BRAIN IMAGINGHow somatic cortical maps differ in autistic and typical brainsCoskun, Mehmet Akifa; Varghese, Larrya; Reddoch, Stacyc; Castillo, Eduardo M.d; Pearson, Deborah A.c; Loveland, Katherine A.c; Papanicolaou, Andrew C.d; Sheth, Bhavin R.a bAuthor Information aDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering bCenter for NeuroEngineering and Cognitive Systems, University of Houston, Houston Departments of cPsychiatry and Behavioral Sciences dPediatrics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA Correspondence to Bhavin R. Sheth, PhD, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204-4005, USA Tel: +1 713 743 4935; fax: +1 713 743 4444; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Received 25 September 2008 accepted 17 October 2008 NeuroReport: January 28th, 2009 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 175-179 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32831f47d1 Buy Metrics Abstract The comorbidity of ‘core characteristics’ and sensorimotor abnormalities in autism implies abnormalities in brain development of a general and pervasive nature and atypical organization of sensory cortex. By using magnetoencephalography, we examined the cortical response to passive tactile stimulation of the thumb and index finger of the dominant hand and lip of the individuals with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing persons. The distance between the cortical representations of thumb and the lip was significantly larger in the autism group than in typicals. Moreover, in cortex, the thumb is typically closer to the lip than the index finger. This was not observed in persons with autism. Our findings are arguably the first demonstration of abnormality in sensory organization in the brains of persons with autism. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.