A Longitudinal Study of Local Gyrification Index in Young Boys With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lauren E. Libero, Marie Schaer, Deana D. Li, David G Amaral, Christine W Nordahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Local gyrification index (LGI), a metric quantifying cortical folding, was evaluated in 105 boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 49 typically developing (TD) boys at 3 and 5 years-of-age. At 3 years-of-age, boys with ASD had reduced gyrification in the fusiform gyrus compared with TD boys. A longitudinal evaluation from 3 to 5 years revealed that while TD boys had stable/decreasing LGI, boys with ASD had increasing LGI in right inferior temporal gyrus, right inferior frontal gyrus, right inferior parietal lobule, and stable LGI in left lingual gyrus. LGI was also examined in a previously defined neurophenotype of boys with ASD and disproportionate megalencephaly. At 3 years-of-age, this subgroup exhibited increased LGI in right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, and paracentral cortex, and left cingulate cortex and superior frontal gyrus relative to TD boys and increased LGI in right paracentral lobule and parahippocampal gyrus, and left precentral gyrus compared with boys with ASD and normal brain size. In summary, this study identified alterations in the pattern and development of LGI during early childhood in ASD. Distinct patterns of alterations in subgroups of boys with ASD suggests that multiple neurophenotypes exist and boys with ASD and disproportionate megalencephaly should be evaluated separately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2575-2587
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • autism
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • autistic
  • brain development
  • cortical folding
  • gyrification
  • longitudinal
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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