Natalia M. Kleinhans

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Abnormalities in the interactions between functionally linked brain regions have been suggested to be associated with the clinical impairments observed in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We investigated functional connectivity within the limbic system during face identification; a primary component of social cognition, in 19 high-functioning adults with(More)
OBJECTIVE Amygdala dysfunction has been proposed as a critical component in social impairment in autism spectrum disorders. This study was designed to investigate whether abnormal habituation characterizes amygdala dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders and whether the rate of amygdala habituation is related to social impairment. METHOD Using functional(More)
Language delay and impairment are salient features of autism. More specifically, there is evidence of atypical semantic organization in autism, but the functional brain correlates are not well understood. The current study used functional MRI to examine activation associated with semantic category decision. Ten high-functioning men with autism spectrum(More)
Impaired language is a prominent behavioral marker of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but its neurobiological underpinnings are incompletely understood. We studied letter and category fluency in 14 high functioning ASD individuals and 14 age-matched controls. Each fluency condition was compared to self-paced repetition of the word "nothing." Responses were(More)
Abnormalities in structural and functional connectivity have been reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) across a wide age range. However, developmental changes in white matter microstructure are poorly understood. We used a cross-sectional design to determine whether white matter abnormalities measured using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) were present(More)
Recent evidence suggests that a rapid, automatic face detection system is supported by subcortical structures including the amygdala, pulvinar, and superior colliculus. Early-emerging abnormalities in these structures may be related to reduced social orienting in children with autism, and subsequently, to aberrant development of cortical circuits involved(More)
Neural networks of motor control are well understood and the motor domain therefore lends itself to the study of learning. Neuroimaging of motor learning has demonstrated fronto-parietal, subcortical, and cerebellar involvement. However, there is conflicting evidence on the specific functional contributions of individual regions and their relative(More)
Difficulty interpreting facial expressions has been reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and is thought to be associated with amygdala abnormalities. To further explore the neural basis of abnormal emotional face processing in ASD, we conducted an fMRI study of emotional face matching in high-functioning adults with ASD and age, IQ, and gender(More)
OBJECTIVE Autism is a neurally based psychiatric disorder, but there is no consensus regarding the underlying neurofunctional abnormalities. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of simple movement suggested individually variable and scattered functional brain organization in autism. The authors examined whether such abnormalities(More)