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  Subjects -> PSYCHOLOGY (Total: 870 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: 21)
Activités     Open Access  
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: 4)
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: 37)
Advances in Mental Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 68)
Advances in Physiotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 54)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 27)
African Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and Sport Facilitation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 377)
Aggressive Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
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: 14)
American Imago     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
American Journal of Applied Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 32)
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: 20)
American Journal of Psychotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33)
American Psychologist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 153)
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: 24)
Annual Review of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 189)
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: 21)
Applied and Preventive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Applied Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 64)
Applied Neuropsychology : Adult     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Applied Neuropsychology : Child     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Applied Psychological Measurement     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Applied Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 121)
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47)
Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25)
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: 1)
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: 29)
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: 16)
Balint Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Barbaroi     Open Access  
Basic and Applied Social Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
Behavior Analysis in Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Behavior Analyst     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Behavior Modification     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Behavior Research Methods     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Behavior Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44)
Behavioral Development Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription  
Behavioral Interventions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Behavioral Neuroscience     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 46)
Behavioral Sciences & the Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Behavioral Sleep Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Behaviour Research and Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 108)
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: 116)
British Journal of Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 35)
British Journal of Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
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: 19)
British Journal of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 55)
British Journal of Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66)
British Journal of Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 30)
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: 6)
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Canadian Psychology / Psychologie canadienne     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Cendekia : Jurnal Kependidikan dan Kemasyarakatan     Open Access  
Child Development Perspectives     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Child Development Research     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
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: 66)
Clinical Psychology and Special Education     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Clinical Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34)
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: 36)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Cognitive Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58)
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: 3)
Contextos Clínicos     Open Access  
Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Counseling Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research : Linking research with practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Counselling and Values     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
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: 6)
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: 11)
Cultural-Historical Psychology     Open Access  
Culturas Psi     Open Access  
Culture and Brain     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Current Addiction Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Current Directions In Psychological Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46)
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Current Opinion in Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Current Psychological Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Current Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Current psychology letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Current Research in Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 20)
Cyberpsychology : Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
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: 43)
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: 6)
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: 33)
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]   [29 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  [1616 journals]
  • 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 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      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
  • Parent-delivered early intervention in infants at risk for ASD: Effects on
           electrophysiological and habituation measures of social attention
    • Authors: Emily J.H. Jones; Geraldine Dawson, Jean Kelly, Annette Estes, Sara Jane Webb
      Abstract: Prospective longitudinal studies of infants with older siblings with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have indicated that differences in the neurocognitive systems underlying social attention may emerge prior to the child meeting ASD diagnostic criteria. Thus, targeting social attention with early intervention might have the potential to alter developmental trajectories for infants at high risk for ASD. Electrophysiological and habituation measures of social attention were collected at 6, 12, and 18 months in a group of high-risk infant siblings of children with ASD (N = 33). Between 9 and 11 months of age, infant siblings received a parent-delivered intervention, promoting first relationships (PFR), (n = 19) or on-going assessment without intervention (n = 14). PFR has been previously shown to increase parental responsivity to infant social communicative cues and infant contingent responding. Compared to infants who only received assessment and monitoring, infants who received the intervention showed improvements in neurocognitive metrics of social attention, as reflected in a greater reduction in habituation times to face versus object stimuli between 6 and 12 months, maintained at 18 months; a greater increase in frontal EEG theta power between 6 and 12 months; and a more comparable P400 response to faces and objects at 12 months. The high-risk infants who received the intervention showed a pattern of responses that appeared closer to the normative responses of two groups of age-matched low-risk control participants. Though replication is necessary, these results suggest that early parent-mediated intervention has the potential to impact the brain systems underpinning social attention in infants at familial risk for ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-02-28T00:30:46.742003-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1754
  • 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
  • Distinct profiles of social skill in adults with autism spectrum disorder
           and schizophrenia
    • Authors: Kerrianne E. Morrison; Amy E. Pinkham, David L. Penn, Skylar Kelsven, Kelsey Ludwig, Noah J. Sasson
      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 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-01-23T06:45:33.941224-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1734
  • Issue Information
    • Pages: 197 - 201
      PubDate: 2017-02-21T02:16:53.272298-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1695
  • Scientific Summaries for Families with ASD
    • Pages: 369 - 375
      PubDate: 2017-02-21T02:16:52.126793-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1768
  • International society for autism research news
    • Pages: 376 - 377
      PubDate: 2017-02-21T02:16:50.750958-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1769
  • Auditory processing in noise is associated with complex patterns of
           disrupted functional connectivity in autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Fahimeh Mamashli; Sheraz Khan, Hari Bharadwaj, Konstantinos Michmizos, Santosh Ganesan, Keri-Lee A. Garel, Javeria Ali Hashmi, Martha R. Herbert, Matti Hämäläinen, Tal Kenet
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with difficulty in processing speech in a noisy background, but the neural mechanisms that underlie this deficit have not been mapped. To address this question, we used magnetoencephalography to compare the cortical responses between ASD and typically developing (TD) individuals to a passive mismatch paradigm. We repeated the paradigm twice, once in a quiet background, and once in the presence of background noise. We focused on both the evoked mismatch field (MMF) response in temporal and frontal cortical locations, and functional connectivity with spectral specificity between those locations. In the quiet condition, we found common neural sources of the MMF response in both groups, in the right temporal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). In the noise condition, the MMF response in the right IFG was preserved in the TD group, but reduced relative to the quiet condition in ASD group. The MMF response in the right IFG also correlated with severity of ASD. Moreover, in noise, we found significantly reduced normalized coherence (deviant normalized by standard) in ASD relative to TD, in the beta band (14–25 Hz), between left temporal and left inferior frontal sub-regions. However, unnormalized coherence (coherence during deviant or standard) was significantly increased in ASD relative to TD, in multiple frequency bands. Our findings suggest increased recruitment of neural resources in ASD irrespective of the task difficulty, alongside a reduction in top-down modulations, usually mediated by the beta band, needed to mitigate the impact of noise on auditory processing. Autism Res 2016,. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-12-02T03:57:03.307163-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1714
