Quantitative analysis of the shape of the corpus callosum in patients with autism and comparison individuals

Manuel F. Casanova, Ayman El-Baz, Ahmed Elnakib, Andrew E. Switala, Emily L. Williams, Diane L. Williams, Nancy J. Minshew, Thomas E. Conturo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Multiple studies suggest that the corpus callosum in patients with autism is reduced in size. This study attempts to elucidate the nature of this morphometric abnormality by analyzing the shape of this structure in 17 high-functioning patients with autism and an equal number of comparison participants matched for age, sex, IQ, and handedness. The corpus callosum was segmented from T1 weighted images acquired with a Siemens 1.5 T scanner. Transformed coordinates of the curvilinear axis were aggregated into a parametric map and compared across series to derive regions of statistical significance. Our results indicate that a reduction in size of the corpus callosum occurs over all of its subdivisions (genu, body, splenium) in patients with autism. Since the commissural fibers that traverse the different anatomical compartments of the corpus callosum originate in disparate brain regions our results suggest the presence of widely distributed cortical abnormalities in people with autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-238
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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