Author Contributions: Dr Courchesne had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Study concept and design: Courchesne, Mouton, Semendeferi, Ahrens-Barbeau.
Acquisition of data: Courchesne, Mouton, Calhoun, Semendeferi, Ahrens-Barbeau, Barnes.
Analysis and interpretation of data: Courchesne, Mouton, Calhoun, Semendeferi, Ahrens-Barbeau, Hallet, Barnes, Pierce.
Drafting of the manuscript: Courchesne, Mouton, Barnes.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Courchesne, Mouton, Calhoun, Semendeferi, Ahrens-Barbeau, Hallet, Pierce.
Statistical analysis: Mouton, Calhoun, Hallet, Pierce.
Obtained funding: Courchesne, Semendeferi.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Courchesne, Calhoun, Ahrens-Barbeau.
Study supervision: Courchesne, Mouton, Calhoun, Semendeferi, Ahrens-Barbeau.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Dr Calhoun is employed by and principal owner of Sinq Systems, a contract research organization that performed data collection and analysis for this study, and he is an applicant on a pending patent on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office related to analysis of microscopic structure.
Funding/Support: This study was supported by Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now, The Peter Emch Family Foundation, the Simons Foundation, The Thursday Club Juniors, and the University of California, San Diego-National Institutes of Health (UCSD-NIH) Autism Center of Excellence (P50-MH081755) awarded to Dr Courchesne and by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (MH076541-04) awarded to Dr Mouton. Tissue was provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders under contracts N01-HD-4-3368 and N01-HD-4-3383, the Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders, Autism Tissue Program, and direct donations to the Courchesne laboratory.
Role of the Sponsor: The funding organizations had no role in the design and conduct of the study; in the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.
Online-Only Material: The Author Audio Interview is available here.
Additional Contributions: We thank Chet Sherwood, PhD, George Washington University, for insight and review of prefrontal cytoarchitectonic features and regional borders; Muhammad Spocter, PhD, George Washington University, for insight and review of prefrontal cytoarchitectonic features and regional borders; Ronald Zielke, PhD, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders for facilitation of case acquisition; Jane Pickett, PhD, the Autism Tissue Program, for facilitation of case acquisition; Daniel Lightfoot, PhD, the Autism Tissue Program for facilitation of case acquisition; Patrick Hof, MD, at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, for facilitation of case acquisition; and Jerzy Wegiel, VMD-PhD, Institute for Basic Research, for facilitation of case acquisition. None of these individuals received compensation for their contributions to the study. We appreciate all parents who made the difficult choice to support brain research through the donation of brain tissue from their loved ones. This autism research is dedicated to the memory of Gail Erickson Courchesne, passionate and gifted musician and loving mother.