Autism as a Disorder of Functional Brain Connectivity

Rajesh K. Kana and Marcel Adam Just

in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780195371826
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965212 | DOI:
Autism as a Disorder of Functional Brain Connectivity

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  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience


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This chapter discusses cortical underconnectivity as an emerging theory of autism and its potential implications at the neural and behavioral domains. It also relates the underconnectivity theory to various other neuropathological findings in autism research. Cortical Underconnectivity Theory provides a compelling framework for explaining the cognitive and behavioral impairments in people with autism spectrum disorders. The theory explains not only the deficits of people with autism (cognitive, social, and complex language) but also their strengths (visuospatial processing). The theory also provides accounts for many of the phenomena prior theoretical accounts of autism have focused on, such as the complex information processing deficit, executive dysfunction hypothesis, and the theory-of-mind account. The underconnectivity theory encourages the design of training programs for children with autism that focus on targeting and improving the cross-communication between different areas of the brain.

Chapter.  8267 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Neurology ; Neuroscience

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