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  Subjects -> PSYCHOLOGY (Total: 875 journals)
Showing 1 - 174 of 174 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acción Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Colombiana de Psicología     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Comportamentalia     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Activités     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Actualidades en Psicologia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ad verba Liberorum : Journal of Linguistics & Pedagogy & Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
ADHD Report The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 39)
Advances in Mental Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 69)
Advances in Physiotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 58)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29)
African Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and Sport Facilitation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 391)
Aggressive Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
Ágora - studies in psychoanalytic theory     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Aletheia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
American Behavioral Scientist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
American Imago     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
American Journal of Applied Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 34)
American Journal of Community Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
American Journal of Health Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
American Journal of Psychoanalysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
American Journal of Psychotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 34)
American Psychologist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 163)
Anales de Psicología     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Análise Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Análisis y Modificación de Conducta     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Analysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 66)
Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26)
Annual Review of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 203)
Anuario de Psicología / The UB Journal of Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Anuario de Psicología Jurídica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Applied and Preventive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Applied Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66)
Applied Neuropsychology : Adult     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
Applied Neuropsychology : Child     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Applied Psychological Measurement     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Applied Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 128)
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47)
Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Archives of Scientific Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Arquivos Brasileiros de Psicologia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Asia-Pacific Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Asian American Journal of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Asian Journal of Business Ethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Assessment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
At-Tajdid : Jurnal Ilmu Tarbiyah     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Attention, Perception & Psychophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Australian Journal of Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Australian Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Autism Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Autism Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 29)
Autism's Own     Open Access  
Autism-Open Access     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Avaliação Psicológica     Open Access  
Avances en Psicologia Latinoamericana     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Aviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Balint Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Barbaroi     Open Access  
Basic and Applied Social Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
Behavior Analysis in Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Behavior Analyst     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Behavior Modification     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Behavior Research Methods     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Behavior Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45)
Behavioral Development Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription  
Behavioral Interventions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Behavioral Neuroscience     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 50)
Behavioral Sciences & the Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Behavioral Sleep Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Behaviour Research and Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 115)
Behavioural Processes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biofeedback     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
BioPsychoSocial Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
BMC Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy: An International Journal for Theory, Research and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Boletim Academia Paulista de Psicologia     Open Access  
Boletim de Psicologia     Open Access  
Brain Informatics     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
British Journal of Clinical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 125)
British Journal of Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 35)
British Journal of Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
British Journal of Health Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 42)
British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
British Journal of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 58)
British Journal of Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66)
British Journal of Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 32)
Burnout Research     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Cadernos de psicanálise (Rio de Janeiro)     Open Access  
Cadernos de Psicologia Social do Trabalho     Open Access  
Canadian Art Therapy Association     Hybrid Journal  
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Canadian Psychology / Psychologie canadienne     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Cendekia : Jurnal Kependidikan dan Kemasyarakatan     Open Access  
Child Development Perspectives     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Child Development Research     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Ciencia Cognitiva     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia e Interculturalidad     Open Access  
Ciências & Cognição     Open Access  
Ciencias Psicológicas     Open Access  
Clínica y Salud     Open Access  
Clinical Medicine Insights : Psychiatry     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Clinical Psychological Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Clinical Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 67)
Clinical Psychology and Special Education     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Clinical Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Coaching Psykologi - The Danish Journal of Coaching Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cogent Psychology     Open Access  
Cógito     Open Access  
Cognition & Emotion     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Cognitive Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 60)
Cognitive Research : Principles and Implications     Open Access  
Consciousness and Cognition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Construção Psicopedagógica     Open Access  
Consulting Psychology Journal : Practice and Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Contagion : Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Contemporary Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Contemporary School Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Contextos Clínicos     Open Access  
Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Counseling Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research : Linking research with practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Counselling and Values     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Counselling Psychology Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Couple and Family Psychoanalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Couple and Family Psychology : Research and Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Creativity Research Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Creativity. Theories - Research - Applications     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Criminal Justice Ethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Cuadernos de Neuropsicología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cuadernos de Psicologia del Deporte     Open Access  
Cuadernos de Psicopedagogía     Open Access  
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Cultural-Historical Psychology     Open Access  
Culturas Psi     Open Access  
Culture and Brain     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Current Addiction Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Current Directions In Psychological Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47)
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Current Opinion in Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Current Psychological Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Current Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Current psychology letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Current Research in Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 21)
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Decision     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Depression and Anxiety     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Depression Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Developmental Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Developmental Psychobiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 44)
Diagnostica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Dialectica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Discourse     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Diversitas: Perspectivas en Psicologia     Open Access  
Drama Therapy Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Dreaming     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Drogues, santé et société     Full-text available via subscription  
Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward terrorism and genocide     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
E-Journal of Applied Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Ecopsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
ECOS - Estudos Contemporâneos da Subjetividade     Open Access  
Educational Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25)
Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46)
Educazione sentimentale     Full-text available via subscription  
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Elpis - Czasopismo Teologiczne Katedry Teologii Prawosławnej Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku     Open Access  
Emotion     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 32)
Emotion Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
En-Claves del pensamiento     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Enseñanza e Investigacion en Psicologia     Open Access  
Epiphany     Open Access   (Followers: 3)

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Journal Cover Autism Research
  [SJR: 2.126]   [H-I: 39]   [31 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1939-3792 - ISSN (Online) 1939-3806
   Published by John Wiley and Sons Homepage  [1583 journals]
  • Autism: Too eager to learn? Event related potential findings of increased
           dependency on intentional learning in a serial reaction time task
    • Authors: Fenny S. Zwart; Constance W.Th.M Vissers, Roemer van der Meij, Roy P.C. Kessels, Joseph H.R. Maes
      Abstract: It has been suggested that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have an increased tendency to use explicit (or intentional) learning strategies. This altered learning may play a role in the development of the social communication difficulties characterizing ASD. In the current study, we investigated incidental and intentional sequence learning using a Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task in an adult ASD population. Response times and event related potentials (ERP) components (N2b and P3) were assessed as indicators of learning and knowledge. Findings showed that behaviorally, sequence learning and ensuing explicit knowledge were similar in ASD and typically developing (TD) controls. However, ERP findings showed that learning in the TD group was characterized by an enhanced N2b, while learning in the ASD group was characterized by an enhanced P3. These findings suggest that learning in the TD group might be more incidental in nature, whereas learning in the ASD group is more intentional or effortful. Increased intentional learning might serve as a strategy for individuals with ASD to control an overwhelming environment. Although this led to similar behavioral performances on the SRT task, it is very plausible that this intentional learning has adverse effects in more complex social situations, and hence contributes to the social impairments found in ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-27T09:28:54.014037-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1802
  • Long-term memory in older children/adolescents and adults with autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Diane L. Williams; Nancy J. Minshew, Gerald Goldstein, Carla A. Mazefsky
      Abstract: This study extends prior memory reports in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) by investigating memory for narratives after longer recall periods and by examining developmental aspects of narrative memory using a cross-sectional design. Forty-seven older children/adolescents with ASD and 31 youth with typical development (TD) and 39 adults with ASD and 45 TD adults were compared on memory for stories from standardized measures appropriate for each age group at three intervals (immediate, 30 min, and 2 day). Both the youth with and without ASD had difficulty with memory for story details with increasing time intervals. More of the youths with ASD performed in the range of impairment when recalling the stories 2 days later as compared to the TD group. The adults with ASD had more difficulty on memory for story details with increasing delay and were poorer at recall of thematic information (needed to create a gist) across the three delay conditions as compared to the TD group. Analyses of the individual results suggested that memory for details of most of the adults with ASD was not impaired when applying a clinical standard; however, a significant percentage of the adults with ASD did not make use of thematic information to organize the narrative information, which would have helped them to remember the stories. The youth with and without ASD performed similarly when both were at a stage of development when memory for details is the primary strategy. The adults with ASD had difficulty with use organizational strategies to support episodic memory. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-27T09:28:48.776518-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1801
  • The joint effect of air pollution exposure and copy number variation on
           risk for autism
    • Authors: Dokyoon Kim; Heather Volk, Santhosh Girirajan, Sarah Pendergrass, Molly A. Hall, Shefali S. Verma, Rebecca J. Schmidt, Robin L. Hansen, Debashis Ghosh, Yunin Ludena-Rodriguez, Kyoungmi Kim, Marylyn D. Ritchie, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Scott B. Selleck
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder is a complex trait with a high degree of heritability as well as documented susceptibility from environmental factors. In this study the contributions of copy number variation, exposure to air pollutants, and the interaction between the two on autism risk, were evaluated in the population-based case-control Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) Study. For the current investigation, we included only those CHARGE children (a) who met criteria for autism or typical development and (b) for whom our team had conducted both genetic evaluation of copy number burden and determination of environmental air pollution exposures based on mapping addresses from the pregnancy and early childhood. This sample consisted of 158 cases of children with autism and 147 controls with typical development. Multiple logistic regression models were fit with and without environmental variable-copy number burden interactions. We found no correlation between average air pollution exposure from conception to age 2 years and the child's CNV burden. We found a significant interaction in which a 1SD increase in duplication burden combined with a 1SD increase in ozone exposure was associated with an elevated autism risk (OR 3.4, P 