  • The impact of caregiver-mediated JASPER on child restricted and repetitive
           behaviors and caregiver responses
    • Authors: Clare Harrop; Amanda Gulsrud, Wendy Shih, Lilit Hovsepyan, Connie Kasari
      Abstract: Restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are a core feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Compared to the social-communication impairments children show, we know less about why children engage in these repetitive actions and behaviors and how to help children (and their caregivers) 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 that targeted social-communication behaviors and if the training caregivers received 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, caregivers were filmed playing with their child. From these recordings, we looked at child RRBs and how their caregiver responded to these behaviors.Child RRBs did not show much change after 10 weeks of intervention in both groups, but increased when the children returned at 6 months. Caregivers who received one-on-one coaching (JASPER) responded to more of their child's RRBs and these responses were rated as more successful.Our study provides some evidence that a short-term social-communication intervention can lead to “spillover effects” in how caregivers responded to their child's RRBs. Interventions targeting social-communication behaviors should examine how these treatments affect child RRBs and how caregiver responses to these behaviors may change following training. Autism Res 2016,. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-12-02T03:56:47.464454-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1732
  • Strategies of readers with autism when responding to inferential
           questions: An eye-movement study
    • Authors: Martina Micai; Holly Joseph, Mila Vulchanova, David Saldaña
      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 2016,. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-12-02T03:56:44.189768-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1731
  • Reduced modulation of thalamocortical connectivity during exposure to
           sensory stimuli in ASD
    • Authors: Shulamite A. Green; Leanna Hernandez, Susan Y. Bookheimer, Mirella Dapretto
      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 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-29T01:35:36.779889-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1726
  • Mid-childhood outcomes of infant siblings at familial high-risk of autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Elizabeth Shephard; Bosiljka Milosavljevic, Greg Pasco, Emily J. H. Jones, Teodora Gliga, Francesca Happé, Mark H. Johnson, Tony Charman,
      Abstract: Almost one-in-five infants at high familial risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), due to having an older sibling with an ASD diagnosis, develop ASD themselves by age 3 years. Less is known about the longer-term outcomes of high-risk infants. To address this issue, we examined symptoms of ASD and associated developmental conditions (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); anxiety), language, IQ, and adaptive behaviour at age 7 years in high- and low-risk children studied from infancy. We compared outcomes between high-risk children who met criteria for ASD at age 7, high-risk children without ASD, and low-risk control children. Diagnostic stability between 3 and 7 years was moderate. High-risk siblings with ASD showed elevated levels of ADHD and anxiety symptoms and lower adaptive behaviour than low-risk control children. High-risk siblings without ASD had higher repetitive behaviours, lower adaptive functioning, and elevated scores on one anxiety subscale (Separation Anxiety) compared to low-risk controls. The findings indicate that the difficulties experienced by high-risk siblings at school age extend beyond ASD symptoms. Better understanding of these difficulties may improve models of the development of co-occurring problems seen in children with ASD. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-29T01:35:26.896264-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1733
  • Autism and emotional face-viewing
    • Authors: Jakob Åsberg Johnels; Daniel Hovey, Nicole Zürcher, Loyse Hippolyte, Eric Lemonnier, Christopher Gillberg, Nouchine Hadjikhani
      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 toward 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 attended less to the eyes only for neutral faces. Our study shows that the emotional content of a face influences gaze behavior, 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 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-28T00:45:22.999836-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1730
  • Investigating diagnostic bias in autism spectrum conditions: An item
           response theory analysis of sex bias in the AQ-10
    • Authors: Aja Louise Murray; Carrie Allison, Paula L. Smith, Simon Baron-Cohen, Tom Booth, Bonnie Auyeung
      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 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-28T00:40:55.854383-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1724
  • Association testing of vasopressin receptor 1a microsatellite
           polymorphisms in non-clinical autism spectrum phenotypes
    • Authors: Tanya L. Procyshyn; Peter L. Hurd, Bernard J. Crespi
      Abstract: Variation in the arginine vasopressin receptor 1a (AVPR1a) gene is associated with autism risk in clinical populations and with variation in social behavior in non-clinical populations. However, whether a relationship exists between AVPR1a polymorphisms and non-clinical manifestations of autism spectrum phenotypes has not been established. In this study, 873 Caucasian university students were administered the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) questionnaire and genotyped for the RS1 and RS3 microsatellites. A significant association was found between RS3 microsatellite variation and AQ score, with the long/long RS3 genotype associated with higher AQ score. Analysis by sex revealed that the association was only significant for females. Significantly higher AQ scores were also observed for individuals with a specific RS3 allele (“target allele”), which previous researchers have associated with increased autism risk, impaired bonding, and reduced altruistic behavior. Analyses excluding carriers of target alleles indicated that the findings were driven by their presence or absence. Examination of AQ questionnaire subscales indicated that associations with RS3 were mediated predominantly by variation in attention switching, a cognitive function commonly impaired in autism. Effects on attention may thus mediate these relationships and represent one direction for future research. The findings also indicate, for AVPR1a, the importance of testing for sex differences and effects of target alleles. No associations were observed between RS1 microsatellite variation and AQ score. Overall, this work supports the idea that autism risk genes contribute to behavioral variation in the general population, with AVPR1a polymorphisms relating to a healthy individual's location on the autism phenotype continuum. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-22T07:25:31.629901-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1716
  • Diagnostic model generated by MRI-derived brain features in toddlers with
           autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Xiang Xiao; Hui Fang, Jiansheng Wu, ChaoYong Xiao, Ting Xiao, Lu Qian, FengJing Liang, Zhou Xiao, Kang Kang Chu, Xiaoyan Ke
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with core symptoms of atypical social interaction, communication, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. Although the pathophysiologic mechanism of ASD is unclarified yet, the neuroanatomical features are considered as valuable predictors for discriminating ASD from others. But there has been relatively little scientific study about predictive power of different neuroanatomical features of early age ASD. A total of 85 participants, 46 (mean age 27 ± 4 months) with ASD and 39 (mean age 28 ± 4 months) with development delay (DD), were included in the present study. The predictive models generated by support vector machines, naïve bayes, and random forest was compared based on the regional average cortical surface area. Features like regional cortical thickness, cortical volume, and cortical surface area were evaluated between the models generated by Random Forest, and the classification performance of the predictive models, generated by the top 10, top 20, or top 30 factors in RF classifiers, was compared. The predictive model generated by regional average cortical thickness of regions with top 20 highest importance of random forest classifier showed best accuracy (ACC) (80.9 ± 1.5), specificity (81 ± 4), sensitivity (81.3 ± 1.2), and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (0.88 ± 0.01). Overall, thickness-based classification, outperforming the volume-based classification and surface area-based classification in ASD and random forest, is the optimal approach for of neuroimaging data mining in this small size set. Autism Res 2016,. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-22T07:25:27.70599-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1711
  • Meta-analysis of neuropsychological measures of executive functioning in
           children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Chun Lun Eric Lai; Zoe Lau, Simon S. Y. Lui, Eugenia Lok, Venus Tam, Quinney Chan, Koi Man Cheng, Siu Man Lam, Eric F. C. Cheung
      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 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-22T07:20:35.652568-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1723
  • Prenatal toxoplasmosis antibody and childhood autism
    • Authors: Marisa N. Spann; Andre Sourander, Heljä-Marja Surcel, Susanna Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, Alan S. Brown
      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 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-22T07:20:28.811592-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1722
  • Ensemble perception of color in autistic adults
    • Authors: John Maule; Kirstie Stanworth, Elizabeth Pellicano, Anna Franklin
      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 2016,. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-22T07:20:24.629524-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1725
  • Executive functioning in men and women with an autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Michelle Kiep; Annelies A. Spek
      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 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-22T07:20:21.318158-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1721
  • The salience of the self: Self-referential processing and internalizing
           problems in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Catherine A. Burrows; Lauren V. Usher, Peter C. Mundy, Heather A. Henderson
