Brain Hyperconnectivity in Children with Autism and its Links to Social Deficits

Kaustubh Supekar, Lucina Q Uddin, Amirah Khouzam, Jennifer Phillips, William D. Gaillard, Lauren E. Kenworthy, Benjamin E. Yerys, Chandan J. Vaidya, Vinod Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

236 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting nearly 1 in 88 children, is thought to result from aberrant brain connectivity. Remarkably, there have been no systematic attempts to characterize whole-brain connectivity in children with ASD. Here, we use neuroimaging to show that there are more instances of greater functional connectivity in the brains of children with ASD in comparison to those of typically developing children. Hyperconnectivity in ASD was observed at the whole-brain and subsystems levels, across long- and short-range connections, and was associated with higher levels of fluctuations in regional brain signals. Brain hyperconnectivity predicted symptom severity in ASD, such that children with greater functional connectivity exhibited more severe social deficits. We replicated these findings in two additional independent cohorts, demonstrating again that at earlier ages, the brain of children with ASD is largely functionally hyperconnected in ways that contribute to social dysfunction. Our findings provide unique insights into brain mechanisms underlying childhood autism

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-747
Number of pages10
JournalCell Reports
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Supekar, K., Uddin, L. Q., Khouzam, A., Phillips, J., Gaillard, W. D., Kenworthy, L. E., Yerys, B. E., Vaidya, C. J., & Menon, V. (2013). Brain Hyperconnectivity in Children with Autism and its Links to Social Deficits. Cell Reports, 5(3), 738-747. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2013.10.001