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Abstract #0444

Visual-motor connectivity relates to autism trait severity

Mary Beth Nebel 1,2 , Ani Eloyan 3 , Carrie Nettles 1 , Kristie Sweeney 1 , Katarina Ament 1 , Rebecca Ward 1 , Ann S Choe 1,2 , Anita D Barber 1,2 , Brian S Caffo 3 , James J Pekar 1,2 , and Stewart H Mostofsky 1,2

1 Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States, 2 Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States, 3 Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, United States

One problem experienced by children with autism that is potentially critical for acquiring social skills is difficulty imitating others actions, which depends on visual-motor integration; however, it is unclear what brain mechanisms contribute to this deficit. Using resting state functional MRI, we show that children with autism exhibit significantly stronger anticorrelation between motor and visual areas compared to their typically developing (TD) peers, and the stronger the anticorrelation between motor and visual networks, the more severe their autistic traits. In TD children, motor-visual functional connectivity strength was correlated with imitation performance; children with stronger positive visual-motor coupling were better imitators.

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