      PubDate: 2017-04-27T09:18:59.445654-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1799
  • Global and local visual processing in autism: An objective assessment
    • Authors: Kritika Nayar; Angela C. Voyles, Lynne Kiorpes, Adriana Di Martino
      Abstract: We examined global and local visual processing in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) via a match-to-sample task using Kanizsa illusory contours (KIC). School-aged children with ASD (n = 28) and age-matched typically developing controls (n = 22; 7–13 years) performed a sequential match-to-sample between a solid shape (sample) and two illusory alternatives. We tracked eye gaze and behavioral performance in two task conditions: one with and one without local interference from background noise elements. While analyses revealed lower accuracy and longer reaction time in ASD in the condition with local interference only, eye tracking robustly captured ASD-related global atypicalities across both conditions. Specifically, relative to controls, children with ASD showed decreased fixations to KIC centers, indicating reduced global perception. Notably, they did not differ from controls in regard to fixations to local elements or touch response location. These results indicate impaired global perception in the absence of heightened local processing in ASD. They also underscore the utility of eye-tracking measures as objective indices of global/local visual processing strategies in ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-22T01:46:50.890608-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1782
  • Next Generation Sequencing Mitochondrial DNA Analysis in Autism Spectrum
    • Authors: Ashok Patowary; Ryan Nesbitt, Marilyn Archer, Raphael Bernier, Zoran Brkanac
      Abstract: Autism is a complex genetic disorder where both de-novo and inherited genetics factors play a role. Next generation sequencing approaches have been extensively used to identify rare variants associated with autism. To date, all such studies were focused on nuclear genome; thereby leaving the role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in autism unexplored. Recently, analytical tools have been developed to evaluate mtDNA in whole-exome data. We have analyzed the mtDNA sequence derived from whole-exome sequencing in 10 multiplex families. In one of the families we have identified two variants of interest in MT-ND5 gene that were previously determined to impair mitochondrial function. In addition in a second family we have identified two VOIs; mtDNA variant in MT-ATP6 and nuclear DNA variant in NDUFS4, where both VOIs are within mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Complex. Our findings provide further support for the role of mitochondria in ASD and confirm that whole-exome sequencing allows for analysis of mtDNA, which sets a stage for further comprehensive genetic investigations of the role of mitochondria in autism. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
      PubDate: 2017-04-17T00:55:39.745813-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1792
  • MicroRNAs as biomarkers for psychiatric disorders with a focus on autism
           spectrum disorder: Current progress in genetic association studies,
           expression profiling, and translational research
    • Authors: Yubin Hu; Erik A. Ehli, Dorret I. Boomsma
      Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small noncoding RNA molecules, 18–25 nucleotides in length, which can negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by binding to messenger RNAs. About half of all identified miRNAs in humans are expressed in the brain and display regulatory functions important for many biological processes related to the development of the central nervous system (CNS). Disruptions in miRNA biogenesis and miRNA-target interaction have been related to CNS diseases, including psychiatric disorders. In this review, we focus on the role of miRNAs in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and summarize recent findings about ASD-associated genetic variants in miRNA genes, in miRNA biogenesis genes, and miRNA targets. We discuss deregulation of miRNA expression in ASD and functional validation of ASD-related miRNAs in animal models. Including miRNAs in studies of ASD will contribute to our understanding of its etiology and pathogenesis and facilitate the discrimination between different disease subgroups. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-17T00:55:37.813664-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1789
  • Internal noise estimates correlate with autistic traits
    • Authors: Greta Vilidaite; Miaomiao Yu, Daniel H. Baker
      Abstract: Previous neuroimaging research has reported increased internal (neural) noise in sensory systems of autistic individuals. However, it is unclear if this difference has behavioural or perceptual consequences, as previous attempts at measuring internal noise in ASD psychophysically have been indirect. Here, we use a “gold standard” psychophysical double-pass paradigm to investigate the relationship between internal noise and autistic traits in the neurotypical population (n = 43). We measured internal noise in three tasks (contrast perception, facial expression intensity perception, and number summation) to estimate a global internal noise factor using principal components analysis. This global internal noise was positively correlated with autistic traits (rs = 0.32, P = 0.035). This suggests that increased internal noise is associated with the ASD phenotype even in subclinical populations. The finding is discussed in relation to the neural and genetic basis of internal noise in ASD. Autism Res 2017,. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-17T00:15:29.353558-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1781
  • The role of cholesterol metabolism and various steroid abnormalities in
           autism spectrum disorders: A hypothesis paper
    • Authors: Christopher Gillberg; Elisabeth Fernell, Eva Kočovská, Helen Minnis, Thomas Bourgeron, Lucy Thompson, Clare S Allely
      Abstract: Based on evidence from the relevant research literature, we present a hypothesis that there may be a link between cholesterol, vitamin D, and steroid hormones which subsequently impacts on the development of at least some of the “autisms” [Coleman & Gillberg]. Our hypothesis, driven by the peer reviewed literature, posits that there may be links between cholesterol metabolism, which we will refer to as “steroid metabolism” and findings of steroid abnormalities of various kinds (cortisol, testosterone, estrogens, progesterone, vitamin D) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Further research investigating these potential links is warranted to further our understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12T03:55:57.883277-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1777
  • Placebo-like response in absence of treatment in children with Autism
    • Authors: Rebecca M. Jones; Caroline Carberry, Amarelle Hamo, Catherine Lord
      Abstract: Caregiver report is the most common measure of change in pediatric psychiatry. Yet, placebo response rates pose significant challenges to reliably detect a treatment response. The present study simulated an eight-week clinical trial protocol for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for the purpose of testing the feasibility and validity of several outcome measures. Twenty caregivers answered questions about their child's behavior on their smartphone each week and completed a battery of paper questionnaires during weeks one and eight. No treatment was administered. Caregivers reported a significant decrease in problem behaviors on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) (29% decrease) and general ASD behaviors on the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) (7% decrease). There was also a trend of behavior improvement from smartphone questions but no significant changes in clinical ratings of core diagnostic features of ASD. Participation in a comprehensive protocol in the absence of a particular treatment significantly influenced how caregivers perceived the severity of their children's problem behaviors. These placebo-like effects represent substantial challenges for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that use treatment as usual and have implications for future behavioral and pharmacological treatment trial designs. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12T03:55:51.889813-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1798
  • The Social Communication Questionnaire for adults with intellectual
           disability: SCQ-AID
    • Authors: Olivia Derks; Manuel Heinrich, Whitney Brooks, Paula Sterkenburg, Jane McCarthy, Lisa Underwood, Tanja Sappok
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently co-occurs with intellectual disability (ID) and often remains undiagnosed until adulthood. The Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) is a widely used measure to screen for ASD. To improve the utility of the SCQ for adults with ID, the aim of this study was to develop an ID-specific and adult appropriate algorithm for the SCQ using a core set of valid items. These items were identified in one sample (N = 226) and further cross-validated in a second, independent sample (N = 225) from Germany, England and the U.S. The newly developed algorithm has 24 items compared with the 40 items in the original instrument. The reduced item core set yielded similar diagnostic validity as the original algorithm with good sensitivity values (0.81–0.89) and low specificity values (0.62–0.72). Overall, these results suggest that the removed items may not carry diagnostically relevant information in adults with ID; thus, excluding these items may result in a more efficient and age-appropriate screening measure for this population. However, due to the low specificity values, a comprehensive assessment is essential for a final diagnostic assignment. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12T03:55:50.289212-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1795
  • Is there sexual dimorphism of hyperserotonemia in autism spectrum
    • Authors: Lauren C. Shuffrey; Stephen J. Guter, Shannon Delaney, Suma Jacob, George M. Anderson, James S. Sutcliffe, Edwin H. Cook, Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele
      Abstract: Approximately 30% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have elevated whole blood serotonin (5-HT) levels. Genetic linkage and association studies of ASD and of whole blood 5-HT levels as a quantitative trait have revealed sexual dimorphism. Few studies have examined the presence of a sex difference on hyperserotonemia within ASD. To assess whether the rate of hyperserotonemia is different in males than in females with ASD, we measured whole blood 5-HT levels in 292 children and adolescents with ASD, the largest sample in which this biomarker has been assessed. Based upon previous work suggesting that hyperserotonemia is more common prior to puberty, we focused our analysis on the 182 pre-pubertal children with ASD. 42% of pre-pubertal participants were within the hyperserotonemia range. In this population, we found that males were significantly more likely to manifest hyperserotonemia than females (P = 0.03). As expected, no significant difference was found in the post-pubertal population. Additional work will be needed to replicate this intriguing finding and to understand whether it could potentially explain differences in patterns of ASD risk between males and females. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12T03:55:42.876568-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1791
  • Psychophysiological responses to emotions of others in young children with
           autism spectrum disorders: Correlates of social functioning
    • Authors: Gemma Zantinge; Sophie van Rijn, Lex Stockmann, Hanna Swaab
      Abstract: Studying cognitive and affective mechanisms of social behavior could lead to identifying early indicators of derailing social behavior in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The present study combined sensitive and objective techniques, such as eyetracking and psychophysiology, to provide insight into early neurodevelopmental mechanisms that are more difficult to uncover when relying on behavioral measures. Social attention towards faces and changes in affective arousal were investigated together in 28 young children with ASD (42–75 months) and 45 nonclinical controls (41–81 months). Children were shown a social-emotional video clip while eyetracking and heart rate were measured. Children with ASD fixated less on key social-emotional features within the clip as compared to controls, even though both groups attended equally toward the screen. In contrast to the control group, children with ASD did not show an increase or modulation in affective arousal in response to the social-emotional scenes. Severity of ASD symptoms, specifically social problems, was associated with arousal modulation and social attention within the ASD group. Early ASD symptoms are associated with impairments in fundamental building blocks of social behavior as expressed in a lack in spontaneous social attention and affective arousal. Such sensitive and objective measures of underlying mechanisms might serve as indicators for tailored approaches in treatment and may help in evaluating effectiveness of early interventions aimed at positively influencing social development and related quality of life in individuals with ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:20:44.489326-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1794
  • The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST): Spanish adaptation and
    • Authors: Paula Morales-Hidalgo; Joana Roigé-Castellví, Andreu Vigil-Colet, Josefa Canals Sans
      Abstract: The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST; Scott et al. Autism 2002; 6:9–31) has proved to be a good test for screening autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and social communication problems. This study provides evidence on the statistical properties of the CAST, specifically its validity, factorial structure and discriminative capacity as an ASD screening test, in a Spanish sample of 4–12 year-old children from community and clinical settings. The study concludes that the test was valid and reliable for ASD screening in Spanish clinical and community populations and allowed us to create a new abbreviated version. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:20:37.675113-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1793
  • Priority service needs and receipt across the lifespan for individuals
           with autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Jonathan K. Y. Lai; Jonathan A. Weiss
      Abstract: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have a range of health, community, and social support needs across the lifespan that create age-specific challenges in navigating service sectors. In this study, we set out to identify the priority needs of individuals with ASD across the lifespan, and the factors that predict receiving priority services. Participants included 3,317 individuals with ASD from a Canada-wide online caregiver survey, stratified into five age groups (preschool, elementary school age, adolescence, emerging adulthood, adulthood). Priority receipt was calculated as a ratio of current services that corresponded to individualized priority need. Age-stratified Poisson regression analyses were used to identify the sociodemographic, clinical and systemic predictors of priority receipt. Results indicate that the distribution of priority need varied by age, except for social skills programming, which was a high across all groups. The number of high and moderate priority needs diversified with age. Overall, 30% of individuals had none of their priority needs met and priority receipt decreased with age. Systemic factors were most consistently related to priority receipt across the lifespan. Understanding patterns and correlates of priority needs and use that currently exist in different age groups can inform policies to improve service access. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:20:35.838083-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1786
  • Assessment of presentation patterns, clinical severity, and sensorial
           mechanism of tip-toe behavior in severe ASD subjects with intellectual
           disability: A cohort observational study
    • Authors: Giulio Valagussa; Luca Trentin, Valeria Balatti, Enzo Grossi
