fMRI tracks reductions in repetitive behaviors in autism: two case studies.


Journal Article

Autism is characterized by abnormal prefrontal brain activation during cognitive control, a potential biomarker of repetitive behaviors. In this proof-of-principle study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine brain activity during an oddball task in two high-functioning males with autism before and after 12 weeks of treatment with citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. One participant showed marked reductions in repetitive behaviors whereas the other showed mild worsening. Brain activation in relevant prefrontal regions increased in only the participant whose repetitive behavior symptoms improved. These findings suggest that fMRI may elucidate potential mechanisms of action of targeted autism interventions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dichter, GS; Sikich, L; Mahorney, S; Felder, JN; Lam, KSL; Turner-Brown, L; Bodfish, J

Published Date

  • August 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 307 - 316

PubMed ID

  • 20178033

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20178033

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1465-3656

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/13554790903559671


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England