      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 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-20T22:45:26.841306-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1727
  • 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
    • Authors: Tali Gev; Ruthie Rosenan, Ofer Golan
      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 2016,. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-11-03T10:16:40.079572-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1717
  • Gender differences in autism spectrum disorders: Divergence among specific
           core symptoms
    • Authors: Anita Beggiato; Hugo Peyre, Anna Maruani, Isabelle Scheid, Maria Rastam, Frederique Amsellem, Carina I. Gillberg, Marion Leboyer, Thomas Bourgeron, Christopher Gillberg, Richard Delorme
      Abstract: Community-based studies have consistently shown a sex ratio heavily skewed towards males in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The factors underlying this predominance of males are largely unknown, but the way girls score on standardized categorical diagnostic tools might account for the underrecognition of ASD in girls. Despite the existence of different norms for boys and girls with ASD on several major screening tests, the algorithm of the Autism Diagnosis Interview-Revised (ADI-R) has not been reformulated. The aim of our study was to investigate which ADI-R items discriminate between males and females, and to evaluate their weighting in the final diagnosis of autism. We then conducted discriminant analysis (DA) on a sample of 594 probands including 129 females with ASD, recruited by the Paris Autism Research International Sibpair (PARIS) Study. A replication analysis was run on an independent sample of 1716 probands including 338 females with ASD, recruited through the Autism Genetics Resource Exchange (AGRE) program. Entering the raw scores for all ADI-R items as independent variables, the DA correctly classified 78.9% of males and 72.9% of females (P 
      PubDate: 2016-11-03T10:16:38.300364-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1715
  • “Frank” presentations as a novel research construct and element of
           diagnostic decision-making in autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Ashley de Marchena; Judith Miller
      Abstract: Many individuals with ASD have a distinctive behavioral presentation that is recognizable within moments, a phenomenon we call “frank” ASD. This phenomenon has been discussed informally for decades, perhaps as “classic” ASD; however, there is no unitary “classic” presentation, and classic autism does not seem to correspond to level of functioning. Thus, neither “frank” nor “classic” autism has been delineated or studied as a research construct. To initiate the empirical study of frank ASD, we surveyed 151 clinicians, from a range of disciplines that diagnose ASD, about this phenomenon. Respondents completed a 13-item questionnaire about frank ASD, which was analyzed using a mixed-methods approach. Ninety-seven percentage of respondents were familiar with the phenomenon. Respondents estimated that 40% of the ASD population has a frank presentation. Respondents reported the most highly specific behaviors associated with frank presentations were a general sense of impaired reciprocity, quality of eye contact, atypical vocal prosody, presence of motor mannerisms, and atypical gait or posture. In general, respondents reported detecting frank features rapidly, with the majority forming their impressions within the first ten minutes of interaction or observation. Although unstudied empirically, “frank” presentations of ASD are familiar to diagnosing clinicians, and appear to be based on behaviors both central to ASD diagnostic criteria (e.g., impaired reciprocity), and absent from diagnostic criteria (e.g., atypical gait or posture). We discuss these findings within the context of diagnostic decision-making and behavioral phenotyping of ASD. Autism Res 2016,. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21T23:55:31.516433-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1706
  • Social participation and its relation to internalizing symptoms among
           youth with autism spectrum disorder as they transition from high school
    • Authors: Julie Lounds Taylor; Ryan E. Adams, Somer L. Bishop
      Abstract: In this study, we examined how unstructured (e.g., spending time with friends or co-workers) and structured (e.g., attending social events at a place of workshop, sports teams) social participation changed from before to after high school for youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), as well as the longitudinal and concurrent relations between social participation and internalizing symptoms. Participants included 36 families of youth with ASD who were all in their last year of high school at the first time point of data collection, and who were out of high school for an average of 9 months at the second time point. Social participation and internalizing symptoms were determined using parental report. There was no average change in the amount of unstructured social participation after high school exit, although substantial individual variability was observed. Participation in structured social activities significantly declined after high school exit. Youth who had more structured social participation while in high school were significantly more likely to have gains in their unstructured social participation after high school exit. Turning to relationships between internalizing and social activities, more internalizing symptoms while youth with ASD were in high school significantly predicted increasing social isolation after high school exit (both in terms of structured and unstructured activities). Results point to the likely need for additional supports during the transition to adulthood for youth with ASD who have internalizing problems. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14T00:36:53.292272-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1709
  • Hyperactivity and male-specific sleep deficits in the 16p11.2 deletion
           mouse model of autism
    • Authors: Christopher C. Angelakos; Adam J. Watson, W. Timothy O'Brien, Kyle S. Krainock, Thomas Nickl-Jockschat, Ted Abel
      Abstract: Sleep disturbances and hyperactivity are prevalent in several neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Evidence from genome-wide association studies indicates that chromosomal copy number variations (CNVs) are associated with increased prevalence of these neurodevelopmental disorders. In particular, CNVs in chromosomal region 16p11.2 profoundly increase the risk for ASD and ADHD, disorders that are more common in males than females. We hypothesized that mice hemizygous for the 16p11.2 deletion (16p11.2 del/+) would exhibit sex-specific sleep and activity alterations. To test this hypothesis, we recorded activity patterns using infrared beam breaks in the home-cage of adult male and female 16p11.2 del/+ and wildtype (WT) littermates. In comparison to controls, we found that both male and female 16p11.2 del/+ mice exhibited robust home-cage hyperactivity. In additional experiments, sleep was assessed by polysomnography over a 24-hr period. 16p11.2 del/+ male, but not female mice, exhibited significantly more time awake and significantly less time in non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep during the 24-hr period than wildtype littermates. Analysis of bouts of sleep and wakefulness revealed that 16p11.2 del/+ males, but not females, spent a significantly greater proportion of wake time in long bouts of consolidated wakefulness (greater than 42 min in duration) compared to controls. These changes in hyperactivity, wake time, and wake time distribution in the males resemble sleep disturbances observed in human ASD and ADHD patients, suggesting that the 16p11.2 del/+ mouse model may be a useful genetic model for studying sleep and activity problems in human neurodevelopmental disorders. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14T00:36:49.546317-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1707
  • Stability of the acoustic startle response and its modulation in children
           with typical development and those with autism spectrum disorders: A
           one-year follow-up
    • Authors: Hidetoshi Takahashi; Takayuki Nakahachi, Andrew Stickley, Makoto Ishitobi, Yoko Kamio
      Abstract: Auditory hyper-reactivity is a common sensory–perceptual abnormality that interrupts behavioral adaptations in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Recently, prolonged acoustic startle response (ASR) latency and hyper-reactivity to weak acoustic stimuli were reported in children with ASD. Indexes of ASR and its modulation are known to be stable biological markers for translational research in the adult population. However, little is known about the stability of these indexes in children. Thus, the objective of our study was to investigate the stability of neurophysiological ASR indexes in children with ASD and typical development (TD). Participants included 12 children with ASD and 24 with TD. Mean startle magnitudes to acoustic stimuli presented at 65–105 dB in increments of 10 dB were analyzed. Average peak startle latency (PSL), ASR modulation of habituation, and prepulse inhibition were also analyzed. These startle measures were examined after a follow-up period of 15.7 ± 5.1 months from baseline. At both baseline and in the follow-up period, children with ASD had significantly greater startle magnitudes to weak stimuli of 65–85 dB and more prolonged PSL compared with controls. Intraclass correlation coefficients for these ASR measures between both periods were 0.499–0.705. None of the ASR measures differed significantly between the two periods. Our results suggest that prolonged PSL and greater startle magnitudes to weak stimuli in children with ASD might serve as moderately stable neurophysiological indexes of ASD. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14T00:36:37.015669-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1710
  • Neonatal thyroid hormone levels in association with autism spectrum
    • Authors: Kristen Lyall; Meredith Anderson, Martin Kharrazi, Gayle C. Windham
      Abstract: Thyroid hormones (TH) are critical in early neurodevelopment, but few studies have examined whether neonatal TH levels influence risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study linked California neonatal screening data with live birth and Department of Developmental Services records to examine newborn TH levels in relation to ASD. Thyroxine (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were measured in newborn bloodspots as part of routine screening, in 1996 and 2002, respectively. Mean levels of T4 and TSH were compared between ASD cases and non-cases. Four hundred forty-seven thousand, fifty-nine screened, singleton births from 1996 and 446,424 from 2002 were examined, including 4,818 ASD cases. Binomial regression, using categories of T4 and TSH percentiles was used to calculate crude and adjusted risk ratios (RR). Covariates included maternal and child factors, gestational age, and age at blood draw. No significant associations were found with TSH levels and ASD in crude or adjusted analyses. ASD cases had significantly lower mean T4 levels than non-cases, but this association was no longer significant in adjusted analyses (RR in individuals in lowest 5th percentile of T4 levels = 1.13, 95% 0.93–1.37). However, this association appeared stronger in certain subgroup analyses, particularly among neonates with blood draw ≥48 hr from birth (RR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.08, 2.60), when TH levels become more stable. Thus, results from this large, population-based study did not suggest strong associations between neonatal TH and ASD, but certain subgroups of newborns with the lowest T4 levels may have modestly increased ASD risk. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14T00:36:35.44747-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1708
