance imaging

KW - Medial prefrontal cortex

KW - Mentalizing network

KW - Sex differences

KW - Superior temporal sulcus

KW - Temporo-parietal junction

KW - Theory of mind

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84957850768&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10803-015-2639-7

DO - 10.1007/s10803-015-2639-7

M3 - Article

VL - 46

SP - 954

EP - 963

JO - Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

JF - Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

SN - 0162-3257

IS - 3

ER -