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Abstract #0457

Cortical GABA levels correlate with visual search performance in children with autism spectrum disorder

David A Edmondson1,2, Pingyu Xia1, Debra A Patterson1,2, Brandon Keehn3, and Ulrike Dydak1,2,3

1School of Health Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States, 2Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, United States, 3Department of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States

Although diagnosed based on sociocommunicative deficits, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by superior performance on selective attention tasks, particularly visual search. In neurotypical individuals, region-specific concentrations of GABA are associated with differences in attention and perception. While it has been hypothesized that ASD may be associated with an excitatory-inhibitory imbalance, it remains unclear how this may contribute to autistic search advantage. To test this, 10 children with ASD participated in a magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) study using MEGA-semi-LASER to detect GABA concentrations in target regions, including the frontal eye fields, temporal parietal junction, and visual cortex.

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