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  Subjects -> PSYCHOLOGY (Total: 882 journals)
Showing 1 - 174 of 174 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acción Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
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: 24)
Activités     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Actualidades en Psicologia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ad verba Liberorum : Journal of Linguistics & Pedagogy & Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
ADHD Report The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 42)
Advances in Mental Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 74)
Advances in Physiotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 62)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 30)
African Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and Sport Facilitation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 410)
Aggressive Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
Ágora - studies in psychoanalytic theory     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Aletheia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
American Behavioral Scientist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
American Imago     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
American Journal of Applied Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 37)
American Journal of Community Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
American Journal of Health Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24)
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
American Journal of Psychoanalysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
American Psychologist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 180)
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: 69)
Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29)
Annual Review of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 224)
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: 23)
Applied and Preventive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Applied Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 70)
Applied Neuropsychology : Adult     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
Applied Neuropsychology : Child     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Applied Psychological Measurement     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Applied Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 198)
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 49)
Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Archives of Scientific Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
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: 4)
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: 11)
Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Attention, Perception & Psychophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
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: 7)
Australian Journal of Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Australian Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Autism Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34)
Autism Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 28)
Autism's Own     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
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: 19)
Balint Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Barbaroi     Open Access  
Basic and Applied Social Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36)
Behavior Analysis in Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Behavior Analyst     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Behavior Modification     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Behavior Research Methods     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Behavior Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 49)
Behavioral Development Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription  
Behavioral Interventions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Behavioral Neuroscience     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 53)
Behavioral Sciences & the Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Behavioral Sleep Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Behaviormetrika     Hybrid Journal  
Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Behaviour Research and Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 128)
Behavioural Processes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Biofeedback     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
BioPsychoSocial Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
BMC Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy: An International Journal for Theory, Research and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Boletim Academia Paulista de Psicologia     Open Access  
Boletim de Psicologia     Open Access  
Brain Informatics     Open Access  
British Journal of Clinical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 143)
British Journal of Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 37)
British Journal of Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
British Journal of Health Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 43)
British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21)
British Journal of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 58)
British Journal of Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 67)
British Journal of Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33)
Burnout Research     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Cadernos de psicanálise (Rio de Janeiro)     Open Access  
Cadernos de Psicologia Social do Trabalho     Open Access  
Canadian Art Therapy Association     Hybrid Journal  
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Canadian Psychology / Psychologie canadienne     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Cendekia : Jurnal Kependidikan dan Kemasyarakatan     Open Access  
Child Development Perspectives     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Child Development Research     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Ciencia Cognitiva     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia e Interculturalidad     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ciências & Cognição     Open Access  
Ciencias Psicológicas     Open Access  
Clínica y Salud     Open Access  
Clinical Medicine Insights : Psychiatry     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Clinical Psychological Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Clinical Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 72)
Clinical Psychology and Special Education     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Clinical Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 38)
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
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: 39)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Cognitive Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 65)
Cognitive Research : Principles and Implications     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Consciousness and Cognition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
Construção Psicopedagógica     Open Access  
Consulting Psychology Journal : Practice and Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Contagion : Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Contemporary Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
Contemporary School Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Contextos Clínicos     Open Access  
Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Counseling Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research : Linking research with practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
Counselling and Values     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Counselling Psychology Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Couple and Family Psychoanalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Couple and Family Psychology : Research and Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Creativity Research Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Creativity. Theories - Research - Applications     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Criminal Justice Ethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
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: 13)
Cultural-Historical Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Culturas Psi     Open Access  
Culture and Brain     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Current Addiction Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Current Directions In Psychological Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 51)
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Current Opinion in Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Current Psychological Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Current Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Current psychology letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Current Research in Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 20)
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Decision     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Depression and Anxiety     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Depression Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Developmental Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Developmental Psychobiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 46)
Diagnostica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Dialectica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Discourse     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
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: 14)
Ecopsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
ECOS - Estudos Contemporâneos da Subjetividade     Open Access  
Educational Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50)
Educazione sentimentale     Full-text available via subscription  
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Elpis - Czasopismo Teologiczne Katedry Teologii Prawosławnej Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku     Open Access  
Emotion     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 34)
Emotion Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
En-Claves del pensamiento     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Enseñanza e Investigacion en Psicologia     Open Access  
Epiphany     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Escritos de Psicología : Psychological Writings     Open Access   (Followers: 2)

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Journal Cover Autism Research
  [SJR: 2.126]   [H-I: 39]   [34 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  [1579 journals]
  • Virtual Environment for Social Information Processing: Assessment of
           Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Abstract: Social information processing (SIP) skills are critical for developing and maintaining peer relationships. Building on existing assessment techniques, Virtual Environment for SIP (VESIPTM), a simulation‐based assessment that immerses children in social decision‐making scenarios, was developed. This study presents preliminary evidence of VESIP's usefulness for measuring SIP skills in children with and without autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Twenty‐one children with ASD and 29 control children participated. It was hypothesized that (a) children (8–12 years old), with and without ASD, would understand and interact effectively with VESIP; (b) VESIP scores would be reliable in both populations; and (c) children with ASD would score lower on SIP domains than typically developing peers. Results supported these hypotheses. Finally, response bias was also evaluated, showing that children with ASD have different problem‐solving strategies than their peers. VESIP has great potential as a scalable assessment of SIP strengths and challenges in children with and without ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryChildren with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often struggle interpreting and responding to social situations. The present study suggests that an animated, simulation‐based assessment approach is an effective way to measure how children with or without ASDs problem‐solve challenging social situations. VESIP is an easy‐to‐use assessment tool that can help practitioners understand a child's particular strengths and weaknesses.
       