  • Exploring the relationship between cortical GABA concentrations, auditory
           gamma-band responses and development in ASD: Evidence for an altered
           maturational trajectory in ASD
    • Authors: Russell G. Port; William Gaetz, Luke Bloy, Dah-Jyuu Wang, Lisa Blaskey, Emily S. Kuschner, Susan E. Levy, Edward S. Brodkin, Timothy P.L. Roberts
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is hypothesized to arise from imbalances between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission (E/I imbalance). Studies have demonstrated E/I imbalance in individuals with ASD and also corresponding rodent models. One neural process thought to be reliant on E/I balance is gamma-band activity (Gamma), with support arising from observed correlations between motor, as well as visual, Gamma and underlying GABA concentrations in healthy adults. Additionally, decreased Gamma has been observed in ASD individuals and relevant animal models, though the direct relationship between Gamma and GABA concentrations in ASD remains unexplored. This study combined magnetoencephalography (MEG) and edited magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in 27 typically developing individuals (TD) and 30 individuals with ASD. Auditory cortex localized phase-locked Gamma was compared to resting Superior Temporal Gyrus relative cortical GABA concentrations for both children/adolescents and adults. Children/adolescents with ASD exhibited significantly decreased GABA+/Creatine (Cr) levels, though typical Gamma. Additionally, these children/adolescents lacked the typical maturation of GABA+/Cr concentrations and gamma-band coherence. Furthermore, children/adolescents with ASD additionally failed to exhibit the typical GABA+/Cr to gamma-band coherence association. This altered coupling during childhood/adolescence may result in Gamma decreases observed in the adults with ASD. Therefore, individuals with ASD exhibit improper local neuronal circuitry maturation during a childhood/adolescence critical period, when GABA is involved in configuring of such circuit functioning. Provocatively a novel line of treatment is suggested (with a critical time window); by increasing neural GABA levels in children/adolescents with ASD, proper local circuitry maturation may be restored resulting in typical Gamma in adulthood. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01T07:45:51.140686-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1686
  • Reduced visual disengagement but intact phasic alerting in young children
           with autism
    • Authors: Johan Lundin Kleberg; Emilia Thorup, Terje Falck-Ytter
      Abstract: Children with autism may have difficulties with visual disengagement—that is, inhibiting current fixations and orienting to new stimuli in the periphery. These difficulties may limit these children's ability to flexibly monitor the environment, regulate their internal states, and interact with others. In typical development, visual disengagement is influenced by a phasic alerting network that increases the processing speed of the visual system after salient events. The role of the phasic alerting effect in the putative atypical disengagement performance in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not known. Here, we compared visual disengagement in six-year-old children with autism (N = 18) and typically developing children (N = 17) matched for age and nonverbal IQ. We manipulated phasic alerting during a visual disengagement task by adding spatially nonpredictive sounds shortly before the onset of the visual peripheral targets. Children with ASD showed evidence of delayed disengagement compared to the control group. Sounds facilitated visual disengagement similarly in both groups, suggesting typical modulation by phasic alerting in ASD in the context of this task. These results support the view that atypical visual disengagement in ASD is related to other factors than atypicalities in the alerting network. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01T07:40:32.612611-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1675
  • Dyspraxia in ASD: Impaired coordination of movement elements
    • Authors: Danielle McAuliffe; Ajay S. Pillai, Alyssa Tiedemann, Stewart H. Mostofsky, Joshua B. Ewen
      Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have long been known to have deficits in the performance of praxis gestures; these motor deficits also correlate with social and communicative deficits. To date, the precise nature of the errors involved in praxis has not been clearly mapped out. Based on observations of individuals with ASD performing gestures, we hypothesized that the simultaneous execution of multiple movement elements is especially impaired in affected children. We examined 25 school-aged participants with ASD and 25 age-matched controls performing seven simultaneous gestures that required the concurrent performance of movement elements and nine serial gestures, in which all elements were performed serially. There was indeed a group × gesture-type interaction (P 
      PubDate: 2016-09-21T07:55:21.587379-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1693
  • Reduced GABA and altered somatosensory function in children with autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Nicolaas A.J. Puts; Ericka L. Wodka, Ashley D. Harris, Deana Crocetti, Mark Tommerdahl, Stewart H. Mostofsky, Richard A.E. Edden
      Abstract: Sensory (e.g., touch) abnormalities are common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In previous work we have shown that children with ASD have altered sensitivity to touch. This altered sensitivity is specific to tasks that involve filtering and habituation to touch. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human brain, and plays a key role in encoding touch. Previous studies suggest that the GABA system is altered in ASD. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), it is now possible to measure GABA levels in the human brain. Recent MRS work suggests that GABA levels are reduced in ASD.In this study we investigated whether brain GABA levels are altered in ASD and whether changes in brain GABA levels can predict differences in tactile sensitivity. Our results suggest that GABA levels are reduced in sensorimotor areas, but not in occipital visual areas. Lower GABA levels are associated with less “filtering” of touch information, and are not associated with habituation in ASD, whereas they are in typically developing children. Further research is necessary to elucidate the specific GABAergic mechanisms altered in ASD. Our results suggest that reduced brain GABA levels could underlie altered tactile function in ASD, and that altered GABA function in ASD disrupts the link between GABA and behavior. Understanding the link between brain GABA and tactile behavior is an important step in understanding brain behavior links in ASD, potentially leading to future therapies to reduce the severity of sensory symptoms.
      PubDate: 2016-09-09T03:31:22.151392-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1691
  • Severity of ASD symptoms and their correlation with the presence of copy
           number variations and exposure to first trimester ultrasound
    • Authors: Sara Jane Webb; Michelle M. Garrison, Raphael Bernier, Abbi M. McClintic, Bryan H. King, Pierre D. Mourad
      Abstract: Current research suggests that incidence and heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms may arise through a variety of exogenous and/or endogenous factors. While subject to routine clinical practice and generally considered safe, there exists speculation, though no human data, that diagnostic ultrasound may also contribute to ASD severity, supported by experimental evidence that exposure to ultrasound early in gestation could perturb brain development and alter behavior. Here we explored a modified triple hit hypothesis [Williams & Casanova, ] to assay for a possible relationship between the severity of ASD symptoms and (1) ultrasound exposure (2) during the first trimester of pregnancy in fetuses with a (3) genetic predisposition to ASD. We did so using retrospective analysis of data from the SSC (Simon's Simplex Collection) autism genetic repository funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. We found that male children with ASD, copy number variations (CNVs), and exposure to first trimester ultrasound had significantly decreased non-verbal IQ and increased repetitive behaviors relative to male children with ASD, with CNVs, and no ultrasound. These data suggest that heterogeneity in ASD symptoms may result, at least in part, from exposure to diagnostic ultrasound during early prenatal development of children with specific genetic vulnerabilities. These results also add weight to on-going concerns expressed by the FDA about non-medical use of diagnostic ultrasound during pregnancy. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-09-01T05:40:25.15093-05:0
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1690
  • Measurement of urine indolylacroylglycine is not useful in the diagnosis
           or dietary management of autism
    • Authors: Neil R. Dalton; Susie Chandler, Charles Turner, Tony Charman, Andrew Pickles, Emily Simonoff, Gillian Baird
      Abstract: To measure urine indolylacroylglycine (IAG) excretion using the IAG:creatinine ratio in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared with two groups of age matched controls, one with special needs but without ASD (SEN) and one typically developing (TD) and in subgroups with/without current gastrointestinal problems and ASD with and without regression. IAG:creatinine ratio was measured in the urine of 279 children aged 10–14 years: 129 children with ASD (28 with and 101 without regression), 62 SEN controls and 88 TD controls. The prevalence of gastro-intestinal symptoms (GIS) was recorded. No differences were found in the urine IAG:creatinine ratio among groups ASD, TD and SEN; nor in the ASD groups with/without regression, nor in those with/without GIS. This study finds no evidence of increased urine IAG excretion in children with ASD, with or without GIS or with or without regression. Urinary IAG measurements in children with ASD offer no support for increased presence of neuroactive peptides proposed to result from increased gut permeability. We found measurement of urinary IAG to have no value in the diagnosis of autism or in the dietary management of children with ASD. Autism Res 2016,. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-08-29T06:55:26.848971-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1688
