Altered task-related modulation of long-range connectivity in children with autism

Ajay S. Pillai*, Danielle McAuliffe, Balaji M. Lakshmanan, Stewart H. Mostofsky, Nathan E. Crone, Joshua B. Ewen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Functional connectivity differences between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing children have been described in multiple datasets. However, few studies examine the task-related changes in connectivity in disorder-relevant behavioral paradigms. In this paper, we examined the task-related changes in functional connectivity using EEG and a movement-based paradigm that has behavioral relevance to ASD. Resting-state studies motivated our hypothesis that children with ASD would show a decreased magnitude of functional connectivity during the performance of a motor-control task. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, however, we observed that task-related modulation of functional connectivity in children with ASD was in the direction opposite to that of TDs. The task-related connectivity changes were correlated with clinical symptom scores. Our results suggest that children with ASD may have differences in cortical segregation/integration during the performance of a task, and that part of the differences in connectivity modulation may serve as a compensatory mechanism. Autism Res 2018, 11: 245–257.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-257
Number of pages13
JournalAutism Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • autism
  • connectivity
  • dyspraxia
  • EEG
  • functional connectivity
  • task-related

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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