      Abstract: We assessed presentation patterns and characteristics of tip-toe behavior (TTB), more commonly known as toe walking, in a cohort of severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) subjects with intellectual disability in two studies. The first study included 69 consecutive ASD subjects (57 males, mean age = 14 years—3.7 SD) under observation at our institute. A therapist assessed the presence of TTB during standing, walking, and running through direct observation and an interview with the subjects main caregiver. The prevalence of TTB was 32%. We found three clinical presentation patterns of TTB: (1) present when standing, walking and running (45.5%), (2) present when walking and running (18.4%), or (3) present only when running (36.4%). TTB subjects were more frequently nonverbal than those without TTB (72.7% vs. 44.6%-P = 0.03). On the other hand, no significant difference in ASD severity according to the ADOS scale was found between TTB and non-TTB subjects. In the second study, carried out in a subgroup of 14 ASD subjects (7 TTB and 7 non-TTB), we evidenced that a soft floor surface (foam mats) made a substantial difference in reducing the TTB phenomenon. TTB is frequently present in ASD individuals and may occur in three mutually exclusive modalities, which ultimately defines what is commonly known as toe walking. The presence of TTB seems correlated to the severity of language delay. Foot contact on soft surfaces reduces TTB both during static and/or dynamic tasks. Further evaluation is needed to clarify the potential pathophysiological implications of this phenomenon. Autism Res 2017,. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:20:33.483948-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1796
  • Maternal hirsutism and autism spectrum disorders in offspring
    • Authors: Brian K. Lee; Stefan Arver, Linnea Widman, Renee M. Gardner, Cecilia Magnusson, Christina Dalman, Kyriaki Kosidou
      Abstract: Because animal and human studies indicate that androgen exposure can influence neurodevelopment, it has been hypothesized that prenatal exposure to excess androgens may predispose to disorders with male-skewed ratio such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Therefore, maternal conditions characterized by hyperandrogenism such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or hirsutism may be relevant to child ASD. We previously found in a large Swedish case-control study of 23,748 ASD cases and 208,796 matched controls that PCOS in mothers is associated with increased offspring risk of ASD. In the same sample, we have now examined whether maternal diagnoses of hirsutism were associated with ASD. In both unadjusted logistic regression models and models adjusted for a variety of covariates, hirsutism was associated with higher odds of ASD. The most adjusted odds ratios for associations with ASD for hirsutism diagnosis before birth and lifetime diagnosis of hirsutism were 1.64 (95% CI: 0.94, 2.83) and 1.26 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.57), respectively. The presence of an association of maternal hirsutism with child ASD is consistent with the hypothesis that androgens may be involved in the etiology of ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:19:29.1583-05:00
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1797
  • Auditory spatial attention to speech and complex non-speech sounds in
           children with autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Laura N. Soskey; Paul D. Allen, Loisa Bennetto
      Abstract: One of the earliest observable impairments in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a failure to orient to speech and other social stimuli. Auditory spatial attention, a key component of orienting to sounds in the environment, has been shown to be impaired in adults with ASD. Additionally, specific deficits in orienting to social sounds could be related to increased acoustic complexity of speech. We aimed to characterize auditory spatial attention in children with ASD and neurotypical controls, and to determine the effect of auditory stimulus complexity on spatial attention. In a spatial attention task, target and distractor sounds were played randomly in rapid succession from speakers in a free-field array. Participants attended to a central or peripheral location, and were instructed to respond to target sounds at the attended location while ignoring nearby sounds. Stimulus-specific blocks evaluated spatial attention for simple non-speech tones, speech sounds (vowels), and complex non-speech sounds matched to vowels on key acoustic properties. Children with ASD had significantly more diffuse auditory spatial attention than neurotypical children when attending front, indicated by increased responding to sounds at adjacent non-target locations. No significant differences in spatial attention emerged based on stimulus complexity. Additionally, in the ASD group, more diffuse spatial attention was associated with more severe ASD symptoms but not with general inattention symptoms. Spatial attention deficits have important implications for understanding social orienting deficits and atypical attentional processes that contribute to core deficits of ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-01T01:10:38.274929-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1790
  • I tawt i taw a puddy tat: Gestures in canary row narrations by
           high-functioning youth with autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Laura B. Silverman; Inge-Marie Eigsti, Loisa Bennetto
      Abstract: This study examined whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) produce co-speech gestures similarly to typically developing (TD) peers. Participants were 20 youth ages 10–18 years with high-functioning ASD and 21 TD controls matched on age, gender, verbal IQ, and handedness. Gestures were elicited using a classic narrative-retelling task, in which participants watched a Tweety and Sylvester cartoon and retold the cartoon to a confederate. Analyses compared gesture rate, type, and viewpoint (character, observer, dual) across groups. Communicative utility of gestures was measured via naïve coder ratings of whether a movement was a gesture, and the clarity of a gesture's meaning. The ASD group produced shorter narratives and fewer total gestures than the TD group. Accounting for narrative length, the ASD group produced fewer gestures per clause than the TD group; however, proportions of gesture types (iconic, deictic, beat, metaphoric, emblems) did not differ. Most notably, the ASD group's gestures were rated as less clearly gestures in terms of timing and well formedness, with lower certainty ratings for gesture meaning. Gesture clarity and gesture meaning scores were related to diagnostic measures of gesture competence in ASD. Findings suggest that although fluent children and adolescents with ASD use the same type of gestures as controls, their gestures are more difficult to understand, which has significant implications for their communicative abilities more broadly. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-01T01:10:32.781613-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1785
  • Autism spectrum disorders and the amplitude of auditory brainstem response
           wave I
    • Authors: Mariline Santos; Cristina Marques, Ana Nóbrega Pinto, Raquel Fernandes, Miguel Bebiano Coutinho, Cecília Almeida e Sousa
      Abstract: To determine whether children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have an increased number of wave I abnormal amplitudes in auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) than age- and sex-matched typically developing children. This analytical case–control study compared patients with ASDs between the ages of 2 and 6 years and children who had a language delay not associated with any other pathology. Amplitudes of ABR waves I and V; absolute latencies (ALs) of waves I, III, and V; and interpeak latencies (IPLs) I–III, III–IV, and I–V at 90 dB were compared between ASD patients and normally developing children. The study enrolled 40 children with documented ASDs and 40 age- and sex-matched control subjects. Analyses of the ABR showed that children with ASDs exhibited higher amplitudes of wave 1 than wave V (35%) more frequently than the control group (10%), and this difference between groups reached statistical significance by Chi-squared analysis. There were no significant differences in ALs and IPLs between ASD children and matched controls. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case–control study testing the amplitudes of ABR wave I in ASD children. The reported results suggest a potential for the use of ABR recordings in children, not only for the clinical assessment of hearing status, but also for the possibility of using amplitude of ABR wave I as an early marker of ASDs allowing earlier diagnosis and intervention. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-01T01:10:31.503965-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1771
  • Infants at-risk for autism spectrum disorder: Patterns of vocalizations at
           14 months
    • Authors: Dunia Garrido; Linda R. Watson, Gloria Carballo, Rocio Garcia-Retamero, Elizabeth R. Crais
      Abstract: Differences in the early development of children are crucial for early detection of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous studies have shown large differences between children later diagnosed with ASD and their typically developing peers in the early use of canonical vocalizations (i.e., vocalizations that include well-formed consonant–vowel syllables) and the use of vocalizations for communicative purposes. In this prospective study, we examined the extent to which infant vocalizations at 14 months would predict Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) diagnostic symptom groups, that is, Autism, Spectrum, and Non-ASD, for 82 community-identified at-risk infants at 23 months. Thirty-minute video samples were coded with the intention to categorize and quantify speech (canonical/noncanonical and directed/nondirected) and nonspeech vocalizations (atypical, distress, and pleasure vocalizations). Our results revealed that more canonical directed (OR = 1.039, P = .036), and fewer noncanonical directed (OR=.607, P = .002) and noncanonical nondirected (OR = 1.200, P = .049) vocalizations were associated with a greater likelihood of being in the Non-ASD group versus the Autism group, with no variables significantly predicting Autism versus Spectrum group membership. Despite some statistically significant findings, models performed poorly in classifying children into correct ASD symptom group at age 23 months based on vocalizations at 14 months. Thus, the utility of infant vocalizations alone for predicting toddler clinical outcomes among infants initially identified at an elevated risk for ASD appears limited; however, considering the structure and function of early vocalizations combined with other early developmental and behavioral features may improve the confidence for clinicians in making an early diagnosis of ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-01T01:10:26.821479-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1788
  • Latent constructs underlying sensory subtypes in children with autism: A
           preliminary study
    • Authors: Brittany N. Hand; Simon Dennis, Alison E. Lane
      Abstract: Recent reports identify sensory subtypes in ASD based on shared patterns of responses to daily sensory stimuli [Ausderau et al., 2014; Lane, Molloy, & Bishop, 2014]. Lane et al. propose that two broad sensory dimensions, sensory reactivity and multisensory integration, best explain the differences between subtypes, however this has yet to be tested. The present study tests this hypothesis by examining the latent constructs underlying Lane's sensory subtypes. Participants for this study were caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aged 2–12 years. Caregiver responses on the Short Sensory Profile (SSP), used to establish Lane's sensory subtypes, were extracted from two existing datasets (total n = 287). Independent component analyses were conducted to test the fit and interpretability of a two-construct structure underlying the SSP, and therefore, the sensory subtypes. The first construct was largely comprised of the taste/smell sensitivity domain, which describes hyper-reactivity to taste and smell stimuli. The second construct had a significant contribution from the low energy/weak domain, which describes behaviors that may be indicative of difficulties with multisensory integration. Findings provide initial support for our hypothesis that sensory reactivity and multisensory integration underlie Lane's sensory subtypes in ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-01T01:10:24.048877-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1787
  • Perception of odors and tastes in autism spectrum disorders: A systematic
           review of assessments
    • Authors: Mohamed A. Boudjarane; Marine Grandgeorge, Rémi Marianowski, Laurent Misery, Éric Lemonnier
      Abstract: Olfaction and gustation are major sensory functions implied in processing environmental stimuli. Some evidences suggest that loss of olfactory function is an early biomarker for neurodegenerative disorders and atypical processing of odor and taste stimuli is present in several neurodevelopmental disorders, notably in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).In this paper, we conducted a systematic review investigating the assessments of olfaction and gustation with psychophysics methods in individuals with ASD. Pubmed, PMC and Sciencedirect were scrutinized for relevant literature published from 1970 to 2015. In this review, fourteen papers met our inclusion criteria. They were analyzed critically in order to evaluate the occurrence of olfactory and gustatory dysfunction in ASD, as well as to report the methods used to assess olfaction and gustation in such conditions.Regarding to these two senses, the overall number of studies is low. Most of studies show significant difference regarding to odor or taste identification but not for detection threshold. Overall, odor rating through pleasantness, intensity and familiarity do not differ significantly between control and individuals with ASD.The current evidences can suggest the presence of olfactory and gustatory dysfunction in ASD. Therefore, our analysis show a heterogeneity of findings. This is due to several methodological limitations such as the tools used or population studied. Understanding these disorders could help to shed light on other atypical behavior in this population such as feeding or social behavior. Autism Res 2017, 0: 000–000. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-30T01:45:26.862282-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1760
  • Identification of likely associations between cerebral folate deficiency
           and complex genetic- and metabolic pathogenesis of autism spectrum
           disorders by utilization of a pilot interaction modeling approach
    • Authors: Daniel Krsička; Jan Geryk, Markéta Vlčková, Markéta Havlovicová, Milan Macek, Radka Pourová
      Abstract: Recently, cerebral folate deficiency (CFD) was suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the exact role of folate metabolism in the pathogenesis of ASD, identification of underlying pathogenic mechanisms and impaired metabolic pathways remain unexplained. The aim of our study was to develop and test a novel, unbiased, bioinformatics approach in order to identify links between ASD and disturbed cerebral metabolism by focusing on abnormal folate metabolism, which could foster patient stratification and novel therapeutic interventions. An unbiased, automatable, computational workflow interaction model was developed using available data from public databases. The interaction network model of ASD-associated genes with known cerebral expression and function (SFARI) and metabolic networks (MetScape), including connections to known metabolic substrates, metabolites and cofactors involving folates, was established. Intersection of bioinformatically created networks resulted in a limited amount of interaction modules pointing to common disturbed metabolic pathways, linking ASD to CFD. Two independent interaction modules (comprising three pathways) covering enzymes encoded by ASD-related genes and folate cofactors utilizing enzymes were generated. Module 1 suggested possible interference of CFD with serine and lysine metabolism, while module 2 identified correlations with purine metabolism and inosine monophosphate production. Since our approach was primarily conceived as a proof of principle, further amendments of the presented initial model are necessary to obtain additional actionable outcomes. Our modelling strategy identified not only previously known interactions supported by evidence-based analyses, but also novel plausible interactions, which could be validated in subsequent functional and/or clinical studies. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-24T10:03:40.221676-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1780
  • Parental relationship satisfaction in families of children with autism
           spectrum disorder (ASD): A multilevel analysis
    • Authors: Emma Langley; Vasiliki Totsika, Richard P. Hastings
      Abstract: Caring for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been linked to a range of negative outcomes for parents but less is known about the putative impact upon the parental couple relationship. The relationship satisfaction of parents of children with ASD was investigated using multilevel modeling. Mothers and fathers (146 couples) reported on their relationship satisfaction, their own well-being, and the behavior problems of the child with ASD and a sibling. Results indicated that mothers and fathers reported similar levels of relationship satisfaction and it was significantly and negatively associated with parental depression and the behavior problems of the child with ASD. Relationship satisfaction was unrelated to the behavior problems of a sibling, the number of children in the household, and family socioeconomic position (SEP). Further longitudinal research that captures a broader range of variables is required to build a theoretical understanding of relationship satisfaction in families of children with ASD. Current evidence suggests that early intervention routes targeting either child behavior problems, parental mental health, or the couple relationship have the potential to benefit inter-connected subsystems within the broader family system. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-24T10:03:35.279687-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1773
