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Brief Report: Brain Activation to Social Words in a Sedated Child with Autism

Abstract

A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was performed on a 4-year-old girl with autism. While sedated, she listened to three utterances (numbers, hello, her own first name) played through headphones. Based on analyses of the fMRI data, the amount of total brain activation varied with the content of the utterance. The greatest volume of overall activation was in response to numbers, followed by the word ‘hello’, with the least activation to her name. Frontal cortex activation was greatest in response to her name, with less activation for numbers, and the least for the word ‘hello.’ These findings indicate that fMRI can identify and quantify the brain regions that are activated in response to words in children with autism under sedation.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by center grants from NIEHS-ES11256 and USEPA-R829391, and grants from NIDA-R01-DA07109, NIMH-R01-MH59391 and NIMH-R01-MH64473. The authors wish to acknowledge the help of Salim Samuel and Michael Schlenk of the Laurie Imaging Center on the collection and interpretation of the MRI images.

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Correspondence to Dennis P. Carmody.

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Carmody, D.P., Moreno, R., Mars, A.E. et al. Brief Report: Brain Activation to Social Words in a Sedated Child with Autism. J Autism Dev Disord 37, 1381–1385 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-006-0270-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-006-0270-3

Keywords

  • Autism
  • fMRI
  • Self-awareness