Mary Beth Nebel1, 2, Suresh E. Joel1, 2, John Muschelli1, 3, Anita D. Barber, 12, Brian S. Caffo3, James J. Pekar, 12, Stewart H. Mostofsky, 12
1Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States; 3Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, United States
Children with autism (ASD) experience difficulty performing motor skills, which may reflect abnormal connectivity within networks underlying motor control and learning. Motivated by the utility of clustering algorithms in visualizing functional organization within the brain, we present a parcellation of a key area of the motor network, the primary motor cortex (M1), in both typically developing (TD) children and children with ASD and introduce methods for selecting the number of clusters, matching clusters across groups and testing group differences. Observed group differences in M1 organization suggest that developmental segregation of upper and lower limb control may be delayed in ASD.