Age-dependent atypicalities in body- and face-sensitive activation of the EBA and FFA in individuals with ASD.

Research paper by Yuko Y Okamoto, Hirotaka H Kosaka, Ryo R Kitada, Ayumi A Seki, Hiroki C HC Tanabe, Masamichi J MJ Hayashi, Takanori T Kochiyama, Daisuke N DN Saito, Hisakazu T HT Yanaka, Toshio T Munesue, Makoto M Ishitobi, Masao M Omori, Yuji Y Wada, Hidehiko H Okazawa, Tatsuya T Koeda, et al.

Indexed on: 15 Feb '17Published on: 15 Feb '17Published in: Neuroscience Research


Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficuly in recognizing bodies and faces, which are more pronounced in children than adults. If such difficulties originate from dysfunction of the extrastriate body area (EBA) and the fusiform face area (FFA), activation in these regions might be more atypical in children than in adults. We preformed functional magnetic resonance imaging while children and adults with ASD and age-matched typically developed (TD) individuals observed face, body, car, and scene. To examine various aspects, we performed individual region of interest (ROI) analysis, as well as conventional random effect group analysis. At individual ROI analysis, we examined the ratio of participants showing a category-sensitive response, the size of regions, location and activation patterns among the four object categories. Adults with ASD showed no atypicalities in activation of the EBA and FFA, whereas children with ASD showed atypical activation in these regions. Specifically, a smaller percentage of children with ASD showed face-sensitive activation of the FFA than TD children. Moreover, the size of the EBA was smaller in children with ASD than in TD children. Our results revealed atypicalities in both the FFA and EBA in children with ASD but not in adults with ASD.