Functional MRI correlates brain activity with emotional response in autistic children

Functional MR scans have confirmed that levels of brain function are low or nonexistent in autistic patients viewing stimuli designed to provoke emotional activity, according to studies presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research held in early May in Seattle.

Research led by Dr. Susan Bookheimer, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles's Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and graduate psychology student Mari Davies gauged autistic children's reaction to direct-gaze and averted-gaze faces.

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