Poster B127, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Differential activation of rostral prefrontal cortex (BA 10) in autism spectrum disorder: An fNIRS study of time-based, prosocial prospective memory
James Crum1; 1University College London
Cognitive neuroscientific studies on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have recently demonstrated atypical activation in brain regions implicated in retrieving future intentions (prospective memory) and simulating the mental states of others and the self, namely rostral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 10). The present study used functional near-infrared spectroscopy and behavioral methods to investigate the performance of a group of 27 high-functioning participants with ASD and an age- and IQ-matched control group of 29 participants—representing typical neurodevelopment—on a time-based prospective memory task. Results showed general as well as hemispheric activation differences in rostral prefrontal cortex. Unlike the control group, the majority of rostral prefrontal cortex subregions did not achieve activation significance in the ASD group, and this group did not recruit the right hemisphere of the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex to support time-based prospective memory. At the behavioral level, results showed that performance of the control group on the time-based prospective memory task improved when the retrieval context was prosocial; whereas performance of the ASD group indicated no significant change. These findings support previous research suggesting differential activation of rostral prefrontal cortex and functional underactivation in ASD, and extend findings on the neural basis of time-based prospective memory in typical neurodevelopment.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Other