Altered Connectivity in Autistic Adults during Complex Facial Emotion Recognition: A Study of EEG Imaginary Coherence
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Difficulties in Facial Emotion Recognition (FER) are commonly associated with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, the mechanisms underlying these impairments remain inconclusive. While atypical cortical connectivity has been observed in autistic individuals, there is a paucity of investigation during cognitive tasks such as FER. It is possible that atypical cortical connectivity may underlie FER impairments in this population. Electroencephalography (EEG) Imaginary Coherence was examined in 22 autistic adults and 23 typically developing (TD) matched controls during a complex, dynamic FER task. Autistic adults demonstrated reduced coherence between both short and long range inter-hemispheric electrodes. By contrast, short range intra-hemispheric connectivity was increased in frontal and occipital regions during FER. These findings suggest altered network functioning in ASD.
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