  • Joint effects of prenatal air pollutant exposure and maternal folic acid
           supplementation on risk of autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Independent studies report that periconceptional folic acid (FA) may decrease the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) while exposure to air pollution may increase ASD risk. We examined the joint effects of gestational FA and air pollution exposures in association with ASD. We studied 346 ASD cases and 260 typically developing controls from the CHARGE case‐control study. Self‐reported FA intake for each month of pregnancy was quantified. Estimates of exposure to near roadway air pollution (NRP) and criteria air pollutant measures were assigned based on maternal residential history. Among mothers with high FA intake (>800 μg) in the first pregnancy month, exposure to increasing levels of all air pollutants, except ozone, during the first trimester was associated with decreased ASD risk, while increased ASD risk was observed for the same pollutant among mothers with low FA intake (≤800 μg). This difference was statistically significant for NO2 (e.g., NO2 and low FA intake: OR = 1.53 (0.91, 2.56) vs NO2 and high FA intake: OR = 0.74 (0.46, 1.19), P‐interaction = 0.04). Mothers exposed to higher levels (≥ median) of any air pollutant during the first trimester of pregnancy and who reported low FA intake were at a higher ASD risk compared to mothers exposed to lower levels of that air pollutant and who reported high first month FA intake. Joint effects showed significant (alpha 
       
  • Issue Information
    •  
  • Pupillary Response and Phenotype in ASD: Latency to Constriction
           Discriminates ASD from Typically Developing Adolescents
    • Abstract: Brain imaging data describe differences in the ASD brain, including amygdala overgrowth, neural interconnectivity, and a three‐phase model of neuroanatomical changes from early post‐natal development through late adolescence. The pupil reflex test (PRT), a noninvasive measure of brain function, may help improve early diagnosis and elucidate underlying physiology in expression of ASD endophenotype. Commonly observed characteristics of ASD include normal visual acuity but difficulty with eye gaze and photosensitivity, suggesting deficient neuromodulation of cranial nerves. Aims of this study were to confirm sensitivity of the PRT for identifying adolescents with ASD, determine if a phenotype for a subtype of ASD marked by pupil response is present in adolescence, and determine whether differences could be observed on a neurologic exam testing cranial nerves II and III (CNII; CNIII). Using pupillometry, constriction latency was measured serving as a proxy for recording neuromodulation of cranial nerves underlying the pupillary reflex. The swinging flashlight method, used to perform the PRT for measuring constriction latency and return to baseline, discriminated ASD participants from typically developing adolescents on 72.2% of trials. Results further confirmed this measure's sensitivity within a subtype of ASD in later stages of development, serving as a correlate of neural activity within the locus–coeruleus norepinephrine (LC–NE) system. A brainstem model of atypical PRT in ASD is examined in relation to modulation of cranial nerves and atypical arousal levels subserving the atypical pupillary reflex. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryMilder forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be difficult to diagnose based on behavioral testing alone. This study used eye‐tracking equipment and a hand‐held penlight to measure the pupil reflex in adolescents with “high functioning” ASD and in adolescents without ASD. The ASD group showed a delay in pupil response. This is the first eye‐tracking study to conduct this test as typically performed by a clinical provider, demonstrating differences in older individuals with a subtype of ASD.
       
  • Auditory brainstem response in infants and children with autism spectrum
           disorder: A meta‐analysis of wave V
    • Abstract: Infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were recently found to have prolonged auditory brainstem response (ABR); however, at older ages, findings are contradictory. We compared ABR differences between participants with ASD and controls with respect to age using a meta‐analysis. Data sources included MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, HOLLIS, and ScienceDirect from their inception to June 2016. The 25 studies that were included had a total of 1349 participants (727 participants with ASD and 622 controls) and an age range of 0–40 years. Prolongation of the absolute latency of wave V in ASD had a significant negative correlation with age (R2 = 0.23; P = 0.01). The 22 studies below age 18 years showed a significantly prolonged wave V in ASD (Standard Mean Difference = 0.6 [95% CI, 0.5–0.8]; P 
       
