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Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Symposium 2020 has ended
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Lauren Kupis

Brain Dynamics in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Poster Presenter #35
Ph.D. in Psychology
Brain dynamics enable cognitive flexibility, or the ability to adjust behavior according to a changing environment. Little is known about the relationship between dynamic brain activity and flexible cognition in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study utilizes co-activation pattern analysis (CAP) method on 17 children diagnosed with ASD and 27 typically developing (TD) children. Participants completed a resting state scan followed by four functional runs acquired while children performed a set-shifting task. The analysis identified five CAP states common to the cognitive flexibility task, which included regions of the default mode network (DMN), salience network (SN), and the central executive network (CEN). Dynamic CAP metrics used to compare children with ASD to TD children were dwell time, frequency of occurrence of brain states, and number of transitions. The relationship between the dynamic metrics to measures of executive function and social behaviors were also determined. We found that two CAP states containing the DMN and SN were differentially altered in the ASD group across rest and task conditions. We also found several associations between the CAP states and executive functioning and social behaviors in metrics of frequency, dwell time, and transitions in different rest and task conditions. These findings suggest that children with ASD spend more time in a dynamic state involving the DMN and less time involving the SN. This may be related to altered between-network dynamics in children with the disorder. Additionally, modulation of brain states relevant to cognitive flexibility was related to executive function and social abilities in children with ASD and TD children.  

Additional author(s): Bryce Dirks, Celia Romero, Meaghan V. Parlade, Michael Alessandri, Jason S. Nomi, Lucina Q. Uddin