Autism is a psychiatric syndrome characterized by impairments in three domains: social interaction, communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviours and interests. Recent findings implicate the amygdala in the neurobiology of autism. In this paper, we report the results of a series of novel experimental investigations focusing on the structure and function of the amygdala in a group of children with autism. The first section attempts to determine if abnormality of the amygdala can be identified in an individual using magnetic resonance imaging in vivo. Using single–case voxel–based morphometric analyses, abnormality in the amygdala was detected in half the children with autism. Abnormalities in other regions were also found. In the second section, emotional modulation of the startle response was investigated in the group of autistic children. Surprisingly, there were no significant differences between the patterns of emotional modulation of the startle response in the autistic group compared with the controls.