  • RNA sequencing of transformed lymphoblastoid cells from siblings
           discordant for autism spectrum disorders reveals transcriptomic and
           functional alterations: Evidence for sex-specific effects
    • Authors: Daniel S. Tylee; Alfred J. Espinoza, Jonathan L. Hess, Muhammad A. Tahir, Sarah Y. McCoy, Joshua K. Rim, Totadri Dhimal, Ori S. Cohen, Stephen J. Glatt
      Abstract: Genome-wide expression studies of samples derived from individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their unaffected siblings have been widely used to shed light on transcriptomic differences associated with this condition. Females have historically been under-represented in ASD genomic studies. Emerging evidence from studies of structural genetic variants and peripheral biomarkers suggest that sex-differences may exist in the biological correlates of ASD. Relatively few studies have explicitly examined whether sex-differences exist in the transcriptomic signature of ASD. The present study quantified genome-wide expression values by performing RNA sequencing on transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines and identified transcripts differentially expressed between same-sex, proximal-aged sibling pairs. We found that performing separate analyses for each sex improved our ability to detect ASD-related transcriptomic differences; we observed a larger number of dysregulated genes within our smaller set of female samples (n = 12 sibling pairs), as compared with the set of male samples (n = 24 sibling pairs), with small, but statistically significant overlap between the sexes. Permutation-based gene-set analyses and weighted gene co-expression network analyses also supported the idea that the transcriptomic signature of ASD may differ between males and females. We discuss our findings in the context of the relevant literature, underscoring the need for future ASD studies to explicitly account for differences between the sexes. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-08-16T08:40:54.877786-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1679
  • Genetic modifications associated with ketogenic diet treatment in the
           BTBRT+Tf/J mouse model of autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Richelle Mychasiuk; Jong M. Rho
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a prevalent and heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by hallmark behavioral features. The spectrum of disorders that fall within the ASD umbrella encompass a distinct but overlapping symptom complex that likely results from an array of molecular and genetic aberrations rather than a single genetic mutation. The ketogenic diet (KD) is a high-fat low-carbohydrate anti-seizure and neuroprotective diet that has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of ASD-like behaviors in animal and human studies. We investigated changes in mRNA and gene expression in the BTBR mouse model of ASD that may contribute to the behavioral phenotype. In addition, we sought to examine changes in gene expression following KD treatment in BTBR mice. Despite significant behavioral abnormalities, expression changes in BTBR mice did not differ substantially from controls; only 33 genes were differentially expressed in the temporal cortex, and 48 in the hippocampus. Examination of these differentially expressed genes suggested deficits in the stress response and in neuronal signaling/communication. After treatment with the KD, both brain regions demonstrated improvements in ASD deficits associated with myelin formation and white matter development. Although our study supports many of the previously known impairments associated with ASD, such as excessive myelin formation and impaired GABAergic transmission, the RNAseq data and pathway analysis utilized here identified new therapeutic targets for analysis, such as Vitamin D pathways and cAMP signaling. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-08-16T08:40:24.820633-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1682
  • Sensory atypicalities in dyads of children with autism spectrum disorder
           (ASD) and their parents
    • Authors: Magdalena Glod; Deborah M. Riby, Emma Honey, Jacqui Rodgers
      Abstract: Sensory atypicalities are a common feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To date, the relationship between sensory atypicalities in dyads of children with ASD and their parents has not been investigated. Exploring these relationships can contribute to an understanding of how phenotypic profiles may be inherited, and the extent to which familial factors might contribute towards children's sensory profiles and constitute an aspect of the broader autism phenotype (BAP). Parents of 44 children with ASD and 30 typically developing (TD) children, aged between 3 and 14 years, participated. Information about children's sensory experiences was collected through parent report using the Sensory Profile questionnaire. Information about parental sensory experiences was collected via self-report using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile. Parents of children with ASD had significantly higher scores than parents of TD children in relation to low registration, over responsivity, and taste/smell sensory processing. Similar levels of agreement were obtained within ASD and TD parent-child dyads on a number of sensory atypicalities; nevertheless significant correlations were found between parents and children in ASD families but not TD dyads for sensation avoiding and auditory, visual, and vestibular sensory processing. The findings suggest that there are similarities in sensory processing profiles between parents and their children in both ASD and TD dyads. Familial sensory processing factors are likely to contribute towards the BAP. Further work is needed to explore genetic and environmental influences on the developmental pathways of the sensory atypicalities in ASD. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-08-16T08:30:32.350492-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1680
  • Prenatal stress exposure, oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) methylation and
           child autistic traits: The moderating role of OXTR rs53576 genotype
    • Authors: Jolien Rijlaarsdam; Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Frank C. Verhulst, Vincent W. V. Jaddoe, Janine F. Felix, Henning Tiemeier, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg
      Abstract: Lay AbstractThe gene encoding the oxytocin receptor (OXTR), localized on chromosome 3p25, is considered a promising candidate for explaining genetic vulnerability to autistic traits. Although several lines of evidence implicate OXTR SNP rs53576 (G/A) variation in social behavior, findings have been inconsistent, possibly because DNA methylation after stress exposure was eliminated from consideration. This study investigated the main and interactive effects of OXTR rs53576 genotype, stress exposure, and OXTR methylation on child autistic traits. Prenatal maternal stress exposure, but not OXTR rs53576 genotype and OXTR methylation, showed a main effect on child autistic traits. For child autistic traits in general and social communication problems in particular, we observed a significant OXTR rs53576 genotype by OXTR methylation interaction. More specifically, OXTR methylation levels were positively associated with social problems for OXTR rs53576 G-allele homozygous children but not for A-allele carriers. These results highlight the importance of incorporating epi-allelic information and support the role of OXTR methylation in child autistic traits.Scientific AbstractFindings of studies investigating OXTR SNP rs53576 (G-A) variation in social behavior have been inconsistent, possibly because DNA methylation after stress exposure was eliminated from consideration. Our goal was to examine OXTR rs53576 allele-specific sensitivity for neonatal OXTR DNA methylation in relation to (1) a prenatal maternal stress composite, and (2) child autistic traits. Prospective data from fetal life to age 6 years were collected in a total of 743 children participating in the Generation R Study. Prenatal maternal stress exposure was uniquely associated with child autistic traits but was unrelated to OXTR methylation across both OXTR rs53576 G-allele homozygous children and A-allele carriers. For child autistic traits in general and social communication problems in particular, we observed a significant OXTR rs53576 genotype by OXTR methylation interaction in the absence of main effects, suggesting that opposing effects cancelled each other out. Indeed, OXTR methylation levels were positively associated with social problems for OXTR rs53576 G-allele homozygous children but not for A-allele carriers. These results highlight the importance of incorporating epi-allelic information and support the role of OXTR methylation in child autistic traits. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13T03:55:25.811293-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1681
  • “Is voice a marker for Autism spectrum disorder' A systematic review
           and meta-analysis”
    • Authors: Riccardo Fusaroli; Anna Lambrechts, Dan Bang, Dermot M. Bowler, Sebastian B. Gaigg
      Abstract: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are reported to speak in distinctive ways. Distinctive vocal production should be better understood as it can affect social interactions and social development and could represent a non-invasive marker for ASD. We systematically review the existing scientific literature reporting quantitative acoustic analysis of vocal production in ASD and identify repeated and consistent findings of higher pitch mean and variability but not of other differences in acoustic features. We also identify a recent approach relying on multiple aspects of vocal production and machine learning algorithms to automatically identify ASD from voice only. This latter approach is very promising, but requires more systematic replication and comparison across languages and contexts. We outline three recommendations to further develop the field: open data, open methods, and theory-driven research. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) tend to show distinctive, atypical acoustic patterns of speech. These behaviors affect social interactions and social development and could represent a non-invasive marker for ASD. We systematically reviewed the literature quantifying acoustic patterns in ASD. Search terms were: (prosody OR intonation OR inflection OR intensity OR pitch OR fundamental frequency OR speech rate OR voice quality OR acoustic) AND (autis* OR Asperger). Results were filtered to include only: empirical studies quantifying acoustic features of vocal production in ASD, with a sample size>2, and the inclusion of a neurotypical comparison group and/or correlations between acoustic measures and severity of clinical features. We identified 34 articles, including 30 univariate studies and 15 multivariate machine-learning studies. We performed meta-analyses of the univariate studies, identifying significant differences in mean pitch and pitch range between individuals with ASD and comparison participants (Cohen's d of 0.4–0.5 and discriminatory accuracy of about 61–64%). The multivariate studies reported higher accuracies than the univariate studies (63–96%). However, the methods used and the acoustic features investigated were too diverse for performing meta-analysis. We conclude that multivariate studies of acoustic patterns are a promising but yet unsystematic avenue for establishing ASD markers. We outline three recommendations for future studies: open data, open methods, and theory-driven research. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-08-08T10:21:46.215957-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1678
