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Abstract #3289

More may be less: Deficient dichotic listening performance in autism is associated with hyperactivation of bilateral language brain regions.

Bentwich J, Anshul A, Caparelli E, Maletic-Savatich M, Foerster B, Cohen M, Pradhan K, Ma J, Benveniste H
Stony Brook University's Cody Center for Research of Autism, Brookhaven National Laboratory

The observation that autistic individuals exhibit a left (rather than right) ear advantage is usually interpreted as indicating their reversed right hemisphere lateralization of language processing. However, preliminary DL fMRI data analysis indicates a greater activation of the left (than right) language regions in the HFA group. Even more surprising is the association between the deficient HFA DL performance and their increased activation of bilateral language areas (relative to normal controls). Along with the HFAs deficient activation of attentional and social-communication regions, these results may suggest that autistic individuals over-activate language areas but fail to process important social-communication information.