The aberrations were discovered through a process known as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) which measures the amount of water molecules dispersed throughout the white matter in the brain. White matter essentially provides a rapid transit neural network between different areas of the brain. The researchers postulate that in these test subjects the white matter is more diffuse which then allows the water to proliferate more freely in the afflicted regions. This in turn lowers the potential connectivity of the neurons causing the entire system to be less productive.
The area of focus is the bundle of connecting nerves (known as the superior longitudinal fasciculus) between the two language centers called Broca’s area & Winnecke’s area. The group of children with the least diffusion of water were the language impaired, followed by autism alone, and finally those with both language deficiencies and autism.