Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1630–1641 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Grey-Matter and ASD and ADHD Traits in Typical Adults

  • Hilde M. GeurtsEmail author
  • K. Richard Ridderinkhof
  • H. Steven Scholte
Original Paper


We tested whether in 85 healthy adults (18–29 years) there is a relationship between grey-matter (GM) volume and autism and ADHD symptom severity. The structural MRI findings and autism and ADHD self-reports revealed that autism and ADHD symptom severity was correlated with GM volume in the left inferior frontal gyrus. Autism symptom-severity was correlated with the left posterior cingulate, ADHD with the right parietal lobe, right temporal frontal cortex, bilateral thalamus, and left hippocampus/amygdala complex. Symptom severity of both disorders form a continuum extending into the general population, but it seems to be an oversimplification to typify psychiatric disorders such as autism and ADHD solely as extremes of brain structure abnormalities.


ADHD Autism ASD VBM Grey-matter sMRI 



We thank Andries van der Leij and Romke Rouw for various fruitful discussions. We thank Sanne van den Bergh for assisting us with the manuscript preparation.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors, Hilde M. Geurts, K. Richard Ridderinkhof, and Steven H. Scholte, reported any biomedical financial interests of other potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilde M. Geurts
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • K. Richard Ridderinkhof
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • H. Steven Scholte
    • 1
  1. 1.Brain and Cognition, Department of PsychologyUniversiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, ADHD and Autism Research Center (d’Arc)Universiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Psychology, Amsterdam Center for the Study of Adaptive Control in Brain and Behavior (Acacia)Universiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Cognitive Science Centre Amsterdam (CSCA)Universiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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