Seeing into the brains of children with ASD

Three neuroscientists affiliated with K-CART are using noninvasive brain-imaging technology to study the brains of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Cary Savage, Christa Anderson and John Colombo are using fMRI technology to examine the functioning of several brain regions that control the size of the pupil while the children who are participating look at pictures of human faces and toys. Earlier research by the team found that several brain regions that control pupil size are atypical in children with autism.

According to Anderson, the exact brain regions that are affected in ASD are currently unknown. “The examination of these brain regions will help us to determine if these areas may be a key to identifying and diagnosing children with autism,” she said.

Savage is the director of the Center for Health Behavior Neuroscience at the KU Medical Center and director of the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center at the KU Medical Center. John Colombo is professor of psychology at KU and director of the Life Span Institute (LSI). Anderson is a research associate at LSI.

Find out how to participate in this and other ASD research at KU.

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