  • Multisensory speech perception in autism spectrum disorder: From phoneme
           to whole-word perception
    • Authors: Ryan A. Stevenson; Sarah H. Baum, Magali Segers, Susanne Ferber, Morgan D. Barense, Mark T. Wallace
      Abstract: Speech perception in noisy environments is boosted when a listener can see the speaker's mouth and integrate the auditory and visual speech information. Autistic children have a diminished capacity to integrate sensory information across modalities, which contributes to core symptoms of autism, such as impairments in social communication. We investigated the abilities of autistic and typically-developing (TD) children to integrate auditory and visual speech stimuli in various signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Measurements of both whole-word and phoneme recognition were recorded. At the level of whole-word recognition, autistic children exhibited reduced performance in both the auditory and audiovisual modalities. Importantly, autistic children showed reduced behavioral benefit from multisensory integration with whole-word recognition, specifically at low SNRs. At the level of phoneme recognition, autistic children exhibited reduced performance relative to their TD peers in auditory, visual, and audiovisual modalities. However, and in contrast to their performance at the level of whole-word recognition, both autistic and TD children showed benefits from multisensory integration for phoneme recognition. In accordance with the principle of inverse effectiveness, both groups exhibited greater benefit at low SNRs relative to high SNRs. Thus, while autistic children showed typical multisensory benefits during phoneme recognition, these benefits did not translate to typical multisensory benefit of whole-word recognition in noisy environments. We hypothesize that sensory impairments in autistic children raise the SNR threshold needed to extract meaningful information from a given sensory input, resulting in subsequent failure to exhibit behavioral benefits from additional sensory information at the level of whole-word recognition. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-24T10:03:29.643145-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1776
  • Are schizophrenia, autistic, and obsessive spectrum disorders dissociable
           on the basis of neuroimaging morphological findings?: A voxel-based
    • Authors: Franco Cauda; Tommaso Costa, Andrea Nani, Luciano Fava, Sara Palermo, Francesca Bianco, Sergio Duca, Karina Tatu, Roberto Keller
      Abstract: Schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SCZD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder (OCSD) are considered as three separate psychiatric conditions with, supposedly, different brain alterations patterns. From a neuroimaging perspective, this meta-analytic study aimed to address whether this nosographical differentiation is actually supported by different brain patterns of gray matter (GM) or white matter (WM) morphological alterations. We explored two possibilities: (a) to find out whether GM alterations are specific for SCZD, ASD, and OCSD; and (b) to associate the identified brain alteration patterns with cognitive dysfunctions by means of an analysis of lesion decoding. Our analysis reveals that these psychiatric spectra do not present clear distinctive patterns of alterations; rather, they all tend to be distributed in two alteration clusters. Cluster 1, which is more specific for SCZD, includes the anterior insular, anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and frontopolar areas, which are parts of the cognitive control system. Cluster 2, which is more specific for OCSD, presents occipital, temporal, and parietal alteration patterns with the involvement of sensorimotor, premotor, visual, and lingual areas, thus forming a network that is more associated with the auditory-visual, auditory, premotor visual somatic functions. In turn, ASD appears to be uniformly distributed in the two clusters. The three spectra share a significant set of alterations. Our new approach promises to provide insight into the understanding of psychiatric conditions under the aspect of a common neurobiological substrate, possibly related to neuroinflammation during brain development. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-24T09:59:17.755367-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1759
  • Acquisition of voice onset time in toddlers at high and low risk for
           autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Karen Chenausky; Helen Tager-Flusberg
      Abstract: Although language delay is common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), research is equivocal on whether speech development is affected. We used acoustic methods to investigate the existence of sub-perceptual differences in the speech of toddlers who developed ASD. Development of the distinction between b and p was prospectively tracked in 22 toddlers at low risk for ASD (LRC), 22 at high risk for ASD without ASD (HRA−), and 11 at high risk for ASD who were diagnosed with ASD at 36 months (HRA+). Voice onset time (VOT), the main acoustic difference between b and p, was measured from spontaneously produced words at 18, 24, and 36 months. Number of words, number of tokens (instances) of syllable-initial b and p produced, error rates, language scores, and motor ability were also assessed. All groups' mean language scores were within the average range or slightly higher. No between-group differences were found in number of words, b's, p's, or errors produced; or in mean or standard deviation of VOT. Binary logistic regression showed that only diagnostic status, not language score, motor ability, number of words, number of b's and p's, or number of errors significantly predicted whether a toddler produced acoustically distinct b and p populations at 36 months. HRA+ toddlers were significantly less likely to produce acoustically distinct b's and p's at 36 months, which may indicate that the HRA+ group may be using different strategies to produce this distinction. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-24T09:59:13.913815-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1775
  • Don't touch me! autistic traits modulate early and late ERP components
           during visual perception of social touch
    • Authors: Leehe Peled-Avron; Simone G. Shamay-Tsoory
      Abstract: Although individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have impaired responses to interpersonal touch, the underlying neural correlates remain largely unknown. Here, we examined the neural correlates that underlie interpersonal touch perception in individuals with either high or low autistic traits. Fifty-three participants were classified as having either high or low autistic traits based on their performance on the autism quotient (AQ) questionnaire. We hypothesized that individuals with high AQ scores would have relatively high touch hypervigilance, reflected as earlier P1 and stronger late positive potential (LPP) responses, two components of event-related potentials that serve as electrophysiological markers of anxiety bias. We recorded each participant's electroencephalography activity during presentation of images depicting human touch, object touch, and non-touch control images. Consistent with our hypothesis, AQ scores were positively correlated with social touch aversion. Moreover, participants with high AQ scores had earlier P1 and stronger LPP responses when presented with human touch compared to the control images. Importantly, a regression model revealed that earlier P1 and larger LPP amplitude measured during social touch observation can accurately predict higher autistic trait levels. Taken together, these findings indicate that individuals with high levels of autistic traits may have a hypervigilant response to observed social touch. Autism Res 2017, 0: 000–000. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-24T09:02:26.106268-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1762
  • Binocular rivalry in children on the autism spectrum
    • Authors: Themelis Karaminis; Claudia Lunghi, Louise Neil, David Burr, Elizabeth Pellicano
      Abstract: When different images are presented to the eyes, the brain is faced with ambiguity, causing perceptual bistability: visual perception continuously alternates between the monocular images, a phenomenon called binocular rivalry. Many models of rivalry suggest that its temporal dynamics depend on mutual inhibition among neurons representing competing images. These models predict that rivalry should be different in autism, which has been proposed to present an atypical ratio of excitation and inhibition [the E/I imbalance hypothesis; Rubenstein & Merzenich, 2003]. In line with this prediction, some recent studies have provided evidence for atypical binocular rivalry dynamics in autistic adults. In this study, we examined if these findings generalize to autistic children. We developed a child-friendly binocular rivalry paradigm, which included two types of stimuli, low- and high-complexity, and compared rivalry dynamics in groups of autistic and age- and intellectual ability-matched typical children. Unexpectedly, the two groups of children presented the same number of perceptual transitions and the same mean phase durations (times perceiving one of the two stimuli). Yet autistic children reported mixed percepts for a shorter proportion of time (a difference which was in the opposite direction to previous adult studies), while elevated autistic symptomatology was associated with shorter mixed perception periods. Rivalry in the two groups was affected similarly by stimulus type, and consistent with previous findings. Our results suggest that rivalry dynamics are differentially affected in adults and developing autistic children and could be accounted for by hierarchical models of binocular rivalry, including both inhibition and top-down influences. Autism Res 2017. ©2017 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T07:40:59.946828-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1749
  • Neural correlates of language variability in preschool-aged boys with
           autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Letitia R. Naigles; Ryan Johnson, Ann Mastergeorge, Sally Ozonoff, Sally J. Rogers, David G. Amaral, Christine Wu Nordahl
      Abstract: Children with autism vary widely in their language abilities, yet the neural correlates of this language variability remain unclear, especially early in development. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to examine diffusivity measures along the length of 18 major fiber tracts in 104 preschool-aged boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The boys were assigned to subgroups according to their level of language development (Low: no/low language, Middle: small vocabulary, High: large vocabulary and grammar), based on their raw scores on the expressive language (EL) and receptive language (RL) sections of the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL). Results indicate that the subgroups differed in fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), and radial diffusivity (RD) along the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) in both hemispheres. Moreover, FA correlated significantly with Mullen EL and RL raw scores, but not ADOS severity score, along the left and right ILF. Subgroups also differed in MD (but not FA) along the left superior longitudinal fasiculus and left corticospinal tract, but these differences were not correlated with language scores. These findings suggest that white matter microstructure in the left and right ILF varies in relation to lexical development in young males with ASD. The findings also support the use of raw scores on language-relevant standardized tests for assessing early language-brain relationships. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T07:40:55.014495-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1756
  • Shorter sleep duration is associated with social impairment and
           comorbidities in ASD
    • Authors: Olivia J. Veatch; James S. Sutcliffe, Zachary E. Warren, Brendan T. Keenan, Melissa H. Potter, Beth A. Malow
      Abstract: Sleep disturbance, particularly insomnia, is common in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Furthermore, disturbed sleep affects core symptoms and other related comorbidities. Understanding the causes and consequences of sleep disturbances in children with ASD is an important step toward mitigating these symptoms. To better understand the connection between sleep duration and ASD severity, we analyzed ASD-related symptoms using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), IQ scores, and parent reports of the average amount of time slept per night that were available in the medical histories of 2,714 children with ASD in the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC). The mean (SD) sleep duration was 555 minutes. Sleep duration and severity of core ASD symptoms were negatively correlated, and sleep duration and IQ scores were positively correlated. Regression results indicated that more severe social impairment, primarily a failure to develop peer relationships, is the core symptom most strongly associated with short sleep duration. Furthermore, increased severity for numerous maladaptive behaviors assessed on the Child Behavior Checklist, as well as reports of attention deficit disorder, depressive disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder were associated with short sleep duration. Severity scores for social/communication impairment and restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRB) were increased, and IQ scores were decreased, for children reported to sleep ≤420 minutes per night (lower 5th percentile) compared to children sleeping ≥660 minutes (upper 95th percentile). Our results indicate that reduced amounts of sleep are related to more severe symptoms in children with ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T07:40:46.685361-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1765
  • Age-specific autistic-like behaviors in heterozygous Fmr1-KO female mice
    • Authors: Manon Gauducheau; Valerie Lemaire-Mayo, Francesca R. D'Amato, Diego Oddi, Wim E. Crusio, Susanna Pietropaolo
      Abstract: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a major developmental disorder and the most frequent monogenic cause of autism. Surprisingly, most existing studies on the Fmr1-KO mouse model for FXS have focused on males, although FX women, who are mostly heterozygous for the Fmr1 mutation, are known to exhibit several behavioral deficits, including autistic-like features. Furthermore, most animal research has been carried out on adults only; so that little is known about the age progression of the behavioral phenotype of Fmr1 mutants, which is a crucial issue to optimize the impact of therapeutic interventions. Here, we performed an extensive analysis of autistic-like social behaviors in heterozygous (HET) Fmr1-KO females and their WT littermates at different ages. No behavioral difference between HET and WT mice was observed at infancy, but some abnormalities in social interaction and communication were first detected at juvenile age. At adulthood some of these alterations disappeared, but avoidance of social novelty appeared, together with other FXS-relevant behavioral deficits, such as hyperactivity and reduced contextual fear response. Our data provide for the first time evidence for the presence of autistic-relevant behavioral abnormalities in Fmr1-HET female mice, demonstrating the utility of this mouse line to model autistic-like behaviors in both sexes. These results also highlight the importance of taking into account age differences when using the Fmr1-KO mouse model, suggesting that the early post-natal phases are the most promising target for preventive interventions and the adult age is the most appropriate to investigate the behavioral impact of potential therapies. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T07:40:41.865912-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1743
  • Response to changing contingencies in infants at high and low risk for
           autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Jessie B. Northrup; Klaus Libertus, Jana M. Iverson
