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Abstract #5249

Effects of early alcohol exposure on functional organization and microstructure of a visual-tactile integrative circuit

Shiyu Tang1, Su Xu1, Alexandre E. Medina2, and Rao Gullapalli1

1Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States, 2Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States

Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) often have deficits associated with multisensory processing. Because ethanol disrupts activity-dependent neuronal plasticity, a process that is essential for refining connections during cortical development, we hypothesize that early alcohol exposure results in alterations in multisensory cortical networks, which could explain the multisensory processing deficits seen in FASD. Here, we use a gyrencephalic animal model to test the prediction that early alcohol exposure alters the functional connectivity and microstructural features of a visual-tactile integrative area with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion kurtosis imaging.

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