We examined whether functional and structural variability in the primary visual area (V1) correlated with autism traits. Twenty-nine participants (16 males; MAge = 26.4 years, SDAge = 4.0 years) completed the autism-spectrum quotient (AQ) questionnaire prior to a magnetic resonance imaging session. The total AQ scores was used to assess the degree of self-reported autism traits. The average functional activation in V1 to visual stimulation and its average grey-matter thickness were calculated. There were no correlations between functional activation in V1 and autism traits. Conversely, grey-matter thickness of the left but not the right V1 correlated with autism traits. We conclude that structural changes in the left V1 could be a marker for the presence of autism traits.
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This work was supported by a grant from La Trobe University’s Understanding Disease Research Focus Area awarded to PAC and by a scholarship award from La Trobe University to GYY. We also acknowledge the facilities and scientific and technical assistance of Australia’s National Imaging Facility, a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) capability, at the Swinburne Neuroimaging Facility (SNI), at the Swinburne University of Technology. We thank Alyse Brown for collecting the MRI data.
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Yildiz, G.Y., Vilsten, J.S., Millard, A.S. et al. Grey-Matter Thickness of the Left But Not the Right Primary Visual Area Correlates with Autism Traits in Typically Developing Adults. J Autism Dev Disord 51, 405–417 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04553-w
- Autism-spectrum quotient (AQ)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Primary visual area (V1)
- Grey-matter thickness