      Abstract: One recently proposed theory of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) hypothesizes that individuals with the disorder may have difficulty using prior experiences to predict future events [Hellendoorn et al., 2015; Northrup, 2016; Sinha et al., 2014]. To date, this theory has not been tested in infancy. The current study analyzed how young infants at heightened (HR; older sibling with ASD) vs. low risk (LR; no first degree relatives with ASD) for ASD responded to changing contingencies when interacting with two visually identical rattles—one that produced sounds during shaking (Sound), and one that did not (Silent). Infants were given the rattles in a Sound-Silent-Sound order at 6 and 10 months, and shaking behavior was coded. Results indicated that LR and HR infants (regardless of ASD diagnosis) did not differ from each other in shaking behavior at 6 months. However, by 10 months, LR infants demonstrated high initial shaking with all three rattles, indicating expectations for rattle affordances, while HR infants did not. Significantly, HR infants, and particularly those with an eventual ASD diagnosis, did not demonstrate an “extinction burst”—or high level of shaking—in the first 10 sec with the “silent” rattle, indicating that they may have difficulty generalizing learning from one interaction to the next. Further, individual differences in the strength of this “extinction burst” predicted cognitive development in toddlerhood among HR infants. Difficulty forming expectations for new interactions based on previous experiences could impact learning and behavior in a number of domains. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T07:40:35.010792-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1770
  • Relationship between early motor milestones and severity of restricted and
           repetitive behaviors in children and adolescents with autism spectrum
    • Authors: Mirko Uljarević; Darren Hedley, Gail A. Alvares, Kandice J. Varcin, Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
      Abstract: This study explored the relationships between the later age of achievement of early motor milestones, current motor atypicalities (toe walking), and the severity of restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents of 147 children and adolescents with ASD (Mage = 8.09 years, SD = 4.28; 119 males) completed an early developmental milestones questionnaire and the Social Responsiveness Scale as a measure of Insistence on Sameness (IS) and Repetitive Mannerisms (RM). Two hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test whether RM and IS behaviors were predicted by early motor milestones, or current toe walking. The final model predicting RM accounted for 15% of the variance (F = 3.02, p = .009), with toe walking as a unique and independent predictor of RM scores (t = 3.568, p = .001). The final model predicting IS accounted for 19.1% of variance in IS scores (F = 4.045, p = .001), with chronological age (CA) (t = 2.92, p = .004), age when first standing (t = 2.09, p = .038), and toe walking (t = 2.53, p = .013) as unique independent predictors. Toe walking (t = 2.4, p = .018) and age when first sitting (t = 2.08, p = .04) predicted the severity of RRBs on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (F = 2.334, p = .036). Our study replicates previous findings on the relationship between concurrent motor impairments and RRBs, and provides the first evidence for the association between RRBs and age of attainment of early motor milestones. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16T07:40:30.119568-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1763
  • A new test of advanced theory of mind: The “Strange Stories Film Task”
           captures social processing differences in adults with autism spectrum
    • Authors: Kim Murray; Kate Johnston, Helen Cunane, Charlotte Kerr, Debbie Spain, Nicola Gillan, Neil Hammond, Declan Murphy, Francesca Happé
      Abstract: Real-life social processing abilities of adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be hard to capture in lab-based experimental tasks. A novel measure of social cognition, the “Strange Stories Film task’ (SSFt), was designed to overcome limitations of available measures in the field. Brief films were made based on the scenarios from the Strange Stories task (Happé) and designed to capture the subtle social-cognitive difficulties observed in ASD adults. Twenty neurotypical adults were recruited to pilot the new measure. A final test set was produced and administered to a group of 20 adults with ASD and 20 matched controls, alongside established social cognition tasks and questionnaire measures of empathy, alexithymia and ASD traits. The SSFt was more effective than existing measures at differentiating the ASD group from the control group. In the ASD group, the SSFt was associated with the Strange Stories task. The SSFt is a potentially useful tool to identify social cognitive dis/abilities in ASD, with preliminary evidence of adequate convergent validity. Future research directions are discussed. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-11T01:25:36.539867-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1744
  • The urinary 1H-NMR metabolomics profile of an italian autistic children
           population and their unaffected siblings
    • Authors: Milena Lussu; Antonio Noto, Alice Masili, Andrea C. Rinaldi, Angelica Dessì, Maria De Angelis, Andrea De Giacomo, Vassilios Fanos, Luigi Atzori, Ruggiero Francavilla
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) make a dishomogeneous group of psychiatric diseases having either genetic and environmental components, including changes of the microbiota. The rate of diagnosis, based on a series of psychological tests and observed behavior, dramatically increased in the past few decades. Currently, no biological markers are available and the pathogenesis is not defined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential use of 1H-NMR metabolomics to analyze the global biochemical signature of ASD patients (n = 21) and controls (n = 21), these being siblings of autistic patients. A multivariate model has been used to extrapolate the variables of importance. The discriminating urinary metabolites were identified; in particular, significantly increased levels of hippurate, glycine, creatine, tryptophan, and d-threitol and decreased concentrations of glutamate, creatinine, lactate, valine, betaine, and taurine were observed in ASD patients. Based on the identified discriminant metabolites, the attention was focused on two possible mechanisms that could be involved in ASD: oxidative stress conditions and gut microflora modifications. In conclusion, nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomics analysis of the urine seems to have the potential for the identification of a metabolic fingerprint of ASD phenotypes and appears to be suitable for further investigation of the disease mechanisms. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-11T01:25:34.641751-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1748
  • A clinician-administered observation and corresponding caregiver interview
           capturing DSM-5 sensory reactivity symptoms in children with ASD
    • Authors: Paige M. Siper; Alexander Kolevzon, A. Ting Wang, Joseph D. Buxbaum, Teresa Tavassoli
      Abstract: Sensory reactivity, including hyperreactivity, hyporeactivity, and sensation seeking, is a new criterion for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). However, there is no consensus on how to reliably measure sensory reactivity, particularly in minimally verbal individuals. The current study is an initial validation of the Sensory Assessment for Neurodevelopmental Disorders (SAND), a novel clinician-administered observation and corresponding caregiver interview that captures sensory symptoms based on DSM-5 criteria for ASD. DSM-5 criteria of sensory hyperreactivity, hyporeactivity, and seeking behaviors are measured across visual, auditory, and tactile domains. Children with ASD showed significantly more sensory reactivity symptoms compared to typically developing (TD) children across sensory domains (visual, tactile, and auditory) and within each sensory subtype (hyperreactivity, hyporeactivity, and seeking). Psychometric properties including internal consistency, inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability, and convergent validity were all strong. The SAND provides a novel method to characterize sensory reactivity symptoms based on DSM-5 criteria for ASD. This is the first known sensory assessment that combines a clinician-administered observation and caregiver interview to optimally capture sensory phenotypes characteristic of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. The SAND offers a beneficial new tool for both research and clinical purposes and has the potential to meaningfully enhance gold-standard assessment of ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-11T01:25:29.903737-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1750
  • Variations of stereotypies in individuals with Rett syndrome: A nationwide
           cross-sectional study in Taiwan
    • Authors: Lee Chin Wong; Pi-Lien Hung, Tz-Yun Jan, Wang-Tso Lee,
      Abstract: Individuals with Rett syndrome (RTT) can have variable manifestations of stereotypies. In this nation-wide cross-sectional study, we recruited all individuals with RTT in Taiwan diagnosed as RTT by neurologists based on genetic findings and diagnostic criteria. The data were collected using questionnaire. A total 43 cases of typical RTT and 15 cases of atypical RTT, aged from 2.1 to 40.1 years, were enrolled. They included 3 (5.2%) in stage II, 42 (72.4%) in stage III, and 13 (22.4%) in stage IV. All individuals presented with at least one stereotypy. Individuals with atypical RTT had more varied stereotypies (mean: 14 ± 6) compared to those with typical RTT (mean: 9 ± 5) (P = 0.003). Flapping (73.3%) and wringing (58.1%) were the most common hand stereotypies in atypical and typical RTT, respectively. Compared with typical RTT, hair pulling, bruxism, retropulsion, and protrusion of lips were more common in atypical RTT (P = 0.003, P = 0.006, P = 0.003 and
      PubDate: 2017-03-08T05:36:31.176537-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1774
  • Ensemble perception in autism spectrum disorder: Member-identification
           versus mean-discrimination
    • Authors: Ruth Van der Hallen; Lisa Lemmens, Jean Steyaert, Ilse Noens, Johan Wagemans
      Abstract: To efficiently represent the outside world our brain compresses sets of similar items into a summarized representation, a phenomenon known as ensemble perception. While most studies on ensemble perception investigate this perceptual mechanism in typically developing (TD) adults, more recently, researchers studying perceptual organization in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have turned their attention toward ensemble perception. The current study is the first to investigate the use of ensemble perception for size in children with and without ASD (N = 42, 8–16 years). We administered a pair of tasks pioneered by Ariely [2001] evaluating both member-identification and mean-discrimination. In addition, we varied the distribution types of our sets to allow a more detailed evaluation of task performance. Results show that, overall, both groups performed similarly in the member-identification task, a test of “local perception,” and similarly in the mean identification task, a test of “gist perception.” However, in both tasks performance of the TD group was affected more strongly by the degree of stimulus variability in the set, than performance of the ASD group. These findings indicate that both TD children and children with ASD use ensemble statistics to represent a set of similar items, illustrating the fundamental nature of ensemble coding in visual perception. Differences in sensitivity to stimulus variability between both groups are discussed in relation to recent theories of information processing in ASD (e.g., increased sampling, decreased priors, increased precision). Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T05:30:45.089322-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1767
  • Social communication in children with autism spectrum disorder (asd):
           Correlation between DSM-5 and autism classification system of
           functioning—social communication (ACSF:SC)
    • Authors: Francesco Craig; Isabella Fanizza, Luigi Russo, Elisabetta Lucarelli, Alessandro Lorenzo, Maria Grazia Pasca, Antonio Trabacca
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to classify children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF:SC) criteria, in order to investigate the association between social communication ability, ASD severity, adaptive functioning, cognitive abilities and psychoeducational profile. The severity of social communication impairment was specified through Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5th edition (DSM-5) and ACSF:SC tool. The ADOS-2, Vineland-II and PEP-3 were administered to all participants. We found a positive correlation between DSM-5 levels and ACSF:SC-Typical Performance (r = 0.35; P = 0.007) and ACSF:SC-Capacity (r = 0.31; P = 0.01) levels. Children included in the five levels of ACSF:SC (Typical Performance and Capacity) showed statistically significant differences in ADOS-2 (Social Affect), Vineland-II (Communication and Socialization), and PEP-3 (Communication, motor skills, maladaptive behavior) scores. The results of this study indicate that ACSF:SC provide a better understanding of functional profile of children with ASD based on the social communication abilities. Children with greater severity of social communication showed more difficulty in adaptive behavior and psychoeducational profiles. In conclusion, the ACSF:SC could help clinicians and therapists not only to understand the strength and weakness of preschool children with ASD but also to devise specific treatment in order to promote their social integration. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T05:30:42.192622-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1772
  • Short report: Symptom overlap on the srs-2 adult self-report between
           adults with asd and adults with high anxiety
    • Authors: Mikle South; AnnaLisa W. Carr, Kevin G. Stephenson, Max E. Maisel, Jonathan C. Cox
      Abstract: Many people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also experience significant symptoms of anxiety, while many people with anxiety disorders likewise experience social difficulties. These concerns can be difficult to tease apart in general clinical settings. The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) is one of the most frequently used measures of dimensional ASD symptoms. In order to investigate the overlap of autism and anxiety on the SRS, we compared three groups of adults (an ASD group, n = 40; a high anxious group, n = 56; and a typical comparison group, n = 29) using the new Adult Self Report version of the SRS-2nd Edition (SRS-2-ASR) alongside a battery of anxiety questionnaires. Based on previous research with children from the parent-report SRS (first edition), we hypothesized that the SRS-2-ASR would have difficulty discriminating between the ASD and high anxious groups. Results showed that both these clinical groups scored significantly higher on the SRS than a typical control group. Discriminant validity was poor, including sensitivity of 0.65 when including all participants and 0.48 when only the two clinical groups were included. In particular, the Social Motivation subscale of the SRS-ASR failed to distinguish between ASD and anxiety groups. As recommended in the SRS-2 manual, we highlight the need for caution when using the SRS-2-ASR to support diagnostic decision making, especially in clinical settings involving anxiety, ADHD, or other concerns that can affect reciprocal social communication and/or behavioral flexibility. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T05:30:39.192617-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1764
  • Aggressive behaviors and treatable risk factors of preschool children with
           autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Chen Chen; Yi-Dong Shen, Guang-Lei Xun, Wei-Xiong Cai, Li-Juan Shi, Lu Xiao, Ren-Rong Wu, Jing-Ping Zhao, Jian-Jun Ou
      Abstract: Aggressive behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are common. We conducted this study to describe the aggressive mode of preschool children with ASD and examine the associations between specific aggressive behaviors and two treatable factors: sleep problems and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. In total, 577 typically developing (TD) children and 490 children with ASD were investigated in this study. The Institute for Basic Research – Modified Overt Aggression Scale (IBR-MOAS) was used to assess aggressive behaviors. Children's social impairments, sleep problems and ADHD symptoms were also measured with specific scales. The total IBR-MOAS score was significantly higher (worse) in the TD group [4.47 (5.36)] than in the ASD group [3.47 (5.63), P = 0.004]. The aggressive modes differed between groups: when compared with each other, the TD group received higher scores on Verbal and Physical Aggression Toward Others (all P 
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T05:30:29.371365-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1751
  • Heterogeneity of sensory features in autism spectrum disorder: Challenges
           and perspectives for future research
    • Authors: Mirko Uljarević; Grace Baranek, Giacomo Vivanti, Darren Hedley, Kristelle Hudry, Alison Lane
