Evidence for a Categorical-Dimensional Hybrid Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder Revealed in Functional Network Connectivity
Amanda Elton 1 and Wei Gao 1,2
Biomedical Research Imaging Center, UNC
Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States,
UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by
social interaction deficits and repetitive or
stereotyped behaviors, with undetermined neural
mechanisms. Guided by an increased recognition of the
dimensional characteristics of ASD symptoms, we sought
to delineate the categorical and dimensional neural
mechanisms of ASD using network-level functional
connectivity measures from resting-state fMRI. Our
results support the existence of dimensional
connectivity-behavioral relationships related to ASD
symptoms. We also identified categorical differences in
connectivity strength for ASD children that were
independent of dimensional relationships, in addition to
categorical differences in brain-behavior relationships.
Overall, our findings support a hybrid
categoricaldimensional model for ASD.
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