A new imaging study shows that the social part of the brain is both underdeveloped and insufficiently networked in youths with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to their peers without ASD.

The study, conducted by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), provides insight into how the brains of children and adolescents with ASD might be organized differently than youths without the disorder.

“The brain controls most of our behavior and changes in how brain areas work and communicate with each other can alter this behavior and lead to impairments associated with mental disorders,” said study first author Dr. Kay Jann, a postdoctoral researcher in the UCLA Department of Neurology.

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