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Journal Article

Semantic, factual, and social language comprehension in adolescents with autism: An fMRI study

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons147

Petersson,  Karl Magnus
Neurobiology of Language Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Unification, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, External Organizations;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons189

Van Berkum,  Jos J. A.
Neurobiology of Language Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Unification, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons69

Hagoort,  Peter
Neurobiology of Language Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Unification, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, External Organizations;

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Cerebral Cortex_2010_20_Groen et.al..pdf
(Publisher version), 498KB

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Citation

Groen, W. B., Tesink, C. M. J. Y., Petersson, K. M., Van Berkum, J. J. A., Van der Gaag, R. J., Hagoort, P., et al. (2010). Semantic, factual, and social language comprehension in adolescents with autism: An fMRI study. Cerebral Cortex, 20(8), 1937-1945. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhp264.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-6A43-5
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 (LIF 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 semanticknowledge and world-knowledge condition, activation of the LIF 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 LIF region in a different manner in tasks that demand integration of social information.