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Abnormal EEG lateralization in boys with autism.

Journal article
Authors Tatiana A Stroganova
Gudrun Nygren
Marina M Tsetlin
Irina N Posikera
Christopher Gillberg
Mikael Elam
Elena V Orekhova
Published in Clinical Neurophysiology
Volume 118
Issue 8
Pages 1842-1854
ISSN 1388-2457
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 1842-1854
Language en
Keywords Alpha Rhythm, Autistic Disorder, Diagnosis, Physiopathology, Child, Child, Preschool, Delta Rhythm, Dominance, Cerebral, Electroencephalography, Humans, Male, Temporal Lobe, Physiopathology, Theta Rhythm
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


OBJECTIVE: Functional brain abnormalities associated with autism in 3-8-year-old boys were studied with EEG recorded under controlled experimental condition of sustained visual attention and behavioral stillness. METHODS: EEG was recorded in two independent samples of boys with autism (BWA) from Moscow (N=21) and Gothenburg (N=23) and a corresponding number of age-matched typically developing boys (TDB). EEG spectral power (SP) and SP interhemispheric asymmetry within delta, theta and alpha bands were analyzed. RESULTS: BWA comprised a non-homogeneous group in relation to theta and alpha SP. When four outliers were excluded the only between-group difference in absolute SP was a higher amount of prefrontal delta in BWA. BWA of both samples demonstrated atypical leftward broadband EEG asymmetry with a maximum effect over the mid-temporal regions. Concurrently, the normal leftward asymmetry of mu rhythm was absent in BWA. CONCLUSIONS: The abnormal broadband EEG asymmetry in autism may point to a diminished capacity of right temporal cortex to generate EEG rhythms. The concurrent lack of normal leftward asymmetry of mu rhythm suggests that abnormalities in EEG lateralization in autism may be regionally/functionally specific. SIGNIFICANCE: The data provide evidence for abnormal functional brain lateralization in autism.

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