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Dr. Rajesh Kana

Assistant Professor


Ph.D., 2003, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, India Postdoctoral Training, 2003-’07, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA


Cognitive and social processes are complex, non-unitary brain processes that are not always separable from each other. Impairment in social cognition and social understanding has a significant impact on social, cognitive and communicative functioning. My primary research interest is to explore the neural substrates of social cognition and the impact of social cognition on language, communication and other cognitive functions. Perhaps the most appropriate arena for studying social cognition is autism, an enigmatic disorder marked by an amalgam of cognitive and social impairments. In brief, I use functional and structural MRI to study the neural architecture of autism.  To learn more regarding my research, please go to


Kana, R.K., Keller, T.A., Minshew, N .J., & Just, M.A. (2007). Inhibitory Control in High
Functioning Autism: Decreased Activation and Underconnectivity in Inhibition
Networks. Biological Psychiatry, 62, 198-206.

Kana, R.K., Keller, T.A., Cherkassky, V.L., Minshew, N.J., & Just, M.A. (2006).
Sentence comprehension in autism: thinking in pictures with decreased functional
connectivity. Brain, 129(9), 2484-93.

Keller, T.A., Kana, R.K., & Just, M.A. (2007). A developmental study of the structural
integrity of white matter in autism. Neuroreport, 18(1), 23-27.

Cherkassky, V.L., Kana, R.K., Keller, T.A., & Just, M.A. (2006). Functional connectivity
in a baseline resting-state network in autism. Neuroreport, 17(16), 1687-90.

Koshino, H., Kana, R.K., Keller, T.A., Cherkassky, V.L., Minshew, N.J., & Just, M.A.
(2007). fMRI Investigation of Working Memory for Faces in Autism: Visual Coding
and Underconnectivity with Frontal Areas. Cerebral Cortex.

Just, M.A., Cherkassky, V.L., Keller, T.A., Kana, R.K., & Minshew, N.J. (2007). Functional
and anatomical cortical underconnectivity in autism: evidence from an fMRI study of an
executive function task and corpus callosum morphometry. Cerebral Cortex, 17(4), 951-

Mason, R.A., Williams, D.L., Kana, R.K., Minshew, N.J., & Just, M.A. (In press). Theory of
Mind disruption and recruitment of the right hemisphere during narrative comprehension in
autism. Neuropsychologia.


Social Neuroscience, Brain and Language, Theory of Mind, Neuroimaging, Autism