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Location, Location, Location: Alterations in the Functional Topography of Face- but not Object- or Place-Related Cortex in Adolescents with Autism.

Scherf KS, Luna B, Minshew N, Behrmann M - Front Hum Neurosci (2010)

Bottom Line: With these data, we mapped the functional topography of category-selective activation for faces bilaterally in the fusiform gyrus, occipital face area, and posterior superior temporal sulcus.Additionally, we mapped category-selective activation for objects in the lateral occipital area and for places in the parahippocampal place area in the two groups.Our findings do not indicate a generalized disruption in the development of the entire ventral visual pathway in autism.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

ABSTRACT
In autism, impairments in face processing are a relatively recent discovery, but have quickly become a widely accepted aspect of the behavioral profile. Only a handful of studies have investigated potential atypicalities in autism in the development of the neural substrates mediating face processing. High-functioning individuals with autism (HFA) and matched typically developing (TD) controls watched dynamic movie vignettes of faces, common objects, buildings, and scenes of navigation while undergoing an fMRI scan. With these data, we mapped the functional topography of category-selective activation for faces bilaterally in the fusiform gyrus, occipital face area, and posterior superior temporal sulcus. Additionally, we mapped category-selective activation for objects in the lateral occipital area and for places in the parahippocampal place area in the two groups. Our findings do not indicate a generalized disruption in the development of the entire ventral visual pathway in autism. Instead, our results suggest that the functional topography of face-related cortex is selectively disrupted in autism and that this alteration is present in early adolescence. Furthermore, for those HFA adolescents who do exhibit face-selective activation, this activation tends to be located in traditionally object-related regions, which supports the hypothesis that perceptual processing of faces in autism may be more akin to the perceptual processing of common objects in TD individuals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Inter-subject variability in location, size, and magnitude of object-selective activation in the lateral occipital (LO). The individually defined object contrast map for each participant in each group, represented in a unique color, was thresholded using the FDR procedure (q < 0.10) and overlaid onto a single inflated brain. The respective group-defined ROIs are illustrated in white. There was high consistency in the location of object-selective activation across the groups, particularly in the left LO. (A) Fifty percent of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, with 40% in the TD group-defined right LO ROI, and 70% of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO, all of whom showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. (B) Similarly, 60% of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO and all of these individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, as defined by the TD group, and 90% of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO with 70% of these individuals showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. (C,D) There were no group differences in the extent (total number of active voxels) or magnitude of object-selectivity (difference in beta weights for objects and faces from the individual subject ROI GLMs) in the right or left LO ROIs.
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Figure 6: Inter-subject variability in location, size, and magnitude of object-selective activation in the lateral occipital (LO). The individually defined object contrast map for each participant in each group, represented in a unique color, was thresholded using the FDR procedure (q < 0.10) and overlaid onto a single inflated brain. The respective group-defined ROIs are illustrated in white. There was high consistency in the location of object-selective activation across the groups, particularly in the left LO. (A) Fifty percent of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, with 40% in the TD group-defined right LO ROI, and 70% of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO, all of whom showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. (B) Similarly, 60% of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO and all of these individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, as defined by the TD group, and 90% of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO with 70% of these individuals showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. (C,D) There were no group differences in the extent (total number of active voxels) or magnitude of object-selectivity (difference in beta weights for objects and faces from the individual subject ROI GLMs) in the right or left LO ROIs.

Mentions: Figure 6 illustrates the composite maps of object-related activation defined uniquely for each individual within each group in the lateral occipital complex (Figures 6A,B). Only 50% of the individuals in the TD group exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, with 40% exhibiting object-selective activation in the TD group-defined right LO ROI. Similarly, 60% of the individuals in the HFA group exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO and all of these HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO as defined by the TD group. In the left LO, 70% of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation and all of these individuals showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. Ninety percent of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO and 70% of these individuals showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. Furthermore, there were no group differences in the individual variability of the locus of activation in either the right LO, t(9) = 1.2, p = ns, or the left LO t(14) = 1.7, p = ns (see Figure 6).


Location, Location, Location: Alterations in the Functional Topography of Face- but not Object- or Place-Related Cortex in Adolescents with Autism.

