The relationship between posterior cerebellum volume and cross-modal divided attention in Autism Spectrum Disorders
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The purpose of the current study is to understand the relationship between the volume of the posterior cerebellar hemispheres and cross-modality divided attention in ASD and control participants. Abnormalities in shifting, orienting, and selective attention are well reported in ASD, but few studies have examined divided attention. Furthermore, there is evidence of volumetric reduction of the posterior cerebellum in ASD. However, few studies have examined the relationship between the posterior cerebellum and behavioral performance. The current study addresses this gap in the literature through structural MRI and a neuropsychological attention task. It is hypothesized that the ASD group will have impaired divided attention abilities compared to the control group. Furthermore, within the ASD group, reduced posterior cerebellar volume is expected to be associated with impaired divided attention. The study will use multiple regression analyses. As ASD is a neurodevelopmental disability with considerable heterogeneity and unknown etiology, the current study seeks to contribute to the understanding of neural and behavioral markers of ASD.