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Mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders

Perkins, Tom, Stokes, Mark, McGillivray, Jane and Bittar, Richard 2010, Mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders, Journal of clinical neuroscience, vol. 17, no. 10, pp. 1239-1243, doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2010.01.026.

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Title Mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders
Author(s) Perkins, Tom
Stokes, MarkORCID iD for Stokes, Mark orcid.org/0000-0001-6488-4544
McGillivray, JaneORCID iD for McGillivray, Jane orcid.org/0000-0003-2000-6488
Bittar, Richard
Journal name Journal of clinical neuroscience
Volume number 17
Issue number 10
Start page 1239
End page 1243
Total pages 5
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Place of publication Kidlington, England
Publication date 2010-10
ISSN 0967-5868
1532-2653
Keyword(s) autistic disorder
autism spectrum disorders
high functioning autism
inferior frontal gyrus
inferior parietal lobule
mirror neurons
mu rhythm
Summary Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental conditions characterized by deficits in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and obsessive/stereotyped patterns of behaviour. Although there is no reliable neurophysiological marker associated with ASDs, dysfunction of the parieto-frontal mirror neuron system has been suggested as a disturbance linked to the disorder. Mirror neurons (MNs) are visuomotor neurons which discharge both when performing and observing a goal directed action. Research suggests MNs may have a role in imitation, empathy, theory of mind and language. Although the research base is small, evidence from functional MRI, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and an electroencephalographic component called the mu rhythm suggests MNs are dysfunctional in subjects with ASD. These deficits are more pronounced when ASD subjects complete tasks with social relevance, or that are emotional in nature. Promising research has identified that interventions targeting MN related functions such as imitation can improve social functioning in ASDs. Boosting the function of MNs may improve the prognosis of ASDs, and contribute to diagnostic clarity.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.jocn.2010.01.026
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Elsevier Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30031529

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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Created: Thu, 09 Dec 2010, 10:30:52 EST by Jane Moschetti

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