  • Context processing in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: How
           complex could it be'
    • Authors: Dekel Ben-Yosef; David Anaki, Ofer Golan
      Abstract: The ability of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to process context has long been debated: According to the Weak Central Coherence theory, ASD is characterized by poor global processing, and consequently—poor context processing. In contrast, the Social Cognition theory argues individuals with ASD will present difficulties only in social context processing. The complexity theory of autism suggests context processing in ASD will depend on task complexity. The current study examined this controversy through two priming tasks, one presenting human stimuli (facial expressions) and the other presenting non-human stimuli (animal faces). Both tasks presented visual targets, preceded by congruent, incongruent, or neutral auditory primes. Local and global processing were examined by presenting the visual targets in three spatial frequency conditions: High frequency, low frequency, and broadband. Tasks were administered to 16 adolescents with high functioning ASD and 16 matched typically developing adolescents. Reaction time and accuracy were measured for each task in each condition. Results indicated that individuals with ASD processed context for both human and non-human stimuli, except in one condition, in which human stimuli had to be processed globally (i.e., target presented in low frequency). The task demands presented in this condition, and the performance deficit shown in the ASD group as a result, could be understood in terms of cognitive overload. These findings provide support for the complexity theory of autism and extend it. Our results also demonstrate how associative priming could support intact context processing of human and non-human stimuli in individuals with ASD. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T04:45:30.414065-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1676
  • Lack of replication of previous autism spectrum disorder GWAS hits in
           European populations
    • Authors: Bàrbara Torrico; Andreas G. Chiocchetti, Elena Bacchelli, Elisabetta Trabetti, Amaia Hervás, Barbara Franke, Jan K. Buitelaar, Nanda Rommelse, Afsheen Yousaf, Eftichia Duketis, Christine M. Freitag, Rafaela Caballero-Andaluz, Amalia Martinez-Mir, Francisco G. Scholl, Marta Ribasés, , Agatino Battaglia, Giovanni Malerba, Richard Delorme, Marion Benabou, Elena Maestrini, Thomas Bourgeron, Bru Cormand, Claudio Toma
      Pages: 202 - 211
      Abstract: Common variants contribute significantly to the genetics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), although the identification of individual risk polymorphisms remains still elusive due to their small effect sizes and limited sample sizes available for association studies. During the last decade several genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have enabled the detection of a few plausible risk variants. The three main studies are family-based and pointed at SEMA5A (rs10513025), MACROD2 (rs4141463) and MSNP1 (rs4307059). In our study we attempted to replicate these GWAS hits using a case-control association study in five European populations of ASD patients and gender-matched controls, all Caucasians. Results showed no association of individual variants with ASD in any of the population groups considered or in the combined European sample. We performed a meta-analysis study across five European populations for rs10513025 (1,904 ASD cases and 2,674 controls), seven European populations for rs4141463 (2,855 ASD cases and 36,177 controls) and five European populations for rs4307059 (2,347 ASD cases and 2,764 controls). The results showed an odds ratio (OR) of 1.05 (95% CI = 0.84–1.32) for rs10513025, 1.0002 (95% CI = 0.93–1.08) for rs4141463 and 1.01 (95% CI = 0.92–1.1) for rs4307059, with no significant P-values (rs10513025, P = 0.73; rs4141463, P = 0.95; rs4307059, P = 0.9). No association was found when we considered either only high functioning autism (HFA), genders separately or only multiplex families. Ongoing GWAS projects with larger ASD cohorts will contribute to clarify the role of common variation in the disorder and will likely identify risk variants of modest effect not detected previously. Autism Res 2017, 10: 202–211. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-07-15T05:01:43.604728-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1662
  • Disruption of visual circuit formation and refinement in a mouse model of
    • Authors: Ning Cheng; Maryam Khanbabaei, Kartikeya Murari, Jong M. Rho
      Pages: 212 - 223
      Abstract: Aberrant connectivity is believed to contribute to the pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Recent neuroimaging studies have increasingly identified such impairments in patients with ASD, including alterations in sensory systems. However, the cellular substrates and molecular underpinnings of disrupted connectivity remain poorly understood. Utilizing eye-specific segregation in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) as a model system, we investigated the formation and refinement of precise patterning of synaptic connections in the BTBR T + tf/J (BTBR) mouse model of ASD. We found that at the neonatal stage, the shape of the dLGN occupied by retinal afferents was altered in the BTBR group compared to C57BL/6J (B6) animals. Notably, the degree of overlap between the ipsi- and contralateral afferents was significantly greater in the BTBR mice. Moreover, these abnormalities continued into mature stage in the BTBR animals, suggesting persistent deficits rather than delayed maturation of axonal refinement. Together, these results indicate disrupted connectivity at the synaptic patterning level in the BTBR mice, suggesting that in general, altered neural circuitry may contribute to autistic behaviours seen in this animal model. In addition, these data are consistent with the notion that lower-level, primary processing mechanisms contribute to altered visual perception in ASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 212–223. © 2016 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
      PubDate: 2016-08-16T08:05:25.888675-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1687
  • Prevalence and associated features of autism spectrum disorder in
           extremely low gestational age newborns at age 10 years
    • Authors: Robert M. Joseph; Thomas M. O'Shea, Elizabeth N. Allred, Tim Heeren, Deborah Hirtz, Nigel Paneth, Alan Leviton, Karl C. K. Kuban
      Pages: 224 - 232
      Abstract: We sought to estimate the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children born extremely preterm relative to the U.S. population risk of 1.5% [CDC, 2014] using the best-available diagnostic procedures and minimizing confounding with other neurodevelopmental impairments. Eight hundred and eighty nine of 966 (92%) 10-year-old children from the Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn birth cohort, delivered at 23–27 weeks gestation in 2002–2004, participated. Children meeting ASD screening criteria on the Social Communication Questionnaire were evaluated with the Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised (ADI-R). Those meeting ADI-R criteria were assessed with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (ADOS-2). A positive ADOS-2 score was the criterion for ASD. Twenty-six participants were not assessed for ASD because of severe sensory or motor impairment. In the remaining sample, 61 children met criteria for ASD, resulting in a prevalence of 7.1% (95% CI = 5.5–9.0). ASD risk decreased with increasing gestational age, from 15.0% (95% CI = 10.0–21.2) for 23–24 weeks, 6.5% (95% CI = 4.2–9.4) for 25–26 weeks, to 3.4% (95% CI = 1.6–6.1) for 27 weeks gestational age, and this association was independent of IQ. Among children with ASD, 40% had intellectual disability. The male-to-female ratio of children with ASD was 2.1:1 (95% CI = 1.2:1–3.5:1), lower than in the general population (4:1). ASD prevalence in the ELGAN cohort was four times higher than in the general population, and was strongly associated with gestational age, underscoring the need for enhanced ASD screening of children born preterm, and suggesting that some risk factors associated with preterm birth may also play a role in the etiology of autism. Autism Res 2017, 10: 224–232. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-05-25T05:40:24.198227-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1644
  • A sexually dichotomous, autistic-like phenotype is induced by Group B
           Streptococcus maternofetal immune activation
    • Authors: Marie-Julie Allard; Julie D. Bergeron, Moogeh Baharnoori, Lalit K. Srivastava, Louis-Charles Fortier, Claire Poyart, Guillaume Sébire
      Pages: 233 - 245
      Abstract: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a commensal bacterium present in the lower genital tract of 15–30% of healthy pregnant women. GBS is the leading cause of chorioamnionitis and cerebral injuries in newborns, occurring most often in the absence of maternofetal pathogen translocation. Despite GBS being the most frequent bacterium colonizing pregnant women, no preclinical studies have investigated the impact of end-gestational maternal GBS exposure on the offspring's brain development and its behavioral correlates. Our hypothesis is that GBS-induced gestational infection/inflammation has a deleterious neurodevelopmental impact on uninfected offspring. Our goal was to study the impact of maternal GBS infection on the placental and neurodevelopmental features in the offspring using a new preclinical rat model. GBS-exposed placentas exhibited chorioamnionitis characterized by the presence of Gram-positive cocci and polymorphonuclear cells, with the latter being significantly more prominent in the labyrinth of male offspring. GBS-exposed male offspring had reduced thickness of periventricular white matter. In addition, they exhibited autistic-like behaviors, such as abnormal social interaction and communication, impaired processing of sensory information and hyperactivity. Overall, these data show for the first time that gestational exposure to GBS plays an important role in the generation of neurodevelopmental abnormalities reminiscent of human autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These results provide new evidence in favor of the role of a common and modifiable infectious/inflammatory environmental factor in human ASD pathophysiology. Autism Res 2017, 10: 233–245. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-05-25T05:56:00.431148-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1647
