Von Economo neurons (VENs) are large, bipolar, spindle shaped neurons that are most abundant in the human cortex and may be involved in the fast and intuitive assessment of complex situations. Deficiencies of VENs may result in the inability to process complex, unpredictable, and novel information in a social context. There is evidence linking the behavioral deficits observed in patients with autism to the functions of certain brain regions, suggesting that the impairments of social and cognitive abilities may relate to abnormal development of VENs. This research will investigate abnormalities of cortical brain networks involved in sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processes in high-functioning patients with ASD. Using an innovative approach involving the integration of sensory/perceptual and cognitive tasks, multi-modal neuroimaging, and clinical testing, this research will provide specific and comprehensive functional and anatomical insight into the neural mechanisms of high-functioning autism and may also guide novel treatment approaches.