Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Brain circuitry in simplex autism  

The researchers plan to contribute new brain imaging data using a recently developed tool called resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The new tool measures brain activity at the resting state — not induced by laboratory tasks, as with traditional functional MRI — allowing researchers a glimpse into the innate connections between brain regions. The researchers plan to study pairs of siblings from the Simons Simplex Collection in which only one sibling has autism, as well as unrelated, healthy controls. The new imaging and analysis techniques will be used to look at networks in various brain regions, including those involved in social behavior, goal-directed actions, and others that may be disrupted in individuals with autism. Half of the subjects will be 9 to 14 years old and the other half 18 to 30 years old, giving the researchers an idea of what the networks look like at a range of ages. The MRI data will also be used to reconstruct images of the brain's surface, which can be linked to behavioral, psychometric and genetic data for each individual. The findings from this study may be useful in exploring whether certain genetic defects lead to dysfunction in specific regions of the brain. More broadly, the addition of a comprehensive new set of data to the Simons Simplex Collection could illuminate previously unnoticed links among the many facets of autism research. Project Status


Funder Simons Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $187,500.00
Project Number 95177
Principal Investigator Petersen, Steven
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Strategic Plan Objective 2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Washington University in St. Louis
State/Country Missouri
Web Link 1 Brain circuitry in simplex autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Brain circuitry in simplex autism | $187,500.00 | 2010 | 95177
Brain circuitry in simplex autism | $0.00 | 2011 | 95177
Brain circuitry in simplex autism | $250,000.00 | 2008 | Project number unavailable