      Abstract: Pronounced heterogeneity is apparent across every facet of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and it remains difficult to predict likely future potential among individuals who share a common diagnosis of ASD on the basis of early presentation. In this commentary we argue that a fine-grained understanding of individual differences in sensory features and their influence across the life span can constrain noted clinical heterogeneity in ASD. We organize our discussion around the following three critical themes: (a) considering sensory features as dimensional construct; (b) taking an “individual differences” approach; and (c) adopting a comprehensive, multidimensional and multimodal approach to measurement of sensory features. We conclude that future research will need to investigate individual differences in sensory features via: (1) multidimensional and cross-disciplinary examination, (2) prospective longitudinal designs, and (3) dimensional and developmental frameworks that emphasize the potential value of early individual variability as indicators of later outcomes, not only in relation to the categorical diagnostic outcome status but also the presence of other clinical features. This is a key time for sensory-related research and in this commentary we provide some of the steps that, in our opinion, can shape future research in this area. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T05:30:21.796703-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1747
  • Autism spectrum disorder in sub-saharan africa: A comprehensive scoping
    • Authors: Lauren Franz; Nola Chambers, Megan von Isenburg, Petrus J. de Vries
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is recognized as a global public health concern, yet almost everything we know about ASD comes from high-income countries. Here we performed a scoping review of all research on ASD ever published in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in order to identify ASD knowledge gaps in this part of the world. Fifty-three publications met inclusion criteria. Themes included the phenotype, genetics and risk factors for ASD in SSA, screening and diagnosis, professional knowledge, interventions for ASD, parental perceptions, and social-cognitive neuroscience. No epidemiological, early intervention, school-based or adult studies were identified. For each identified theme, we aimed to summarize results and make recommendations to fill the knowledge gaps. The quality of study methodologies was generally not high. Few studies used standardized diagnostic instruments, and intervention studies were typically small-scale. Overall, findings suggest a substantial need for large-scale clinical, training, and research programmes to improve the lives of people who live with ASD in SSA. However, SSA also has the potential to make unique and globally-significant contributions to the etiology and treatments of ASD through implementation, interventional, and comparative genomic science. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T05:25:29.793908-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1766
  • A pilot study of serotonergic modulation after long-term administration of
           oxytocin in autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Tetsu Hirosawa; Mitsuru Kikuchi, Yasuomi Ouchi, Tetsuya Takahashi, Yuko Yoshimura, Hirotaka Kosaka, Naoki Furutani, Hirotoshi Hiraishi, Mina Fukai, Masamichi Yokokura, Etsuji Yoshikawa, Tomoyasu Bunai, Yoshio Minabe
      Abstract: Oxytocin (OT) and the serotonergic system putatively play important roles in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) etiology and symptoms, but no direct neurobiological evidence exists for long-term OT administration effects on the brain's serotonergic system. This pilot study examined 10 male participants with ASD who were administered OT intranasally for 8–10 weeks in an open-label, single-arm, nonrandomized, and uncontrolled manner. Positron emission tomography (PET) with a radiotracer (11C)−3-amino-4-(2-[(dimethylamino)methyl]phenylthio)benzonitrile (11C-DASB) was used before and after OT treatment. The binding potential of serotonin transporter (11C-DASB BPND) was then estimated. The main outcome measures were changes in 11C-DASB BPND and their correlation with changes in symptoms. ASD participants showed significantly elevated 11C-DASB BPND in the left inferior frontal gyrus extending to the left middle frontal gyrus. No significant correlation was found between the change in any clinical symptom and the change in 11C-DASB BPND. This report of a pilot study is the first describing long-term effects of OT on the brain's serotonin system in ASD. Additional randomized controlled studies must be conducted to confirm whether activation of the serotonergic system contributes to the prosocial effect of OT in people with ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07T05:25:26.041068-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1761
  • Assessment of Autistic Traits in Children Aged 2 to 4½ Years With the
           Preschool Version of the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS-P): Findings
           from Japan
    • Authors: Andrew Stickley; Yoshiyuki Tachibana, Keiji Hashimoto, Hideyuki Haraguchi, Atsuko Miyake, Seiichi Morokuma, Hiroshi Nitta, Masako Oda, Yukihiro Ohya, Ayako Senju, Hidetoshi Takahashi, Takanori Yamagata, Yoko Kamio
      Abstract: The recent development and use of autism measures for the general population has led to a growing body of evidence which suggests that autistic traits are distributed along a continuum. However, as most existing autism measures were designed for use in children older than age 4, to date, little is known about the autistic continuum in children younger than age 4. As autistic symptoms are evident in the first few years, to address this research gap, the current study tested the preschool version of the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS-P) in children aged 2 to 4½ years in clinical (N = 74, average age 40 months, 26–51 months) and community settings (N = 357, average age 39 months, 25–50 months) in Japan. Using information obtained from different raters (mothers, other caregivers, and teachers) it was found that the scale demonstrated a good degree of internal consistency, inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability, and a satisfactory degree of convergent validity for the clinical sample when compared with scores from diagnostic “gold standard” autism measures. Receiver operating characteristic analyses and the group comparisons also showed that the SRS-P total score discriminated well between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those without ASD. Importantly, this scale could identify autistic symptoms or traits distributed continually across the child population at this age irrespective of the presence of an ASD diagnosis. These findings suggest that the SRS-P might be a sensitive instrument for case identification including subthreshold ASD, as well as a potentially useful research tool for exploring ASD endophenotypes. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-03T04:06:01.234161-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1742
  • Perceived social support in adults with autism spectrum disorder and
           attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
    • Authors: Sonia Alvarez-Fernandez; Hallie R. Brown, Yihong Zhao, Jessica A. Raithel, Somer L. Bishop, Sarah B. Kern, Catherine Lord, Eva Petkova, Adriana Di Martino
      Abstract: Perceived social support (PSS) has been related to physical and mental well-being in typically developing individuals, but systematic characterizations of PSS in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are limited. We compared self-report ratings of the multidimensional scale of PSS (MSPSS) among age- and IQ-matched groups of adults (18–58 years) with cognitively high-functioning ASD (N = 41), or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; N = 69), and neurotypical controls (NC; N = 69). Accompanying group comparisons, we used machine learning random forest (RF) analyses to explore predictors among a range of psychopathological and socio-emotional variables. Relative to both ADHD and NC, adults with ASD showed lower MSPSS ratings, specifically for the friends subscale (MSPSS-f). Across ASD and ADHD, interindividual differences in autism severity, affective empathy, symptoms of anxiety related to social interactions, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and somatization best predicted MSPSS-f. These relationships did not differ between clinical groups. While group comparisons demonstrated greater impairment in individuals with ASD, analyzing individuals' characteristics revealed cross-diagnoses similarities in regard to their MSPSS-f relationships. This is consistent with the Research Domain Criteria framework, supporting a trans-diagnostic approach as on the path toward “precision medicine.” Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-03-03T04:00:28.945582-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1735
  • Atypical physiological orienting to direct gaze in low-functioning
           children with autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Terhi M. Helminen; Jukka M. Leppänen, Kai Eriksson, Arto Luoma, Jari K. Hietanen, Anneli Kylliäinen
      Abstract: Reduced use of eye contact is a prominent feature in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It has been proposed that direct gaze does not capture the attention of individuals with ASD. Experimental evidence is, however, mainly restricted to relatively high-functioning school-aged children or adults with ASD. This study investigated whether 2–5-year-old low-functioning children with severe ASD differ from control children in orienting to gaze stimuli, as measured with the heart rate deceleration response. Responses were measured to computerized presentations of dynamic shifts of gaze direction either toward (direct) or away (averted) from the observing child. The results showed a significant group by gaze direction interaction effect on heart rate responses (permuted P = .004), reflecting a stronger orienting response to direct versus averted gaze in typically developing (N = 17) and developmentally delayed (N = 16) children but not in children with ASD (N = 12). The lack of enhanced orienting response to direct gaze in the ASD group was not caused by a lack of looking at the eye region, as confirmed by eye tracking. The results suggest that direct gaze is not a socially salient, attention-grabbing signal for low-functioning children with ASD. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-02-28T00:30:49.811779-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1738
  • Participation in recreational activities buffers the impact of perceived
           stress on quality of life in adults with autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Lauren Bishop-Fitzpatrick; Leann Smith DaWalt, Jan S. Greenberg, Marsha R. Mailick
      Abstract: As the number of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) grows, the need to identify modifiable correlates of positive outcomes and quality of life (QoL) gains in importance. Research indicates that perceived stress is significantly correlated with QoL in adults with ASD. Studies in the general population of individuals without disabilities indicate that greater participation in social and recreational activities may lessen the negative impact of perceived stress on well-being, and this association may also hold among adults with ASD. We hypothesized that: (1) perceived stress would be negatively associated with QoL; and (2) higher frequency of participation in social activities and recreational activities would moderate the relationship between perceived stress and QoL. We used data collected from 60 adults with ASD aged 24–55 and their mothers to address our hypotheses. Findings indicate that adults with ASD with higher perceived stress are likely to have poorer QoL. Furthermore, greater participation in recreational activities buffers the impact of perceived stress on QoL, but no buffering effect was observed for participation in social activities. These findings suggest that interventions and services that provide supports and opportunities for participation in recreational activities may help adults with ASD manage their stress and lead to better QoL. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-02-28T00:30:31.214214-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1753
  • In pursuit of neurophenotypes: The consequences of having autism and a big
    • Authors: David G. Amaral; Deana Li, Lauren Libero, Marjorie Solomon, Judy Van de Water, Ann Mastergeorge, Letitia Naigles, Sally Rogers, Christine Wu Nordahl
      Abstract: A consensus has emerged that despite common core features, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has multiple etiologies and various genetic and biological characteristics. The fact that there are likely to be subtypes of ASD has complicated attempts to develop effective therapies. The UC Davis MIND Institute Autism Phenome Project is a longitudinal, multidisciplinary analysis of children with autism and age-matched typically developing controls; nearly 400 families are participating in this study. The overarching goal is to gather sufficient biological, medical, and behavioral data to allow definition of clinically meaningful subtypes of ASD. One reasonable hypothesis is that different subtypes of autism will demonstrate different patterns of altered brain organization or development i.e., different neurophenotypes. In this Commentary, we discuss one neurophenotype that is defined by megalencephaly, or having brain size that is large and disproportionate to body size. We have found that 15% of the boys with autism demonstrate this neurophenotype, though it is far less common in girls. We review behavioral and medical characteristics of the large-brained group of boys with autism in comparison to those with typically sized brains. While brain size in typically developing individuals is positively correlated with cognitive function, the children with autism and larger brains have more severe disabilities and poorer prognosis. This research indicates that phenotyping in autism, like genotyping, requires a very substantial cohort of subjects. Moreover, since brain and behavior relationships may emerge at different times during development, this effort highlights the need for longitudinal analyses to carry out meaningful phenotyping. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-02-27T00:27:01.977089-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1755
  • The influence of sex and age on prevalence rates of comorbid conditions in
    • Authors: Kaustubh Supekar; Tara Iyer, Vinod Menon
      Abstract: Individuals with ASD frequently experience one or more comorbid conditions. Here, we investigate the influence of sex and age—two important, yet understudied factors—on ten common comorbid conditions in ASD, using cross-sectional data from 4790 individuals with ASD and 1,842,575 individuals without ASD. Epilepsy, ADHD, and CNS/cranial anomalies showed exceptionally large proportions in both male (>19%) and female (>15%), children/adolescents with ASD. Notably, these prevalence rates decreased drastically with age in both males and females. In contrast, the prevalence of schizophrenia increased with age affecting a disproportionately large number of older (≥35 year) adult males (25%), compared to females (7.7%), with ASD. Bowel disorders showed a complex U-pattern accompanied by changes in sex disparity with age. These results highlight crucial differences between cross-sectional comorbidity patterns and their interactions with sex and age, which may aid in the development of effective sex- and age-specific diagnostic/treatment strategies for ASD and comorbid conditions. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-02-11T03:25:29.385009-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1741
  • Atypical pupillary light reflex in 2–6-year-old children with autism
           spectrum disorders
    • Authors: Dinalankara M. R. Dinalankara; Judith H. Miles, T. Nicole Takahashi, Gang Yao
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate pupillary light reflex (PLR) in 2–6-years-old children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A total of 117 medication-free 2–6-year-old boys participated in this study. Sixty participants were diagnosed with ASD (the “ASD group”) and the other 57 were in the control group of typical development (the “TD group”). A questionnaire was completed by the parent/guardian for assessing potential dysfunctions in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The base pupil radius, PLR latency, and constriction time showed a significant age-related trend in both the ASD and TD groups. The base pupil size increased with age in the typically developing children, but not in the ASD group. The ASD group showed more symptoms related to ANS dysfunctions. An association between abnormal sweating with base pupil radius and PLR constriction was observed in the TD group but not the ASD group. The different association of PLR parameters with ANS dysfunction may suggest disrupted autonomic controls in children with ASD. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-02-11T03:25:27.309077-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1745
  • Infant muscle tone and childhood autistic traits: A longitudinal study in
           the general population
    • Authors: Fadila Serdarevic; Akhgar Ghassabian, Tamara van Batenburg-Eddes, Tonya White, Laura M. E. Blanken, Vincent W. V. Jaddoe, Frank C. Verhulst, Henning Tiemeier