  • Visual orienting in children with autism: Hyper-responsiveness to human
           eyes presented after a brief alerting audio-signal, but hyporesponsiveness
           to eyes presented without sound
    • Authors: Johan Lundin Kleberg; Emilia Thorup, Terje Falck-Ytter
      Pages: 246 - 250
      Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been associated with reduced orienting to social stimuli such as eyes, but the results are inconsistent. It is not known whether atypicalities in phasic alerting could play a role in putative altered social orienting in ASD. Here, we show that in unisensory (visual) trials, children with ASD are slower to orient to eyes (among distractors) than controls matched for age, sex, and nonverbal IQ. However, in another condition where a brief spatially nonpredictive sound was presented just before the visual targets, this group effect was reversed. Our results indicate that orienting to social versus nonsocial stimuli is differently modulated by phasic alerting mechanisms in young children with ASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 246–250. © 2016 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
      PubDate: 2016-07-25T09:25:42.316327-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1668
  • Vestibulo-ocular reflex function in children with high-functioning autism
           spectrum disorders
    • Authors: Tana B. Carson; Bradley J. Wilkes, Kunal Patel, Jill L. Pineda, Ji H. Ko, Karl M. Newell, James W. Bodfish, Michael C. Schubert, Krestin Radonovich, Keith D. White, Mark H. Lewis
      Pages: 251 - 266
      Abstract: Sensorimotor processing alterations are a growing focus in the assessment and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The rotational vestibulo-ocular reflex (rVOR), which functions to maintain stable vision during head movements, is a sensorimotor system that may be useful in understanding such alterations and their underlying neurobiology. In this study, we assessed post-rotary nystagmus elicited by continuous whole body rotation among children with high-functioning ASD and typically developing children. Children with ASD exhibited increased rVOR gain, the ratio of eye velocity to head velocity, indicating a possible lack of cerebellar inhibitory input to brainstem vestibular nuclei in this population. The ASD group also showed less regular or periodic horizontal eye movements as indexed by greater variance accounted for by multiple higher frequency bandwidths as well as greater entropy scores compared to typically developing children. The decreased regularity or dysrhythmia in the temporal structure of nystagmus beats in children with ASD may be due to alterations in cerebellum and brainstem circuitry. These findings could potentially serve as a model to better understand the functional effects of differences in these brain structures in ASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 251–266. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-05-25T05:31:18.539977-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1642
  • Linkage between pain sensitivity and empathic response in adolescents with
           autism spectrum conditions and conduct disorder symptoms
    • Authors: Chenyi Chen; An-Yi Hung, Yang-Teng Fan, Shuai Tan, Hua Hong, Yawei Cheng
      Pages: 267 - 275
      Abstract: Lack of empathy is one of the behavioral hallmarks in individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) as well as youth with conduct disorder symptoms (CDS). Previous research has reliably documented considerable overlap between the perception of others' pain and first-hand experience of pain. However, the linkage between empathy for pain and sensitivity to physical pain needs to be empirically determined, particularly in individuals with empathy deficits. This study measured the pressure pain threshold, which indexes sensitization of peripheral nociceptors, and assessed subjective ratings of unpleasantness and pain intensity in response to empathy-eliciting stimuli depicting physical bodily injuries in three age- and sex-matched participant groups: ASC, CDS, and typically developing controls (TDC). The results indicated that the pain threshold was lowest in the ASC group and highest in the CDS group. The ASC group displayed lower ratings of unpleasantness and pain intensity than did the TDC and CDS groups. Within the ASC and CDS, pain intensity ratings were significantly correlated with unpleasantness ratings to others' pain. Moreover, the ASC significantly differed from the TDC in the correlation between pain threshold values and unpleasantness ratings. These findings may cast some light on the linkage between atypical low-level sensory functioning, for instance altered pain sensitivity, and high-level empathic processing. Autism Res 2017, 10: 267–275. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-06-16T03:10:25.333027-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1653
  • Psychophysiological Associations with Gastrointestinal Symptomatology in
           Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Authors: Bradley J. Ferguson; Sarah Marler, Lily L. Altstein, Evon Batey Lee, Jill Akers, Kristin Sohl, Aaron McLaughlin, Kaitlyn Hartnett, Briana Kille, Micah Mazurek, Eric A. Macklin, Erin McDonnell, Mariah Barstow, Margaret L. Bauman, Kara Gross Margolis, Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, David Q. Beversdorf
      Pages: 276 - 288
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often accompanied by gastrointestinal disturbances, which also may impact behavior. Alterations in autonomic nervous system functioning are also frequently observed in ASD. The relationship between these findings in ASD is not known. We examined the relationship between gastrointestinal symptomatology, examining upper and lower gastrointestinal tract symptomatology separately, and autonomic nervous system functioning, as assessed by heart rate variability and skin conductance level, in a sample of 120 individuals with ASD. Relationships with co-occurring medical and psychiatric symptoms were also examined. While the number of participants with significant upper gastrointestinal tract problems was small in this sample, 42.5% of participants met criteria for functional constipation, a disorder of the lower gastrointestinal tract. Heart rate variability, a measure of parasympathetic modulation of cardiac activity, was found to be positively associated with lower gastrointestinal tract symptomatology at baseline. This relationship was particularly strong for participants with co-occurring diagnoses of anxiety disorder and for those with a history of regressive ASD or loss of previously acquired skills. These findings suggest that autonomic function and gastrointestinal problems are intertwined in children with ASD; although it is not possible to assess causality in this data set. Future work should examine the impact of treatment of gastrointestinal problems on autonomic function and anxiety, as well as the impact of anxiety treatment on gastrointestinal problems. Clinicians should be aware that gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, and autonomic dysfunction may cluster in children with ASD and should be addressed in a multidisciplinary treatment plan. Autism Res 2017, 10: 276–288. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-06-20T05:20:25.776859-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1646
  • The Autism-Spectrum Quotient in Siblings of People With Autism
    • Authors: Emily Ruzich; Carrie Allison, Paula Smith, Howard Ring, Bonnie Auyeung, Simon Baron-Cohen
      Pages: 289 - 297
      Abstract: This study measures the distribution of autistic traits, using the autism-spectrum quotient (AQ), in siblings of individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Total AQ scores, along with AQ subscales, were collected from child, adolescent and adult controls, siblings, and volunteers with ASC using one of the three age-appropriate versions of the instrument: the AQ (adult self-report), the AQ-adolescent and AQ-child (both parent-reports). We examined the effect of Group (case, sibling and control) and AQ version (adult, adolescent and adult) on total and subscale scores. In addition, we tested for sex differences in all groups and on all versions. We found that in male and female adults, AQ scores in siblings fell between cases and controls (cases > siblings > controls). In children and adolescents, female siblings also scored higher than control females (female cases > female siblings > female controls), but there was no difference between male siblings and controls (male cases > male siblings = male controls). An investigation of subscale scores revealed that male siblings only differed from controls on the “Communication” subscale (male cases > male siblings > male controls), while female siblings differed from controls on all subscales except “Imagination” (female cases > female siblings > female controls). This study confirms the broader autism phenotype in siblings, and reveals this is modulated by sex and AQ version. Autism Res 2017, 10: 289–297. © 2016 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
      PubDate: 2016-06-22T07:50:27.014501-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1651
  • Intact mirror mechanisms for automatic facial emotions in children and
           adolescents with autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Martin Schulte-Rüther; Ellen Otte, Kübra Adigüzel, Christine Firk, Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann, Iring Koch, Kerstin Konrad
      Pages: 298 - 310
      Abstract: It has been suggested that an early deficit in the human mirror neuron system (MNS) is an important feature of autism. Recent findings related to simple hand and finger movements do not support a general dysfunction of the MNS in autism. Studies investigating facial actions (e.g., emotional expressions) have been more consistent, however, mostly relied on passive observation tasks. We used a new variant of a compatibility task for the assessment of automatic facial mimicry responses that allowed for simultaneous control of attention to facial stimuli. We used facial electromyography in 18 children and adolescents with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 18 typically developing controls (TDCs). We observed a robust compatibility effect in ASD, that is, the execution of a facial expression was facilitated if a congruent facial expression was observed. Time course analysis of RT distributions and comparison to a classic compatibility task (symbolic Simon task) revealed that the facial compatibility effect appeared early and increased with time, suggesting fast and sustained activation of motor codes during observation of facial expressions. We observed a negative correlation of the compatibility effect with age across participants and in ASD, and a positive correlation between self-rated empathy and congruency for smiling faces in TDC but not in ASD. This pattern of results suggests that basic motor mimicry is intact in ASD, but is not associated with complex social cognitive abilities such as emotion understanding and empathy. Autism Res 2017, 10: 298–310. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T00:35:28.025918-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1654
