Macrocephaly, corpus callosum morphology and autism

Sara A. Rice, Erin D. Bigler, Howard B. Cleavinger, David F. Tate, Jamie Sayer, William McMahon, Sally J Ozonoff, Jeff Lu, Janet E. Lainhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Although the cause of autism is undetermined, a general consensus has been that some type of early aberrant neural development underlies the disorder. Given the increased prevalence of macrocephaly in autism, one theory of abnormal neural development implicates early brain growth resulting in larger brain and head size in autism. Surface area measurements of the midsagittal section of the corpus callosum can be used as an index of neural development and white-matter integrity because the corpus callosum is the major white-matter structure that interconnects the two cerebral hemispheres. The purpose of this study was to obtain corpus callosum surface area, shape, and contour in a sample of non-mentally retarded autistic subjects with macrocephaly (n = 12) and compare them with those of matched (n = 8), typically developing control subjects with benign macrocephaly. No significant differences were found in surface area, shape, or contour between groups, nor did corpus callosum surface area relate to measures of IQ or picture vocabulary. These findings suggest no unique difference in overall regional corpus callosum surface area in autism with macrocephaly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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