Functional Neuroimaging of Social Cognition in Pervasive Developmental Disorders

A Brief Review


Address for correspondence: F. Xavier Castellanos, M.D., NYU Child Study Center, 577 First Avenue, CSC Room 204, New York, NY 10016-6404. Voice: 212-263-3697; fax: 212-263-8662.


Abstract: An emerging literature on the neuroanatomical correlates of social cognition in pervasive developmental disorders is reviewed. Studies conducted with high-functioning adults with autism or Asperger's syndrome highlight patterns of decreased activation in ventromedial prefrontal cortex, temporo-parietal junction, amygdala, and periamygdaloid cortex, along with aberrantly increased activation in primary sensory cortices. Future studies should extend these important initial results to younger and more severely affected subjects.