Book chapters will be unavailable on Saturday 24th August between 8am-12pm BST. This is for essential maintenance which will provide improved performance going forwards. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Autism-spectrum disorder is increasingly recognised, with recent studies estimating that 1% of children in South London are affected. However, the biology of comorbid mental health problems in people with autism-spectrum disorder is poorly understood.
To investigate the brain anatomy of people with autism-spectrum disorder with and without psychosis.
We used in vivo magnetic resonance imaging and compared 30 adults with autism-spectrum disorder (14 with a history of psychosis) and 16 healthy controls.
Compared with controls both autism-spectrum disorder groups had significantly less grey matter bilaterally in the temporal lobes and the cerebellum. In contrast, they had increased grey matter in striatal regions. However, those with psychosis also had a significant reduction in grey matter content of frontal and occipital regions. Contrary to our expectation, within autism-spectrum disorder, comparisons revealed that psychosis was associated with a reduction in grey matter of the right insular cortex and bilaterally in the cerebellum extending into the fusiform gyrus and the lingual gyrus.
The presence of neurodevelopmental abnormalities normally associated with autism-spectrum disorder might represent an alternative ‘entry-point’ into a final common pathway of psychosis.
Lack of social interaction, which is characteristically seen in people
with autistic-spectrum disorder, may be caused by malfunctioning of the
frontostriatal reward systems. However, no reported in
vivo brain imaging studies have investigated reward
mechanisms in autistic-spectrum disorder.
To investigate functional brain activation during reward feedback in
people with autistic-spectrum disorder and control individuals.
We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine
the neural substrates of monetary reward in individuals with
autistic-spectrum disorder and matched controls.
When rewarded, individuals with autism compared with control individuals
showed significantly greater brain activation in the left anterior
cingulate gyrus. In addition, activation of this region was negatively
correlated with social interaction as measured by the Autism Diagnostic
In people with autistic-spectrum disorder, achieving reward is associated
with significant differences in the activation of areas known to be
responsible for attention and arousal, and this may partially underpin
some deficits in social behaviour.
Our understanding of anatomical differences in people with autistic-spectrum disorder, is based on mixed-gender or male samples.
To study regional grey-matter and white-matter differences in the brains of women with autistic-spectrum disorder.
We compared the brain anatomy of 14 adult women with autistic-spectrum disorder with 19 controls using volumetric magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry Results Women with autistic-spectrum disorder had a smaller density bilaterally of grey matter in the frontotemporal cortices and limbic system, and of white matter in the temporal lobes (anterior) and pons. In contrast, they had a larger white-matter density bilaterally in regions of the association and projection fibres of the frontal, parietal, posterior temporal and occipital lobes, in the commissural fibres of the corpus callosum (splenium) and cerebellum (anterior lobe). Further, we found a negative relationship between reduced grey-matter density in right limbic regions and social communication ability.
Women with autistic-spectrum disorder have significant differences in brain anatomy from controls, in brain regions previously reported as abnormal in adult men with the disorder. Some anatomical differences may be related to clinical symptoms.
It has been suggested that people with psychopathic disorders lack
empathy because they have deficits in processing distress cues (e.g.
fearful facial expressions).
To investigate brain function when individuals with psychopathy and a
control group process facial emotion.
Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging we compared six
people scoring ⩾25 on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist–Revised and nine
non-psychopathic healthy volunteers during an implicit emotion processing
task using fearful, happy and neutral faces.
The psychopathy group showed significantly less activation than the
control group in fusiform and extrastriate cortices when processing both
facial emotions. However, emotion type affected response pattern. Both
groups increased fusiform and extrastriate cortex activation when
processing happy faces compared with neutral faces, but this increase was
significantly smaller in the psychopathy group. In contrast, when
processing fearful faces compared with neutral faces, the control group
showed increased activation but the psychopathy group decreased
activation in the fusiform gyrus.
People with psychopathy have biological differences from controls when
processing facial emotion, and the pattern of response differs according
to emotion type.
We studied the functional neuroanatomy of social behaviour in
velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) using a facial emotional processing task
and functional magnetic resonance imaging in adults with this syndrome and
controls matched for age and IQ. The VCFS group had less activation in the
right insula and frontal brain regions and more activation in occipital
regions. Genetically determined abnormalities in pathways including those
involved in emotional processing may underlie deficits in social cognition
in people with VCFS.
Autistic-spectrum disorder is approximately half as common as schizophrenia but its cause remains unknown. Recent studies have begun to clarify the underlying neuroanatomical abnormalities and brain-behaviour relationships in autism. In the past decade, great advances have been made in our understanding of the neurobiological basis of autism.
Obsessive–compulsive behaviours are common and disabling in autistic-spectrum disorders (ASD) but little is known about how they compare with those experienced by people with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD).
To make such a comparison.
A group of adults with high-functioning ASD (n=40) were administered the Yale–Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale and Symptom Checklist and their symptoms compared with a gender-matched group of adults with a primary diagnosis of OCD (n=45). OCD symptoms were carefully distinguished from stereotypic behaviours and interests usually displayed by those with ASD.
The two groups had similar frequencies of obsessive–compulsive symptoms, with only somatic obsessions and repeating rituals being more common in the OCD group. The OCD group had higher obsessive–compulsive symptom severity ratings but up to 50% of the ASD group reported at least moderate levels of interference from their symptoms.
Obsessions and compulsions are both common in adults with high-functioning ASD and are associated with significant levels of distress.
People with learning disability who exhibit challenging behaviour are frequently segregated from services and local teams are often reluctant to receive them back into their care. This situation is worse in those whose challenging behaviour includes a forensic history, but the difference between those labelled as challenging and those treated as offenders is not clear, and there is a lack of evidence about treatment effectiveness.
To test between-group differences in aggression and treatment outcome in people with learning disability and challenging behaviour, with and without a forensic history.
Clinical records of 86 former in-patients (45 offenders and 41 non-offenders) of a specialist unit were compared on measures of behavioural disturbance and placement outcome.
People in the offenders group were significantly less likely to be aggressive to others and to use weapons, but significantly more likely to harm themselves compared with the non-offenders group. Both groups had a significant reduction in their challenging behaviour during admission, and there was no significant difference in treatment outcome.
The negative reputation of people with learning disabilities who offend needs to be reconsidered.
Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) is associated with deletions in the q11 band of chromosome 22, learning disability and psychosis, but the neurobiological basis is poorly understood.
To investigate brain anatomy in adults with VCFS.
Magnetic resonance imaging was used to study 10 patients with VCFS and 13 matched controls. We carried out three analyses: qualitative; traced regional brain volume; and measurement of grey and white matter volume.
The subjects with VCFS had: a high prevalence of white matter hyperintensities and abnormalities of the septum pellucidum; a significantly smaller volume of cerebellum; and widespread differences in white matter bilaterally and regional specific differences in grey matter in the left cerebellum, insula, and frontal and right temporal lobes.
Deletion at chromosome 22q11 is associated with brain abnormalities that are most likely neurodevelopmental and may partially explain the high prevalence of learning disability and psychiatric disorder in VCFS.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.