Functional connectivity (FC)between the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex underlies socioemotional functioning, a core domain of impairment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Although frontoamygdala circuitry undergoes dynamic changes throughout development, little is known about age-related changes in frontoamygdala networks in ASD. Here we characterize frontoamygdala resting-state FC in a cross-sectional sample (ages 7–25)of 58 typically developing (TD)individuals and 53 individuals with ASD. Contrary to hypotheses, individuals with ASD did not show different age-related patterns of frontoamygdala FC compared with TD individuals. However, overall group differences in frontoamygdala FC were observed. Specifically, relative to TD individuals, individuals with ASD showed weaker frontoamygdala FC between the right basolateral (BL)amygdala and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC). These findings extend prior work to a broader developmental range in ASD, and indicate ASD-related differences in frontoamygdala FC that may underlie core socioemotional impairments in children and adolescents with ASD.
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© 2018 The Authors
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Prefrontal cortex
- Resting-state functional connectivity