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

fMRI studies of cerebellar functioning in autism  

The most consistent neuropathological finding in autism is a reduced number of Purkinje cells, large neurons located in the cerebellum. How the cerebellar abnormalities found in autism affect behavior is not well understood. Recent preliminary data has suggested that decreased activity in particular regions of the cerebellum of autistic patients is associated with difficulties in controlling manual force and in visual pursuit systems (i.e., visual tracking of moving objects). In this study, Dr. Mosconi will examine the role of the cerebellum in controlling and modulating sensorimotor performance for eye and hand movements using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In this study, the focus will be on patterns of neural activity in the cerebellum during the performance of visual and sensorimotor tasks. The brains of adults with autism and age-matched controls will be imaged by fMRI while they perform a series of visual pursuit and grip force control tasks. The fMRI data should show whether differences in neural activity in the cerebellum of autistic patients correlate with specific difficulties in sensorimotor performance. This study may help us to understand the significance of the cerebellar abnormalities seen in autistic brains as well as shed light on the role of the cerebellum in sensorimotor performance. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $49,000.00
Current Award Period 2009-2010
Project Number 4853
Principal Investigator Mosconi, Matthew
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Sensory and Motor Function
Strategic Plan Objective 2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of Illinois at Chicago
State/Country Illinois
Web Link 1 fMRI studies of cerebellar functioning in autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects FMRI studies of cerebellar functioning in autism | $47,500.00 | 2008 | 4853
fMRI studies of cerebellar functioning in autism | $46,000.00 | 2009 | 4853