Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


16th Annual Autism Conference; Seattle, WA; 2022

All times listed are Pacific Standard Time (UTC -8 at the time of the convention in March).

Event Details

The terminology utilized in the presentation titles and abstracts for this conference was selected to adhere to the seventh edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual and to be inclusive of those who prefer person-first as well as identity-first language.

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Invited Paper Session #8
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Brain and Behavior in Autism: Insights From the Human Connectome
Sunday, March 6, 2022
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Fourth Floor; Grand Ballroom 1/2
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Adriana Di Martino, M.D.
Presenting Author: ADRIANA DI MARTINO (The Child Mind Institute)

Technical advancements in brain imaging represent an unprecedented opportunity to non-invasively examine the brain organization in terms of connections between brain regions. This is particularly relevant for autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions because a variety of sources support models of autism as a condition characterized by atypical connectivity among brain regions. Identifying the specific nature of the putative disconnections in autism is a challenging task; multiple neural circuit combinations can potentially be affected, they and can vary at any given developmental stage. Additionally, the biological and clinical heterogeneity of autism introduces additional complexity. This presentation will review key advancements as well as remaining gaps in effort to unravel the autism connectopathy using neuroimaging with a particular focus on large-scale studies, open data sharing, and approaches aimed to identify data driven autism brain-behavior subtypes.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students. 

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define brain connectivity; (2) describe the main methods capturing brain connectivity in vivo; (3) contrast single region/behavior vs large-scale networks/multiple symptom domains models of autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions; (4) describe the power of open data sharing for discovery science; (5) discuss the neuronal circuits and underlying processes they serve that have been most consistently found atypical in autism.
ADRIANA DI MARTINO (The Child Mind Institute)

Adriana Di Martino is a child neuropsychiatrist and an internationally recognized scientist with a long-standing interest in autism and how to best understand its neurobiology through brain imaging and a range of other clinical and cognitive approaches. Currently, Dr. Di Martino is the founding research director for the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute in New York where she leads a multidisciplinary team of investigators. Dr. Di Martino’s research has placed a particular emphasis on characterizing large-scale brain networks that emerge in childhood, with the goal of identifying objective biological markers that can be used to aid the selection and monitoring of treatments. Dr. Di Martino is one of our nation’s most prolific researchers in the neuroimaging of autism, with publications in the most scientifically respected journals in the field. Among her most notable accomplishments is her establishment of the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) which aggregates and shares functional and structural brain imaging data from many laboratories around the world. The datasets made available to the scientific community by ABIDE have attracted a broad range of researchers to the study of autism, with expertise ranging from neuroscience and psychology to statistics, mathematics, and engineering.  Dr. Di Martino is also a leader in efforts to recognize and understand overlaps in the neural bases of other neurodevelopmental conditions that commonly co-occur with autism, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Insights from this work are helping to provide a better understanding of differences in the clinical presentation of autism among individuals, as well as variations in the responses of treatment.




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