Intrinsic Structural Connectivity of the Default Mode Network and Behavioral Correlates of Executive Function and Social Skills in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Jessica Blume, Chanaka Kahathuduwa, Ann Mastergeorge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Brain connectivity of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is heterogenous, as are the behavioral manifestations. The current study investigated brain-behavior relationships in the context of social skills and executive function profiles with data from the Autism Brain Imaging Database Exchange II. We calculated connectivity measures from diffusion tensor imaging using Bayesian estimation and probabilistic tractography. Subsequently, we performed structural equation modeling by regressing three latent factors, yielded from an exploratory factor analysis, onto total default mode network (DMN) connectivity. Both social regulation processing and self-directed cognitive processing factors moderately, negatively correlated with total DMN connectivity. Our findings indicate social regulation processing difficulties in youth with ASD may be attributable to impaired connectivity between the anterior and posterior DMN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism
  • BEDPOSTX
  • Default mode network
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Executive function
  • Probabilistic tractography
  • PROBTRACKX
  • Social skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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