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Matthysen W, Marinazzo D, Siugzdaite R.2016. Hypo- and hyper-connectivity in default mode network related to social impairment in tweens with autism spectrum disorder. PeerJ Preprints4:e2060v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2060v1
Background. Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder, marked by impairment in social communication and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. Accumulating data suggests that alterations in functional connectivity might contribute to these deficits. Whereas functional connectivity in resting state fMRI is expressed by several resting-state networks, for this study we examined several of them, but our particular interest was in the default mode network (DMN), given its age dependent alteration of functional connectivity and its relation to social communication. Methods. Since the studies investigating young children (6-8 years) with autism have found hypo-connectivity in DMN and studies on adolescents (12-16 years old) with autism have found hyper-connectivity in the DMN, we were interested in connectivity pattern during the age of 8 to 12, so we investigated the role of altered intrinsic connectivity in 16 children (mean age 9.75 ±1.6 years) with autism spectrum disorder compared to 16 typically developing controls in the DMN and other resting-state networks. Results. Results show that, compared to controls, the group with autism spectrum disorder showed signs of both hypo- and hyper-connectivity in different regions of the resting-state networks related to social communication. Conclusion. That suggests that transition period from childhood to adolescence carries the complexity of functional connectivity from both age groups. Regions that showed differences in functional connectivity were discussed in relation to social communication difficulties.