The study led by scientists at the Weizmann Institute and Carnegie Mellon University found that brains of those with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) display unique synchronization patterns each in its own, individual way.
To investigate the issue of connectivity in ASD, the researchers analyzed data obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies conducted while the participants were at rest.
In a careful comparison of the details of these intricate synchronization patterns, the scientists discovered an intriguing difference between the control and ASD groups: the control participants' brains had substantially similar connectivity profiles across different individuals, while those with ASD showed a remarkably different phenomenon.
Those with autism tended to display much more unique patterns - each in its own, individual way.
Researchers said the synchronization patterns seen in the control group were 'conformist' relative to those in the ASD group, which they termed 'idiosyncratic.'
Differences between the synchronization patterns in the autism and control groups could be explained by the way individuals in the two groups interact and communicate with their environment.
"From a young age, the average, typical person's brain networks get molded by intensive interaction with people and the mutual environmental factors," Hahamy said.
"Such shared experiences could tend to make the synchronization patterns in the control group's resting brains more similar to each other. It is possible that in ASD, as interactions with the environment are disrupted, each one develops a more uniquely individualistic brain organization pattern," Hahamy said.
The study is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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