Similar Brain Activation during False Belief Tasks in a Large Sample of Adults with and without Autism

TitleSimilar Brain Activation during False Belief Tasks in a Large Sample of Adults with and without Autism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDufour, N., Redcay E., Young L., Mavros P. L., Moran J. M., Triantafyllou C., Gabrieli J. D. E., & Saxe R.
Secondary AuthorsGilbert, S.
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue9
Paginatione75468
Date Published09/2013
Abstract

Reading about another person’s beliefs engages ‘Theory of Mind’ processes and elicits highly reliable brain activation across individuals and experimental paradigms. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined activation during a story task designed to elicit Theory of Mind processing in a very large sample of neurotypical (N = 462) individuals, and a group of high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders (N = 31), using both region-of-interest and wholebrain analyses. This large sample allowed us to investigate group differences in brain activation to Theory of Mind tasks with unusually high sensitivity. There were no differences between neurotypical participants and those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. These results imply that the social cognitive impairments typical of autism spectrum disorder can occur without measurable changes in the size, location or response magnitude of activity during explicit Theory of Mind tasks administered to adults.

URLhttp://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075468
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.007546810.1371
Short TitlePLoS ONE

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