Study Uses MRI To Examine Insensitivity to Imitation in ASD Patients

Study explores autism and imitation

Autistic Children Don’t See Imitation as Flattery – New Study Reveals Why

The study was led by Norhiro Sadato, professor at Japan’s National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) and National Institute of Natual Sciences (NINS), who teamed with Hirotaka Kosaka of the University of Fukui and Tpshio Munesue of Kanazawa University. 19 adults with ASD and 22 control subjects underwent functional MRI while having their movements imitated and while imitating the movements of others.  The control group showed brain activity indicating recognition of being imitated, while the ASD group did not.

While this lack of imitation recognition has long been observed socially in people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, this study shows the actual neurological process, which can be used to aid behavioral research, provides new clues to understanding ASD, and may also be useful with diagnosis and behavioral intervention.

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