Visuospatial Processing and the Function of Prefrontal-Parietal Networks in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Functional MRI Study

Timothy Silk
2006 American Journal of Psychiatry  
Objective: Individuals with autism spectrum disorders typically have normal visuospatial abilities but impaired executive functioning, particularly in abilities related to working memory and attention. The aim of this study was to elucidate the func-tioning of frontoparietal networks underlying spatial working memory processes during mental rotation in persons with autism spectrum disorders. Method: Seven adolescent males with normal IQ with an autism spectrum disorder and nine age-and
more » ... ne age-and IQ-matched male comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scans while performing a mental rotation task. Results: The autism spectrum disorders group showed less activation in lateral and medial premotor cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus, and caudate nucleus. Conclusions: The finding of less activation in prefrontal regions but not in parietal regions supports a model of dysfunction of frontostriatal networks in autism spectrum disorders.
doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.163.8.1440 pmid:16877661 fatcat:2442np7zg5cdhaku2vod56fviy