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Longitudinal Heschl's Gyrus Growth During Childhood and Adolescence in Typical Development and Autism

Authors

  • Molly D. Prigge,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Erin D. Bigler,

    1. The Brain Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    2. Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
    3. Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
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  • P. Thomas Fletcher,

    1. The Brain Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    2. School of Computing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    3. Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Brandon A. Zielinski,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    2. Department of Neurology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Caitlin Ravichandran,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Jeffrey Anderson,

    1. The Brain Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    2. Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    3. Department of Neuroradiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    4. Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Alyson Froehlich,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Tracy Abildskov,

    1. Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
    2. Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
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  • Evangelia Papadopolous,

    1. Department of Physics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Kathryn Maasberg,

    1. School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Jared A. Nielsen,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    2. Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Andrew L. Alexander,

    1. Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    2. Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    3. Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Nicholas Lange,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Biostatistics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Neurostatistics Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
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  • Janet Lainhart

    1. Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    2. The Brain Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    3. Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
    4. Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Address for correspondence and reprints: Molly DuBray Prigge, Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah, 650 Komas Drive Suite 206, Salt Lake City, UT 84108. E-mail: molly.dubray@hsc.utah.edu

Abstract

Heightened auditory sensitivity and atypical auditory processing are common in autism. Functional studies suggest abnormal neural response and hemispheric activation to auditory stimuli, yet the neurodevelopment underlying atypical auditory function in autism is unknown. In this study, we model longitudinal volumetric growth of Heschl's gyrus gray matter and white matter during childhood and adolescence in 40 individuals with autism and 17 typically developing participants. Up to three time points of magnetic resonance imaging data, collected on average every 2.5 years, were examined from individuals 3–12 years of age at the time of their first scan. Consistent with previous cross-sectional studies, no group differences were found in Heschl's gyrus gray matter volume or asymmetry. However, reduced longitudinal gray matter volumetric growth was found in the right Heschl's gyrus in autism. Reduced longitudinal white matter growth in the left hemisphere was found in the right-handed autism participants. Atypical Heschl's gyrus white matter volumetric growth was found bilaterally in the autism individuals with a history of delayed onset of spoken language. Heightened auditory sensitivity, obtained from the Sensory Profile, was associated with reduced volumetric gray matter growth in the right hemisphere. Our longitudinal analyses revealed dynamic gray and white matter changes in Heschl's gyrus throughout childhood and adolescence in both typical development and autism. Autism Res 2013, 6: 78–90. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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