Reference Work Entry

Comprehensive Guide to Autism

pp 947-962

Imaging and the Corpus Callosum in Patients with Autism

  • Manuel F. CasanovaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville Email author 
  • , Brynn DombroskiAffiliated withUniversity of Louisville
  • , Andrew E. SwitalaAffiliated withUniversity of Louisville

Abstract

The human brain contains an architectural network of white and gray matter structures, fiber connections, and arteries that have been engineered to work synchronously to execute a variety of functions such as walking, talking, thinking, feeling, and perceiving. The structure responsible for the rapid exchange of information necessary for these functions to occur is called the corpus callosum. Researchers have learned a great deal about the structure and function of the corpus callosum through early split-brain investigations in which the corpus callosum was partially or fully ablated from the patient. In recognizing how vital this structure is in performing daily functions, it became apparent that the corpus callosum may be implicated in several neurodevelopmental disorders. This chapter provides an overview of the structure and function of the corpus callosum, common methods of measuring this structure, along with reports of gender dimorphism and atypical findings in autism.