, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 19-31

Brain Mapping of Language and Auditory Perception in High-Functioning Autistic Adults: A PET Study

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We examined the brain organization for language and auditory functions in five high-functioning autistic and five normal adults, using [15O]-water positron emission tomography (PET). Cerebral blood flow was studied for rest, listening to tones, and listening to, repeating, and generating sentences. The autism group (compared to the control group) showed (a) reversed hemispheric dominance during verbal auditory stimulation; (b) a trend towards reduced activation of auditory cortex during acoustic stimulation; and (c) reduced cerebellar activation during nonverbal auditory perception and possibly expressive language. These results are compatible with findings of cerebellar anomalies and may suggest a tendency towards atypical dominance for language in autism.