Reduced tract integrity of the model for social communication is a neural substrate of social communication deficits in autism spectrum disorder

Yu Chun Lo, Yu Jen Chen, Yung Chin Hsu, Wen Yih Isaac Tseng, Susan Shur Fen Gau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with social communication deficits as one of the core symptoms. Recently, a five-level model for the social communication has been proposed in which white matter tracts corresponding to each level of the model are identified. Given that the model for social communication subserves social language functions, we hypothesized that the tract integrity of the model for social communication may be reduced in ASD, and the reduction may be related to social communication deficits. Methods: Sixty-two right-handed boys with ASD and 55 typically developing (TD) boys received clinical evaluations, intelligence tests, the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), and MRI scans. Generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) was measured by diffusion spectrum imaging to indicate the microstructural integrity of the tracts for each level of the social communication model. Group difference in the tract integrity and its relationship with the SCQ subscales of social communication and social interaction were investigated. Results: We found that the GFA values of the superior longitudinal fasciculus III (SLF III, level 1) and the frontal aslant tracts (FAT, level 2) were decreased in ASD compared to TD. Moreover, the GFA values of the SLF III and the FAT were associated with the social interaction subscale in ASD. Conclusions: The tract integrity of the model for social communication is reduced in ASD, and the reduction is associated with impaired social interaction. Our results support that reduced tract integrity of the model for social communication might be a neural substrate of social communication deficits in ASD. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Brain imaging
  • Communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reduced tract integrity of the model for social communication is a neural substrate of social communication deficits in autism spectrum disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this