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Abstract #0775

Evidence for a Categorical-Dimensional Hybrid Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder Revealed in Functional Network Connectivity

Amanda Elton 1 and Wei Gao 1,2

1 Biomedical Research Imaging Center, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States, 2 Radiology, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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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