July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
The Functional Organization of the Ventral Visual Pathway in Adults with Autism
Author Affiliations
  • Alexander J E Kell
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
  • Kami Koldewyn
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
  • Nancy G Kanwisher
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 832. doi:10.1167/13.9.832
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      Alexander J E Kell, Kami Koldewyn, Nancy G Kanwisher; The Functional Organization of the Ventral Visual Pathway in Adults with Autism. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):832. doi: 10.1167/13.9.832.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) reportedly show deficits in biological motion perception, face memory, and visual attention. Do differences in the functional architecture of visual cortex underlie these putative behavioral differences in visual processing? Evidence to date is mixed. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine whether functionally defined regions of the ventral visual pathway are different in volume or selectivity in adults with ASD compared to typical adults. We scanned adults with ASD and age-matched typical controls (TCs) while they viewed movies of faces, bodies, scenes, objects, and scrambled objects. Each ASD subject was individually matched to two TCs on temporal signal-to-noise ratio (tSNR). Category- and object-specific regions of the ventral pathway were functionally defined bilaterally in each subject individually, including: i) face selective regions (the fusiform face area, occipital face area, face-selective superior temporal sulcus), ii) place-selective regions (parahippocampal place area, retrosplenial complex, occipital place area (formerly known as transverse occiptal sulcus)), iii) the object-selective lateral occipital complex, and iv) body-selective extrastriate body area. Preliminary results (n ASD: 10; n TC: 20) show that adults with ASD have no significant differences in the volume of any category- or object-selective region. Findings to date suggest that the functional organization of the ventral visual pathway is unaffected in adults with ASD.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013

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