  • Threatening faces fail to guide attention for adults with autistic-like
    • Authors: Michael C. W. English; Murray T. Maybery, Troy A. W. Visser
      Pages: 311 - 320
      Abstract: Individuals diagnosed with autistic spectrum conditions often show deficits in processing emotional faces relative to neurotypical peers. However, little is known about whether similar deficits exist in neurotypical individuals who show high-levels of autistic-like traits. To address this question, we compared performance on an attentional blink task in a large sample of adults who showed low- or high-levels of autistic-like traits on the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We found that threatening faces inserted as the second target in a rapid serial visual presentation were identified more accurately among individuals with low- compared to high-levels of autistic-like traits. This is the first study to show that attentional blink abnormalities seen in autism extend to the neurotypical population with autistic-like traits, adding to the growing body of research suggesting that autistic-related patterns of behaviors extend into a subset of the neurotypical population. Autism Res 2017, 10: 311–320. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-07-07T02:00:30.833225-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1658
  • Heterogeneity of subclinical autistic traits among parents of children
           with autism spectrum disorder: Identifying the broader autism phenotype
           with a data-driven method
    • Authors: Emre Bora; Aydan Aydın, Tuğba Saraç, Muhammed Tayyib Kadak, Sezen Köse
      Pages: 321 - 326
      Abstract: Clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be conceptualized as the extreme end of the distribution of subclinical autistic traits related to genetic susceptibility factors (broad autism phenotype (BAP)) in the general population. Subclinical autistic traits are significantly more common among unaffected first-degree relatives of probands with autism. However, there is a significant heterogeneity of autistic traits in family members of individuals with ASD and severity of autistic traits are not significantly different from controls in the majority of these relatives. The current study investigated the heterogeneity of autistic traits using latent class analysis (LCA) of the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) ratings of 673 parents of children with ASD and 147 parents of typically developing children. Two distinct subgroups, including a "low-scoring" and a "high-scorer (BAP)" groups, were found. In comparison to control parents, a significantly larger proportion (21.1% vs. 7.5%) of parents of ASD were members of BAP group. Communication subscale made a distinctive contribution to the separation of high and low-scoring groups (d = 2.77). Further studies investigating neurobiological and genetic biomarkers and stability of these two subgroups over time are important for understanding the nature of autistic traits in the general population. Autism Res 2017, 10: 321–326. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-07-07T02:05:20.927007-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1661
  • Category structure and processing in 6-year-old children with autism
    • Authors: Allison Bean Ellawadi; Deborah Fein, Letitia R. Naigles
      Pages: 327 - 336
      Abstract: This study investigated the categorization abilities of 6-year-old children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as compared to their peers with typical development (TD) using a category verification task. We examined the impact of stimulus typicality on multiple aspects of real-time performance, including accuracy, reaction time, and performance stability. Both groups were more accurate in identifying typical category members than atypical ones; however, only the ASD group's accuracy was affected by item ordering, indicating less stable performance. Furthermore, category structure was predicted by concurrent language levels in the TD group but by concurrent nonverbal IQ in the ASD group; these latter two findings suggest that children with ASD process categories differently than their peers with TD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 327–336. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-07-12T08:55:21.216277-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1652
  • Children with autism spectrum disorder have reduced otoacoustic emissions
           at the 1 kHz mid-frequency region
    • Authors: Loisa Bennetto; Jessica M. Keith, Paul D. Allen, Anne E. Luebke
      Pages: 337 - 345
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a behaviorally diagnosed disorder of early onset characterized by impairment in social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviors. Some of the earliest signs of ASD involve auditory processing, and a recent study found that hearing thresholds in children with ASD in the mid-range frequencies were significantly related to receptive and expressive language measures. In addition, otoacoustic emissions have been used to detect reduced cochlear function in the presence of normal audiometric thresholds. We were interested then to know if otoacoustic emissions in children with normal audiometric thresholds would also reveal differences between children with ASD and typical developing (TD) controls in mid-frequency regions. Our objective was to specifically measure baseline afferent otoacoustic emissions (distortion-product otoacoustic emissions [DPOAEs]), transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TrOAEs), and efferent suppression, in 35 children with high-functioning ASD compared with 42 aged-matched TD controls. All participants were males 6–17 years old, with normal audiometry, and rigorously characterized via Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Children with ASD had greatly reduced DPOAE responses in the 1 kHz frequency range, yet had comparable DPOAE responses at 0.5 and 4–8 kHz regions. Furthermore, analysis of the spectral features of TrOAEs revealed significantly decreased emissions in ASD in similar frequencies. No significant differences were noted in DPOAE or TrOAE noise floors, middle ear muscle reflex activity, or efferent suppression between children with ASD and TD controls. In conclusion, attention to specific-frequency deficits using non-invasive measures of cochlear function may be important in auditory processing impairments found in ASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 337–345. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-07-12T08:40:59.310796-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1663
  • Salivary cortisol and behavioral response to social evaluative threat in
           adolescents with autism spectrum disorder
    • Authors: E. Kale Edmiston; Scott D. Blain, Blythe A. Corbett
      Pages: 346 - 358
      Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social behavior. One possible explanation for social communication deficits in ASD could be differences in biological systems that support responses to environmental stimuli. If so, it is unclear if differences in the arousal response to social stimuli in ASD are due to reduced interest in social information, or to an increased stress response. The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis facilitates arousal and the stress response to sensory input, including social stimuli. Previous research shows blunted cortisol response to social evaluative threat in children with ASD. The majority of prior work has focused on children with ASD, but adolescents with ASD are understudied. The adolescent period is of interest, as this developmental epoch is associated with increased salience of social evaluative threat in typically developing (TD) populations. In this study, we employed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a laboratory paradigm that involves exposure to social evaluative threat, to study the cortisol and behavioral response to social evaluative threat in ASD and TD adolescents. Salivary cortisol data were collected at six time points before and after the TSST. Behavioral data were collected using video recordings of the TSST, which were then operationalized and coded. Paired sample t-tests were used to calculate within-group cortisol response to the TSST. Cortisol significantly increased in response to the TSST in the TD group but not the ASD group. The TD group showed a trend for more self-soothing behaviors during the stressor than the ASD group. The lack of a cortisol response to the TSST in the ASD group suggests that the TSST is not interpreted as stressful or salient for ASD adolescents. Autism Res 2017, 10: 346–358. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2016-07-15T04:55:25.943868-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1660
  • High autistic trait individuals do not modulate gaze behaviour in response
           to social presence but look away more when actively engaged in an
    • Authors: Elisabeth A. H. von dem Hagen; Naomi Bright
      Pages: 359 - 368
      Abstract: Autism is characterised by difficulties in social functioning, notably in interactions with other people. Yet, most studies addressing social difficulties have used static images or, at best, videos of social stimuli, with no scope for real interaction. Here, we study one crucial aspect of social interactions—gaze behaviour—in an interactive setting. First, typical individuals were shown videos of an experimenter and, by means of a deception procedure, were either led to believe that the experimenter was present via a live video-feed or was pre-recorded. Participants' eye movements revealed that when passively viewing an experimenter they believed to be “live,” they looked less at that person than when they believed the experimenter video was pre-recorded. Interestingly, this reduction in viewing behaviour in response to the believed “live” presence of the experimenter was absent in individuals high in autistic traits, suggesting a relative insensitivity to social presence alone. When participants were asked to actively engage in a real-time interaction with the experimenter, however, high autistic trait individuals looked significantly less at the experimenter relative to low autistic trait individuals. The results reinforce findings of atypical gaze behaviour in individuals high in autistic traits, but suggest that active engagement in a social interaction may be important in eliciting reduced looking. We propose that difficulties with the spatio-temporal dynamics associated with real social interactions rather than underlying difficulties processing the social stimulus itself may drive these effects. The results underline the importance of developing ecologically valid methods to investigate social cognition. Autism Res 2017, 10: 359–368. © 2016 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
      PubDate: 2016-07-19T09:55:35.991339-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1666
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