Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 300–316

Cerebellum, Language, and Cognition in Autism and Specific Language Impairment

Authors

  • Steven M. Hodge
    • Center for Morphometric AnalysisMassachusetts General Hospital
    • Radiology Computer Aided Diagnostics LaboratoryMassachusetts General Hospital
  • Nikos Makris
    • Center for Morphometric AnalysisMassachusetts General Hospital
  • David N. Kennedy
    • Center for Morphometric AnalysisMassachusetts General Hospital
  • Verne S. CavinessJr.
    • Center for Morphometric AnalysisMassachusetts General Hospital
  • James Howard
    • Center for Morphometric AnalysisMassachusetts General Hospital
  • Lauren McGrath
    • Lab of Cognitive NeuroscienceBoston University School of Medicine
  • Shelly Steele
    • Lab of Cognitive NeuroscienceBoston University School of Medicine
  • Jean A. Frazier
    • Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical School
    • Center for Child and Adolescent Development, Department of PsychiatryCambridge Health Alliance
  • Helen Tager-Flusberg
    • Lab of Cognitive NeuroscienceBoston University School of Medicine
    • Radiology Computer Aided Diagnostics LaboratoryMassachusetts General Hospital
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0872-7

Cite this article as:
Hodge, S.M., Makris, N., Kennedy, D.N. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2010) 40: 300. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0872-7

Abstract

We performed cerebellum segmentation and parcellation on magnetic resonance images from right-handed boys, aged 6–13 years, including 22 boys with autism [16 with language impairment (ALI)], 9 boys with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), and 11 normal controls. Language-impaired groups had reversed asymmetry relative to unimpaired groups in posterior-lateral cerebellar lobule VIIIA (right side larger in unimpaired groups, left side larger in ALI and SLI), contralateral to previous findings in inferior frontal cortex language areas. Lobule VIIA Crus I was smaller in SLI than in ALI. Vermis volume, particularly anterior I–V, was decreased in language-impaired groups. Language performance test scores correlated with lobule VIIIA asymmetry and with anterior vermis volume. These findings suggest ALI and SLI subjects show abnormalities in neurodevelopment of fronto-corticocerebellar circuits that manage motor control and the processing of language, cognition, working memory, and attention.

Keywords

Autism Specific language impairment Cerebellum Broca’s area Asymmetry

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009