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  Selective disruption of sociocognitive structural brain networks in autism and alexithymia

Bernhardt, B. C., Valk, S. L., Silani, G., Bird, G., Frith, U., & Singer, T. (2014). Selective disruption of sociocognitive structural brain networks in autism and alexithymia. Cerebral Cortex, 24(12), 3258-3267. doi:10.1093/cercor/bht182.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-ADDD-B Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-141B-9
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Bernhardt, Boris C.1, Author              
Valk, Sofie L.1, Author              
Silani, Giorgia2, 3, Author
Bird, Geoffrey2, 4, Author
Frith, Uta2, Author
Singer, Tania1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              
2Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
3Cognitive Neuroscience Sector, International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste, Italy, ou_persistent22              
4Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre (MRC), Institute of Psychology, King’s College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: ASD; Connectivity; Cortical thickness; Insula; Social brain
 Abstract: Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by abnormal social cognition. A core feature of ASC is disrupted Theory of Mind (ToM), our ability to take the mental perspective of others. ASC is also associated with alexithymia, a trait characterized by altered emotional interoception and empathy. Here, we applied structural MRI covariance analysis to assess whether ASC and alexithymia differentially affect structural brain networks associated with sociocognitive and socioaffective functions. Based on previous functional MRI findings, we expected disrupted ToM networks (centered on dorsomedial prefontal cortex [dmPFC], and temporo-parietal junction [TPJ]) in ASC, while alexithymia would affect networks centered on fronto-insular cortex (FI), regions associated with interoception of emotion and empathy. Relative to controls, ASC indeed showed reduced covariance in networks centered on dmPFC and TPJ, but not within FI networks. Irrespective of ASC, covariance was negatively modulated by alexithymia in networks extending from FI to posterior regions. Network findings were complemented by self-reports, indicating decreased perspective taking but normal empathic concern in ASC. Our results show divergent effects of ASC and alexithymia on inter-regional structural networks, suggesting that networks mediating socioaffective processes may be separable from networks mediating sociocognitive processing.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2013-06-252013-07-172014-12
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bht182
PMID: 23863687
Other: Epub 2013
 Degree: -

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Title: Cerebral Cortex
Source Genre: Journal
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Affiliations:
Publ. Info: New York, NY : Oxford University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 24 (12) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 3258 - 3267 Identifier: ISSN: 1047-3211
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925592440