Normal movement selectivity in autism

Ilan Dinstein, Cibu Thomas, Kate Humphreys, Nancy Minshew, Marlene Behrmann, David J. Heeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been proposed that individuals with autism have difficulties understanding the goals and intentions of others because of a fundamental dysfunction in the mirror neuron system. Here, however, we show that individuals with autism exhibited not only normal fMRI responses in mirror system areas during observation and execution of hand movements but also exhibited typical movement-selective adaptation (repetition suppression) when observing or executing the same movement repeatedly. Movement selectivity is a defining characteristic of neurons involved in movement perception, including mirror neurons, and, as such, these findings argue against a mirror system dysfunction in autism. Video Abstract:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-469
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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