Gray matter structure and morphosyntax within a spoken narrative in typically developing children and children with high functioning autism

Dev Neuropsychol. 2013;38(7):461-80. doi: 10.1080/87565641.2013.820306.


This study examined the relationship between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based measures of gray matter structure and morphosyntax production in a spoken narrative in 17 typical children (TD) and 11 children with high functioning autism (HFA) between 6 and 13 years of age. In the TD group, cortical structure was related to narrative performance in the left inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area), the right middle frontal sulcus, and the right inferior temporal sulcus. No associations were found in children with HFA. These findings suggest a systematic coupling between brain structure and spontaneous language in TD children and a disruption of these relationships in children with HFA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autistic Disorder / pathology
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Language Development Disorders / diagnosis
  • Language Development Disorders / pathology
  • Language*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Narration*