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

A combined fMRI-TMS study on the role of the mirror neuron system in social cognition: Moving beyond correlational evidence  

The mirror neuron system (MNS) is one of the neural systems in the brain involved in processing information that allows us to readily understand others' actions, intentions, and emotions. Recent studies have suggested dysfunction in the MNS may underlie the social impairments observed in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the role of the MNS in social cognition is not yet conclusive. The aim of the proposed research is to address this fundamental issue by testing the relationship between brain activity and behavior using a combination of functional brain imaging (fMRI) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). rTMS delivers a non-harmful magnetic pulse that causes a transient (reversible) artificial disruption of normal brain activity and can target specific brain systems. In this study rTMS will be used to disrupt the function of selected parts of the MNS so as to provide information on whether activity in the MNS is necessary for successful emotion recognition in high-functioning individuals with ASD in comparison with neurotypical individuals. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $0.00
Current Award Period 2008-2010
Project Number 2035
Principal Investigator Dapretto, Mirella
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Neural Systems
Strategic Plan Objective 2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of California, Los Angeles
State/Country California
Web Link 1 A combined fMRI-TMS study on the role of the mirror neuron system in social cognition: Moving beyond correlational evidence (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects A combined fMRI-TMS study on the role of the mirror neuron system in social cognition: Moving beyond correlational evidence | $150,000.00 | 2008 | 2035
A combined fMRI-TMS study on the role of the mirror neuron system in social cognition: Moving beyond correlational evidence | $127,500.00 | 2009 | 2035