Neuroimaging research in the last two decades has contributed significantly in illuminating our knowledge of the neurobiology of autism spectrum disorders. Using modern brain imaging methods, particularly functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging, researchers have examined the make-up and functioning of the brain in autism. Findings of widespread functional, anatomical and connectional abnormalities in the brains of individuals with autism spectrum disorders have helped in conceptualizing autism as a system-wide neural disorder. This review explores the results of functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging studies to characterize the brain organization in autism spectrum disorders, to establish brain-behavior relationship, to apply the knowledge gained from neuroimaging research to diagnostic classification and to design effective treatment for individuals with autism. © 2013 Future Medicine Ltd.