      Abstract: In a longitudinal population-based study of 2,905 children, we investigated if infants' neuromotor development was associated with autistic traits in childhood. Overall motor development and muscle tone were examined by trained research assistants with an adapted version of Touwen's Neurodevelopmental Examination between ages 2 and 5 months. Tone was assessed in several positions and items were scored as normal, low, or high tone. Parents rated their children's autistic traits with the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Pervasive Developmental Problems (PDP) subscale of the Child Behavior Checklist at 6 years. We defined clinical PDP if scores were >98th percentile of the norm population. Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was clinically confirmed in 30 children. We observed a modest association between overall neuromotor development in infants and autistic traits. Low muscle tone in infancy predicted autistic traits measured by SRS (adjusted beta = 0.05, 95% CI for B: 0.00–0.02, P = 0.01), and PDP (adjusted beta = 0.08, 95% CI for B: 0.04–0.10, P 
      PubDate: 2017-02-09T01:15:42.708554-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1739
  • Countering evidence denial and the promotion of pseudoscience in autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: This commentary introduces a framework within which clinical and research experts in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can address public instances of evidence denial and promotion of pseudoscience related to ASD. This is a generalized extension of work by a World Health Organization (WHO) group dedicated to reducing the influence of Vocal Vaccine Deniers through educating advocates in how to effectively defuse their arguments. The WHO guidelines were informed by conceptual work on the “denialism” phenomenon, and by studies in psychology, communication, vaccine science, and public health. Our goal is to introduce these ideas to, and encourage discussion within, the ASD research community. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Issue Information
  • Association testing of vasopressin receptor 1a microsatellite
           polymorphisms in non-clinical autism spectrum phenotypes
    • Abstract: Variation in the AVPR1a gene, which codes for a receptor for the neurohormone vasopressin, has been found to relate to autism risk. Interestingly, variation in this gene also relates to differences in social behaviour in non-clinical populations. Variation in this gene may affect expression of AVPR1a receptors in brain areas involved in social behaviour. Here, we tested whether AVPR1a variation was associated with Autism Quotient (AQ) scores, a questionnaire that measures non-clinical manifestations of autism, in a population of 873 healthy university students. The AVPR1a RS1 and RS3 microsatellites were examined, and variants were categorized as “long” or “short”. The RS3 long/long genotype was significantly associated with a higher AQ score (i.e., a more autistic-like phenotype) for the combined population and for females only. Further examination showed that this relationship was due to a specific RS3 variant, termed the “target allele”, which previous research has linked to reduced altruism and increased marital problems in healthy individuals. We also observed that the relationship between RS3 genotype and AQ score was mainly due to the “attention switching” (the ability to shift attention from one task to another) component of the questionnaire; this ability is commonly impaired in autism spectrum disorders. Overall, our study establishes continuity between the existing AVPR1a research in clinical and non-clinical populations. Our results suggest that vasopressin may exert its effects on social behaviour in part by modulating attentional focus between social and non-social cues. Autism Res 2017, 10: 750–756. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Prenatal toxoplasmosis antibody and childhood autism
    • Abstract: There is evidence that some maternal infections during the prenatal period are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as childhood autism. However, the association between autism and Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), an intracellular parasite, remains unclear. The authors examined whether serologically confirmed maternal antibodies to T. gondii are associated with odds of childhood autism in offspring. The study is based on a nested case-control design of a large national birth cohort (N = 1.2 million) and the national psychiatric registries in Finland. There were 874 cases of childhood autism and controls matched 1:1 on date of birth, sex, birthplace and residence in Finland. Maternal sera were prospectively assayed from a national biobank for T. gondii IgM and IgG antibodies; IgG avidity analyses were also performed. High maternal T. gondii IgM antibody was associated with a significantly decreased odds of childhood autism. Low maternal T. gondii IgG antibody was associated with increased offspring odds of autism. In women with high T. gondii IgM antibodies, the IgG avidity was high for both cases and controls, with the exception of three controls. The findings suggest that the relationship between maternal T. gondii antibodies and odds of childhood autism may be related to the immune response to this pathogen or the overall activation of the immune system. Autism Res 2017, 10: 769–777. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Investigating diagnostic bias in autism spectrum conditions: An item
           response theory analysis of sex bias in the AQ-10
    • Abstract: Diagnostic bias is a concern in autism spectrum conditions (ASC) where prevalence and presentation differ by sex. To ensure that females with ASC are not under-identified, it is important that ASC screening tools do not systematically underestimate autistic traits in females relative to males. We evaluated whether the AQ-10, a brief screen for ASC recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence in cases of suspected ASC, exhibits such a bias. Using an item response theory approach, we evaluated differential item functioning and differential test functioning. We found that although individual items showed some sex bias, these biases at times favored males and at other times favored females. Thus, at the level of test scores the item-level biases cancelled out to give an unbiased overall score. Results support the continued use of the AQ-10 sum score in its current form; however, suggest that caution should be exercised when interpreting responses to individual items. The nature of the item level biases could serve as a guide for future research into how ASC affects males and females differently. Autism Res 2017, 10: 790–800. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Reduced modulation of thalamocortical connectivity during exposure to
           sensory stimuli in ASD
    • Abstract: Recent evidence for abnormal thalamic connectivity in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sensory processing disorders suggests the thalamus may play a role in sensory over-responsivity (SOR), an extreme negative response to sensory stimuli, which is common in ASD. However, there is yet little understanding of changes in thalamic connectivity during exposure to aversive sensory inputs in individuals with ASD. In particular, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus is implicated in atypical sensory processing given its role in selective attention, regulation, and sensory integration. This study aimed to examine the role of pulvinar connectivity in ASD during mildly aversive sensory input. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine connectivity with the pulvinar during exposure to mildly aversive auditory and tactile stimuli in 38 youth (age 9–17; 19 ASD, 19 IQ-matched typically developing (TD)). Parents rated children's SOR severity on two standard scales. Compared to TD, ASD participants displayed aberrant modulation of connectivity between pulvinar and cortex (including sensory-motor and prefrontal regions) during sensory stimulation. In ASD participants, pulvinar-amygdala connectivity was correlated with severity of SOR symptoms. Deficits in modulation of thalamocortical connectivity in youth with ASD may reflect reduced thalamo-cortical inhibition in response to sensory stimulation, which could lead to difficulty filtering out and/or integrating sensory information. An increase in amygdala connectivity with the pulvinar might be partially responsible for deficits in selective attention as the amygdala signals the brain to attend to distracting sensory stimuli. Autism Res 2017, 10: 801–809. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Ensemble perception of color in autistic adults
    • Abstract: Dominant accounts of visual processing in autism posit that autistic individuals have an enhanced access to details of scenes [e.g., weak central coherence] which is reflected in a general bias toward local processing. Furthermore, the attenuated priors account of autism predicts that the updating and use of summary representations is reduced in autism. Ensemble perception describes the extraction of global summary statistics of a visual feature from a heterogeneous set (e.g., of faces, sizes, colors), often in the absence of local item representation. The present study investigated ensemble perception in autistic adults using a rapidly presented (500 msec) ensemble of four, eight, or sixteen elements representing four different colors. We predicted that autistic individuals would be less accurate when averaging the ensembles, but more accurate in recognizing individual ensemble colors. The results were consistent with the predictions. Averaging was impaired in autism, but only when ensembles contained four elements. Ensembles of eight or sixteen elements were averaged equally accurately across groups. The autistic group also showed a corresponding advantage in rejecting colors that were not originally seen in the ensemble. The results demonstrate the local processing bias in autism, but also suggest that the global perceptual averaging mechanism may be compromised under some conditions. The theoretical implications of the findings and future avenues for research on summary statistics in autism are discussed. Autism Res 2017, 10: 839–851. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Distinct profiles of social skill in adults with autism spectrum disorder
           and schizophrenia
    • Abstract: Overlapping social impairments in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Schizophrenia (SCZ) contributed to decades of diagnostic confusion that continues to this day in some clinical settings. The current study provides the first direct and detailed comparison of social behavior in the two disorders by identifying profiles of social skill in adults with ASD (n = 54), SCZ (n = 54), and typically developing (TD) controls (n = 56) during a real-world social interaction. ASD and SCZ groups exhibited poorer social skill, both overall and on most discrete abilities, relative to the TD group. Direct comparison of ASD to SCZ revealed distinct behavioral profiles, with ASD uniquely characterized by fewer interactive behaviors, and SCZ characterized by greater impaired gaze and flat/inappropriate affective responses. Additionally, IQ was associated with both overall social skill and many discrete social skills in SCZ, but was largely unrelated to social skill in ASD. These results indicate that overlapping social deficits in ASD and SCZ are comprised of both shared and distinct social skill impairments. The largest distinctions—reduced social reciprocity but better expressivity in ASD relative to SCZ, and a greater role of IQ in social skill for SCZ than ASD—highlight disorder-specific features that can improve etiological understanding, diagnostic differentiation, and treatment strategies. Autism Res 2017, 10: 878–887. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Strategies of readers with autism when responding to inferential
           questions: An eye-movement study
    • Abstract: Previous research suggests that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties with inference generation in reading tasks. However, most previous studies have examined how well children understand a text after reading or have measured on-line reading behavior without response to questions. The aim of this study was to investigate the online strategies of children and adolescents with autism during reading and at the same time responding to a question by monitoring their eye movements. The reading behavior of participants with ASD was compared with that of age-, language-, nonverbal intelligence-, reading-, and receptive language skills-matched participants without ASD (control group). The results showed that the ASD group were as accurate as the control group in generating inferences when answering questions about the short texts, and no differences were found between the two groups in the global paragraph reading and responding times. However, the ASD group displayed longer gaze latencies on a target word necessary to produce an inference. They also showed more regressions into the word that supported the inference compared to the control group after reading the question, irrespective of whether an inference was required or not. In conclusion, the ASD group achieved an equivalent level of inferential comprehension, but showed subtle differences in reading comprehension strategies compared to the control group. Autism Res 2017, 10: 888–900. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Autism and emotional face-viewing
    • Abstract: Atypical patterns of face-scanning in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may contribute to difficulties in social interactions, but there is little agreement regarding what exactly characterizes face-viewing in ASD. In addition, little research has examined how face-viewing is modulated by the emotional expression of the stimuli, in individuals with or without ASD. We used eye-tracking to explore viewing patterns during perception of dynamic emotional facial expressions in relatively large groups of individuals with (n = 57) and without ASD (n = 58) and examined diagnostic- and age-related effects, after subgrouping children and adolescents (≤18 years), on the one hand, and adults (>18 years), on the other. Results showed that children/adolescents with ASD fixated the mouth of happy and angry faces less than their typically developing (TD) peers, and conversely looked more to the eyes of happy faces. Moreover, while all groups fixated the mouth in happy faces more than in other expressions, children/adolescents with ASD did relatively less so. Correlation analysis showed a similar lack of relative orientation towards the mouth of smiling faces in TD children/adolescents with high autistic traits, as measured by the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Among adults, participants with ASD only attended less to the eyes for neutral faces. Our study shows that the emotional content of a face influences gaze behaviour, and that this effect is not fully developed in children/adolescents with ASD. Interestingly, this lack of differentiation observed in the younger ASD group was also seen in younger TD individuals with higher AQ scores. Autism Res 2017, 10: 901–910. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Meta-analysis of neuropsychological measures of executive functioning in
           children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Existing literature on the profile of executive dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder showed inconsistent results. Age, comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cognitive abilities appeared to play a role in confounding the picture. Previous meta-analyses have focused on a few components of executive functions. This meta-analysis attempted to delineate the profile of deficit in several components of executive functioning in children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). Ninety-eight English published case-control studies comparing children and adolescents with HFASD with typically developing controls using well-known neuropsychological measures to assess executive functions were included. Results showed that children and adolescents with HFASD were moderately impaired in verbal working memory (g = 0.67), spatial working memory (g = 0.58), flexibility (g = 0.59), planning (g = 0.62), and generativity (g = 0.60) except for inhibition (g = 0.41). Subgroup analysis showed that impairments were still significant for flexibility (g = 0.57–0.61), generativity (g = 0.52–0.68), and working memory (g = 0.49–0.56) in a sample of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) subjects without comorbid ADHD or when the cognitive abilities of the ASD group and the control group were comparable. This meta-analysis confirmed the presence of executive dysfunction in children and adolescents with HFASD. These deficits are not solely accounted for by the effect of comorbid ADHD and the general cognitive abilities. Our results support the executive dysfunction hypothesis and contribute to the clinical understanding and possible development of interventions to alleviate these deficits in children and adolescents with HFASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 911–939. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Executive functioning in men and women with an autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Executive functioning (EF) is thought to be linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) specific symptoms. The majority of research has focused on children and adolescents with ASD and, therefore, little is known about EF in adults. Furthermore, little is known about gender differences. Ninety-nine men and forty women with ASD were compared with and 35 neurotypical men 25 neurotypical women. Participants were matched on age, total intelligence, and verbal ability. The following instruments were used to measure executive functioning: digit span and letter and number sequencing of the WAIS-III, Tower of Hanoi, WCST, and Verbal fluency. Multiple analysis of variance was conducted to determine group differences. Women with ASD performed worse on the working memory tasks of the WAIS-III than neurotypical women. Furthermore, women with ASD had more perseverations on the WCST than neurotypical women. The gender comparison in the ASD group showed differences in performance on mental flexibility (WCST), working memory (WAIS-III), generativity and self-monitoring (Verbal fluency). However, these differences were unequivocal and no gender specific cognitive profile could be pinpointed. Individual strengths and frailties should be highlighted in clinical practice, as impairments in EF can be under influence of the overall cognitive abilities of the individual. Furthermore, gender differences were found. This could explain differences in representation of ASD symptoms in both groups. These differences show how important thorough diagnostics are. Autism Res 2017, 10: 940–948. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • The salience of the self: Self-referential processing and internalizing