Scherf KS, Luna B, Minshew N, Behrmann M - Front Hum Neurosci (2010)

Inter-subject variability in location, size, and magnitude of object-selective activation in the lateral occipital (LO). The individually defined object contrast map for each participant in each group, represented in a unique color, was thresholded using the FDR procedure (q < 0.10) and overlaid onto a single inflated brain. The respective group-defined ROIs are illustrated in white. There was high consistency in the location of object-selective activation across the groups, particularly in the left LO. (A) Fifty percent of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, with 40% in the TD group-defined right LO ROI, and 70% of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO, all of whom showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. (B) Similarly, 60% of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO and all of these individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, as defined by the TD group, and 90% of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO with 70% of these individuals showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. (C,D) There were no group differences in the extent (total number of active voxels) or magnitude of object-selectivity (difference in beta weights for objects and faces from the individual subject ROI GLMs) in the right or left LO ROIs.
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Figure 6: Inter-subject variability in location, size, and magnitude of object-selective activation in the lateral occipital (LO). The individually defined object contrast map for each participant in each group, represented in a unique color, was thresholded using the FDR procedure (q < 0.10) and overlaid onto a single inflated brain. The respective group-defined ROIs are illustrated in white. There was high consistency in the location of object-selective activation across the groups, particularly in the left LO. (A) Fifty percent of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, with 40% in the TD group-defined right LO ROI, and 70% of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO, all of whom showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. (B) Similarly, 60% of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO and all of these individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, as defined by the TD group, and 90% of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO with 70% of these individuals showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. (C,D) There were no group differences in the extent (total number of active voxels) or magnitude of object-selectivity (difference in beta weights for objects and faces from the individual subject ROI GLMs) in the right or left LO ROIs.
Mentions: Figure 6 illustrates the composite maps of object-related activation defined uniquely for each individual within each group in the lateral occipital complex (Figures 6A,B). Only 50% of the individuals in the TD group exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO, with 40% exhibiting object-selective activation in the TD group-defined right LO ROI. Similarly, 60% of the individuals in the HFA group exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO and all of these HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the right LO as defined by the TD group. In the left LO, 70% of the TD individuals exhibited object-selective activation and all of these individuals showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. Ninety percent of the HFA individuals exhibited object-selective activation in the left LO and 70% of these individuals showed overlapping activation in the TD group-defined left LO. Furthermore, there were no group differences in the individual variability of the locus of activation in either the right LO, t(9) = 1.2, p = ns, or the left LO t(14) = 1.7, p = ns (see Figure 6).

Bottom Line: With these data, we mapped the functional topography of category-selective activation for faces bilaterally in the fusiform gyrus, occipital face area, and posterior superior temporal sulcus.Additionally, we mapped category-selective activation for objects in the lateral occipital area and for places in the parahippocampal place area in the two groups.Our findings do not indicate a generalized disruption in the development of the entire ventral visual pathway in autism.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

ABSTRACT
In autism, impairments in face processing are a relatively recent discovery, but have quickly become a widely accepted aspect of the behavioral profile. Only a handful of studies have investigated potential atypicalities in autism in the development of the neural substrates mediating face processing. High-functioning individuals with autism (HFA) and matched typically developing (TD) controls watched dynamic movie vignettes of faces, common objects, buildings, and scenes of navigation while undergoing an fMRI scan. With these data, we mapped the functional topography of category-selective activation for faces bilaterally in the fusiform gyrus, occipital face area, and posterior superior temporal sulcus. Additionally, we mapped category-selective activation for objects in the lateral occipital area and for places in the parahippocampal place area in the two groups. Our findings do not indicate a generalized disruption in the development of the entire ventral visual pathway in autism. Instead, our results suggest that the functional topography of face-related cortex is selectively disrupted in autism and that this alteration is present in early adolescence. Furthermore, for those HFA adolescents who do exhibit face-selective activation, this activation tends to be located in traditionally object-related regions, which supports the hypothesis that perceptual processing of faces in autism may be more akin to the perceptual processing of common objects in TD individuals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus