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The role of the prefrontal cortex in the sensory problems of children with autism spectrum disorder and its involvement in social aspects
INTRODUCTION. In persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), aberrant sensory perceptions could be as characteristic and disruptive as the presence of anomalies in social communication and interaction or restricted and repetitive interests. Most of them present sensory modulation disorders (hyper- or hypo-responsiveness) in several sensory channels. Furthermore, there is a deficit in the integration of the information from a number of sensory systems (for example, auditory and visual). All this would worsen the core symptoms related with communication and increase the appearance of behavioural problems. AIMS. This study aims to review the experimental evidence that addresses the role played by the prefrontal cortex in unusual sensory experiences in ASD and its involvement in social aspects. There is evidence of hypoactivation and dysfunction of the neural networks, which include the prefrontal cortex and participate in social cognition, such as the default mode and the mirror neuron system in children with ASD.