Neural Imaging Methods of the Autistic Brain

Essay by NilesCroxley October 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0


For this research paper, I chose to write on the imaging approaches to the study of autistic spectrum disorders(ASD). ASD is a syndrome that pertains to those with poor social abilities, who also have restricted patterns of thought and behaviour. This syndrome is only diagnosed through witnessing a persons behaviour. There are no physical tests that are done in order to diagnose a person with ASD. However, scientists are constantly studying the brains of those with ASD using several different methods. Scientists are beginning to find more brain activity patterns that are distinguishable among those with ASD. In this paper, I will go over these methods and discuss how each is used to help further the study of ASD.

Areas of Study

When studying the ASD brain, specific areas are studied. The areas targeted are the ones that specifically deal with the individuals socialness. These areas include: the medial prefrontal cortex(which deals with how a person perceives others social cues), temporoparietal junction(responsible for taking in information from the environment as well as in the body and processing it), posterior superior temporal cortex(processes where others are focusing their attention), intraparietal sulcus(deals with the motor functioning for the eyes), amygdala(processes emotions),fusiform gyrus(handles facial recognition), and the anterior insula(which handles perceiving, motor skills, and self awareness).

It is easy to see why these areas of the brain are chosen for study, as they primarily deal with a persons social behaviour.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging(FMRi)

An FMRi is a method of measuring the blood flow in the brain in order to tell which areas of the brain are being activated. The amount of blood flow to a certain region has a direct relationship with the brains activation. Scientists are particularly interested in the beginning stages of ASD. They have found an irregular brain...