Semantic, Factual, and Social Language Comprehension in... (2010)

Title Semantic, Factual, and Social Language Comprehension in Adolescents with Autism: An FMRI Study
Published in Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 20, p.1937-1945. ISSN 1047-3211.
Author Groen, W.B.; Tesink, C.M.J.Y.; Petersson, K.M.; Berkum, J.J.A. van; Gaag, R.J. van der; Hagoort, P.; Buitelaar, J.K.
Date 2010
Type Article
Abstract Language in high-functioning autism is characterized by pragmatic and semantic deficits, and people with autism have a reduced tendency to integrate information. Because the left and right inferior frontal (LIE and RIF) regions are implicated with integration of speaker information, world knowledge, and semantic knowledge, we hypothesized that abnormal functioning of the LIF and RIF regions might contribute to pragmatic and semantic language deficits in autism. Brain activation of sixteen 12- to 18-year-old, high-functioning autistic participants was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging during sentence comprehension and compared with that of twenty-six matched controls. The content of the pragmatic sentence was congruent or incongruent with respect to the speaker characteristics (male/female, child/adult, and upper class/lower class). The semantic- and world-knowledge sentences were congruent or incongruent with respect to semantic expectancies and factual expectancies about the world, respectively. In the semantic-knowledge and world-knowledge condition, activation of the LIE region did not differ between groups. In sentences that required integration of speaker information, the autism group showed abnormally reduced activation of the LIF region. The results suggest that people with autism may recruit the LIE region in a different manner in tasks that demand integration of social information.
Persistent Identifier urn:nbn:nl:ui:22-2066/90143
Metadata XML
Source Radboud University Nijmegen

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