Disrupted functional connectivity in dorsal and ventral attention networks during attention orienting in autism spectrum disorders
Autism Research, 8, 136-152, 2015
Abstract: Background Attention orienting is a cognitive process that facilitates the movement of attention focus from one location to another: this may be impaired in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dorsal and ventral attention networks (DAN and VAN) sub‐serve the process of attention orienting. This study investigated the functional connectivity of attention orienting in these networks in ASD using the Posner Cueing Task. Method Twenty‐one adolescents with ASD and 21 age and IQ matched controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging. A psychophysical interaction (PPI) analysis was implemented to investigate task‐dependent functional connectivity, measuring synchronicity of brain regions during the task. Regions of interest (ROI) were selected to explore functional connectivity in the DAN during cue‐only conditions and in the VAN during invalid and valid trials. Results Behaviourally, the ASD and control groups performed the task in a similar manner. Functional MRI results indicated that the ASD and control groups activated similar brain regions. During invalid trials (VAN), the ASD group showed significant positive functional connectivity to multiple brain regions, whilst the control group demonstrated negative connectivity. During valid trials (VAN), the two groups also showed contrasting patterns of connectivity. In the cue‐only conditions (DAN), the ASD group showed weaker functional connectivity. Conclusion The DAN analysis suggests that the ASD group has weaker coherence between brain areas involved in goal‐driven, endogenous attention control. The strong positive functional connectivity exhibited by the ASD group in the VAN during the invalid trials suggests that individuals with ASD may generate compensatory mechanisms to achieve neurotypical behaviour. These results support the theory of abnormal cortical connectivity in autism. Autism Res 2015, 8: 136–152. © 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).