           problems in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate atypical processing of, and memory for, self-referenced information, which may contribute to the heightened rates of co-occurring internalizing problems. We assessed affective and cognitive aspects of self-referential processing in verbally-fluent children with ASD (N = 79), and an age-matched comparison sample (COM, N = 73) of children without an autism diagnosis. We examined group differences in these two aspects of the self-system, and their joint contributions to individual differnces in internalizing problems. Using a self-referenced memory (SRM) task, participants indicated whether a series of positive and negative trait adjectives described themselves and a well-known fictional character. Participants were then surprised with a recognition memory test on the same adjectives. Overall, individuals with ASD showed a reduction in the extent to which they preferentially endorsed positive over negative trait adjectives about themselves, and a reduction in their preferential memory for self- over other-referenced information. Across the full sample, these two aspects of self-referential processing jointly predicted self-reported internalizing problems. Specifically, self-evaluations were strongly and inversely associated with internalizing problems but only for children with relatively high SRM. These findings suggest that the salience of the self influences the extent to which affective self-evaluations impact emotional functioning for youth both with and without ASD. Implications for basic (e.g., developmental) and translational (e.g., intervention) research are discussed. Autism Res 2017, 10: 949–960. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • The impact of caregiver-mediated JASPER on child restricted and repetitive
           behaviors and caregiver responses
    • Abstract: Restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are a core feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Compared to the social-communication impairments, we know considerably less about why children engage in RRBs and if and how to intervene with these behaviors. As a result, early intervention has typically focused on social-communication. In this study, we were interested in understanding how child RRBs changed following an intervention targeting social-communication behaviors and if caregiver training changed how they responded to their child's RRBs. Eighty-six toddlers with ASD and their caregivers received one of two interventions: caregivers were either actively coached while playing with their child (JASPER) or attended information sessions about ASD. On three different occasions (when they entered the study, following 10 weeks of intervention and 6-months after) caregivers were filmed playing with their child. From these recordings, we coded child RRBs and caregiver responses to these behaviors. Child RRBs remained relatively stable following intervention in both groups, but increased when the children returned at 6-months. Caregivers who received one-on-one coaching (JASPER) responded to a greater number of their child's RRBs and their responses were rated as more successful. Our study showed that a short-term social-communication intervention delivered through caregivers had “spillover effects” on how they also responded to their child's RRBs. Interventions targeting social-communication behaviors should also examine how these treatments affect child RRBs and how caregiver responses to these behaviors may change following training. Autism Res 2017, 10: 983–992. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Unique effects of The transporters animated series and of parental support
           on emotion recognition skills of children with ASD: Results of a
           randomized controlled trial
    • Abstract: Emotion recognition (ER) and understanding deficits are characteristic of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Transporters (TT) animated series has shown promising results in teaching children with ASD to recognize emotions, with mixed findings about generalization and maintenance of effects. This study aimed to evaluate the unique role of TT and of parental support in the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of acquired ER skills in children with ASD. 77 Israeli children with high functioning ASD, aged 4–7 were randomly assigned into four groups according to a 2 × 2 design of the factors Series (TT, control series) and Parental Support (with/without). Thirty typically developing children, matched to the ASD groups on mental age, were tested with no intervention. Participants' ER (on three generalization levels) and emotional vocabulary (EV) were tested pre and post 8 weeks of intervention, and at 3 months' follow-up. Compared to the control series, watching TT significantly improved children's ER skills at all generalization levels, with good skill maintenance. All groups improved equally on EV. The amount of parental support given, in the groups that had received it, contributed to the generalization and maintenance of ER skills. Autism severity negatively correlated with ER improvement. The current study provides evidence to the unique role of TT in ER skill acquisition, generalization, and maintenance in children with high functioning ASD. In addition, this study provides evidence for a successful cultural adaptation of TT to a non-English speaking culture. Autism Res 2017, 10: 993–1003. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Scientific Summaries for Families with ASD
  • International Society for Autism Research News
  • Proteomic explorations of autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Proteomics, the large-scale study of protein expression in cells and tissues, is a powerful tool to study the biology of clinical conditions and has provided significant insights in many experimental systems. Herein, we review the basics of proteomic methodology and discuss challenges in using proteomic approaches to study autism. Unlike other experimental approaches, such as genomic approaches, there have been few large-scale studies of proteins in tissues from persons with autism. Most of the proteomic studies on autism used blood or other peripheral tissues; few studies used brain tissue. Some studies found dysregulation of aspects of the immune system or of aspects of lipid metabolism, but no consistent findings were noted. Based on the challenges in using proteomics to study autism, we discuss considerations for future studies. Apart from the complex technical considerations implicit in any proteomic analysis, key nontechnical matters include attention to subject and specimen inclusion/exclusion criteria, having adequate sample size to ensure appropriate powering of the study, attention to the state of specimens prior to proteomic analysis, and the use of a replicate set of specimens, when possible. We conclude by discussing some potentially productive uses of proteomics, potentially coupled with other approaches, for future autism research including: (1) proteomic analysis of banked human brain specimens; (2) proteomic analysis of tissues from animal models of autism; and (3) proteomic analysis of induced pluripotent stem cells that are differentiated into various types of brain cells and neural organoids. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • White matter compromise in autism' Differentiating motion confounds
           from true differences in diffusion tensor imaging
    • Abstract: Common findings from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include reduced fractional anisotropy (FA), and increased mean and radial diffusivity (MD, RD) of white matter tracts. However, findings may be confounded by head motion. We examined how group-level motion matching affects DTI comparisons between ASD and typically developing (TD) groups. We included 57 ASD and 50 TD participants, comparing three subsets at increasing levels of motion-matching stringency: full sample (FS); quality-controlled (QC); and quantitatively-matched (QM). Groups were compared on diffusivity measures using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) and probabilistic tractography. Two methods for estimating diffusivity were compared: dti-fit and restore. TBSS: In set FS, FA was reduced in the ASD compared to the TD group throughout the right hemisphere. This effect was less extensive in set QC and absent in set QM. However, effect sizes remained stable or increased with better quality-control in some regions. Tractography: In set QM, MD was significantly higher in ASD overall and RD was higher in bilateral ILF. Effects were more robust in QM than in FS or QC sets. Effect sizes in several tracts increased with stringent quality matching. Restore improved tensor estimates, with some increases in effect sizes, but did not fully compensate for reduced quality. Findings suggest that some previously reported DTI findings for ASD may have been confounded by motion. However, effects in the tightly matched subset indicate that tract-specific anomalies probably do exist in ASD. Our results highlight the need for careful quality-control and motion-matching. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Atypical perception in autism
    • Abstract: We examined whether reduced perceptual specialization underlies atypical perception in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) testing classifications of stimuli that differ either along integral dimensions (prototypical integral dimensions of value and chroma), or along separable dimensions (prototypical separable dimensions of value and size). Current models of the perception of individuals with an ASD would suggest that on these tasks, individuals with ASD would be as, or more, likely to process dimensions as separable, regardless of whether they represented separable or integrated dimensions. In contrast, reduced specialization would propose that individuals with ASD would respond in a more integral manner to stimuli that differ along separable dimensions, and at the same time, respond in a more separable manner to stimuli that differ along integral dimensions. A group of nineteen adults diagnosed with high functioning ASD and seventeen typically developing participants of similar age and IQ, were tested on speeded and restricted classifications tasks. Consistent with the reduced specialization account, results show that individuals with ASD do not always respond more analytically than typically developed (TD) observers: Dimensions identified as integral for TD individuals evoke less integral responding in individuals with ASD, while those identified as separable evoke less analytic responding. These results suggest that perceptual representations are more broadly tuned and more flexibly represented in ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Identifying the clinical needs and patterns of health service use of
           adolescent girls and women with autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Girls and women in the general population present with a distinct profile of clinical needs and use more associated health services compared to boys and men; however, research focused on health service use patterns among girls and women with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is limited. In the current study, caregivers of 61 adolescent girls and women with ASD and 223 boys and men with ASD completed an online survey. Descriptive analyses were conducted to better understand the clinical needs and associated service use patterns of girls and women with ASD. Sex/gender comparisons were made of individuals’ clinical needs and service use. Adolescent girls and women with ASD had prevalent co-occurring mental and physical conditions and parents reported elevated levels of caregiver strain. Multiple service use was common across age groups, particularly among adolescent girls and women with intellectual disability. Overall, few sex/gender differences emerged, although a significantly greater proportion of girls and women accessed psychiatry and emergency department services as compared to boys and men. Though the current study is limited by its use of parent report and small sample size, it suggests that girls and women with ASD may share many of the same high clinical needs and patterns of services use as boys and men with ASD. Areas for future research are discussed to help ensure appropriate support is provided to this understudied population. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Developmental functioning and medical Co-morbidity profile of children
           with complex and essential autism
    • Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may be characterized as “complex” (those with microcephaly and/or dysmorphology) or “essential” (those with neither of these two). Previous studies found subjects in the complex group exhibited lower IQ scores, poorer response to behavioral intervention, more seizures and more abnormal EEGs and brain MRIs compared to the essential group. The objective of this study was to determine if there are differences in complex versus essential subjects based on several developmental/psychological measures as well as certain medical comorbidities. This study utilized data from 1,347 individuals (2–17 years old) well-characterized subjects enrolled in Autism Treatment Network (ATN) Registry. Head circumference measurement and the Autism Dysmorphology Measure (ADM) were used by trained physicians to classify subjects as complex or essential. Significantly lower scores were seen for complex subjects in cognitive level, adaptive behavior and quality of life. Complex subjects showed significantly increased physician-documented GI symptoms and were on a higher number of medications. No significant differences in autism severity scores, behavioral ratings and parent-reported sleep problems were found. After adjusting for multiple comparisons made, adaptive scores remained significantly lower for the complex group, and the complex group used a significantly higher number of medications and had increased GI symptoms. Complex and essential autism subtypes may have distinct developmental and medical correlates and thus underlines the importance of looking for microcephaly and dysmorphology, when evaluating a child with autism. Determining this distinction in autism may have implications in prognosis, identifying medical co-morbidities, directing diagnostic evaluations and treatment interventions. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Social skills training for children with autism spectrum disorder using a
           robotic behavioral intervention system
    • Abstract: We designed a robot system that assisted in behavioral intervention programs of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The eight-session intervention program was based on the discrete trial teaching protocol and focused on two basic social skills: eye contact and facial emotion recognition. The robotic interactions occurred in four modules: training element query, recognition of human activity, coping-mode selection, and follow-up action. Children with ASD who were between 4 and 7 years old and who had verbal IQ ≥ 60 were recruited and randomly assigned to the treatment group (TG, n = 8, 5.75 ± 0.89 years) or control group (CG, n = 7; 6.32 ± 1.23 years). The therapeutic robot facilitated the treatment intervention in the TG, and the human assistant facilitated the treatment intervention in the CG. The intervention procedures were identical in both groups. The primary outcome measures included parent-completed questionnaires, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), and frequency of eye contact, which was measured with the partial interval recording method. After completing treatment, the eye contact percentages were significantly increased in both groups. For facial emotion recognition, the percentages of correct answers were increased in similar patterns in both groups compared to baseline (P > 0.05), with no difference between the TG and CG (P > 0.05). The subjects’ ability to play, general behavioral and emotional symptoms were significantly diminished after treatment (p 
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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