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Abstract #3995

Investigating Mechanisms Underlying Autism Spectrum Disorders with Resting State fMRI Signal Complexity Metrics

Kaundinya Gopinath1, Elissar Andari1, and Larry Young1
1Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by impairments in social cognition, and oxytocin (OXT) system dysregulation. In this study, we employed resting state fMRI to examine brain function impairments in adult ASD, and the effects of OXT treatment. ASD patients exhibited increased fMRI signal complexity in social cognition and reward networks compared to healthy controls: indicating increased synaptic noise as a putative mechanism underlying ASD. Intranasal administration of OXT decreased synaptic noise in these regions, while increasing excitability of prefrontal cortex (PFC); thus indicating increased inhibitory control mediated through PFC as the mechanism underlying OXT induced brain rehabilitation in ASD.

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