Increased response variability in autistic brains?

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One of the key ideas regarding atypical connectivity in autistic brains is the hypothesis of noisier networks. The systems level version of this hypothesis predicts reduced reliability or increased variability in the evoked responses of individuals with autism. Using magnetoencephalography, we examined the response of individuals with autism spectrum disorder versus matched typically developing persons to passive tactile stimulation of the thumb and index finger of the dominant (right) hand. A number of different analyses failed to show higher variability in the evoked response to the thumb or to the index finger in the autism group as compared with typicals. Our results argue against the hypothesis that the brain networks in autism are noisier than normal.

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