  • What will my child's future hold' phenotypes of intellectual
           development in 2–8‐year‐olds with autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: We examined phenotypes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on trajectories of intellectual development from early (ages 2–3 ½) to middle (ages 5–8) childhood in a recent clinically ascertained cohort. Participants included 102 children (82 males) initially diagnosed with ASD from the Autism Phenome Project longitudinal sample. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify distinct IQ trajectories. Baseline and developmental course differences among groups were assessed using univariate techniques and repeated measures regression models, respectively. A four class model best represented the data. Using the highest posterior probability, participants were assigned to High Challenges (25.5%), Stable Low (17.6%), Changers (35.3%), and Lesser Challenges (21.6%) groups. The High Challenges and Stable Low groups exhibited persistently low IQ, although, the High Challenges group experienced declines while the Stable Low group's scores remained more constant. Changers showed IQ improvement of > 2 standard deviations. The Lesser Challenges group had IQs in the average range at both times that were about 1 standard deviation higher at T2. In summation, 75% of the participants experienced some relative improvements in intellectual and/or other areas of functioning between ages 2 and 8 years. The Changers group demonstrated the most significant IQ change that was accompanied by adaptive communication improvement and declining externalizing symptoms. Only the Lesser Challenges group showed a significant reduction in ASD symptom severity, such that by age 8, 14% of them no longer met ADOS‐2 criteria for ASD. All groups showed reductions in internalizing symptoms. Intervention history was not associated with group status. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryWe examined how the IQs of children with autism spectrum disorder change between ages 2 and 8, and identified four patterns. Two groups exhibited persistently lower IQs. One group showed IQ increases of greater than 30 points with improved communicate abilities and declining disruptive behaviors. The final group had IQs in the average or better range at both time points, and 14% of them lost their diagnoses. Over half of the children experienced improved intellectual functioning between ages 2 and 8, whereas about 25% showed declines. Findings were not associated with intervention history.
       
  • Shank3‐Deficient rats exhibit degraded cortical responses to sound
    • Abstract: Individuals with SHANK3 mutations have severely impaired receptive and expressive language abilities. While brain responses are known to be abnormal in these individuals, the auditory cortex response to sound has remained largely understudied. In this study, we document the auditory cortex response to speech and non‐speech sounds in the novel Shank3‐deficient rat model. We predicted that the auditory cortex response to sounds would be impaired in Shank3‐deficient rats. We found that auditory cortex responses were weaker in Shank3 heterozygous rats compared to wild‐type rats. Additionally, Shank3 heterozygous responses had less spontaneous auditory cortex firing and were unable to respond well to rapid trains of noise bursts. The rat model of the auditory impairments in SHANK3 mutation could be used to test potential rehabilitation or drug therapies to improve the communication impairments observed in individuals with Phelan‐McDermid syndrome. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryIndividuals with SHANK3 mutations have severely impaired language abilities, yet the auditory cortex response to sound has remained largely understudied. In this study, we found that auditory cortex responses were weaker and were unable to respond well to rapid sounds in Shank3‐deficient rats compared to control rats. The rat model of the auditory impairments in SHANK3 mutation could be used to test potential rehabilitation or drug therapies to improve the communication impairments observed in individuals with Phelan‐McDermid syndrome.
       
  • Sensorimotor learning and associated visual perception are intact but
           unrelated in autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Humans show an astonishing capability to learn sensorimotor behaviours. However, data from sensorimotor learning experiments suggest the integration of efferent sensorimotor commands, afferent sensorimotor information, and visual consequences of a performed action during learning is different in autism, leading to atypical representation of internal action models. Here, we investigated the generalization of a sensorimotor internal action model formed during sensorimotor learning to a different, but associated, visual perception task. Although motor timing was generally less accurate in adults with autism, following practice with feedback both autistic adults, and controls, significantly improved performance of the movement sequence timing task by reducing timing error. In a subsequent perception task, both groups demonstrated similar temporal‐discrimination accuracy (autism = 75%; control = 76%). Significant correlations between motor timing error, and temporal‐discrimination during a perception task, was found for controls. No significant correlations were found for autistic adults. Our findings indicate that autistic adults demonstrated adaptation by reducing motor timing error through sensorimotor learning. However, the finding of significant correlations between motor timing error and temporal‐discrimination accuracy in the control group only suggests sensorimotor processes underpinning internal action model formation operate differently in autism. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryWe showed autistic adults learned a new motor skill, and visually judged moving objects, to a similar level of accuracy as a control group. Unlike the control group, there was no relationship between how well autistic adults learned the motor skill, and how well they judged objects. The lack of a relationship might be one of the reasons autistic adults interact differently in the social world.
       
  • Neurexin gene family variants as risk factors for autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Increasing evidence suggests that abnormal synaptic function leads to neuronal developmental disorders and is an important component of the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Neurexins are presynaptic cell‐adhesion molecules that affect the function of synapses and mediate the conduction of nerve signals. Thus, neurexins are attractive candidate genes for autism. Since gene families have greater power to reveal genetic association than single genes, we designed this case‐control study to investigate six genetic variants in three neurexin genes (NRXN1, NRXN2, and NRXN3) in a Chinese population including 529 ASD patients and 1,923 healthy controls. We found that two SNPs were significantly associated with ASD after false discovery rate (FDR) adjustment for multiple comparisons. The NRXN2 rs12273892 polymorphism T allele and AT genotype were significantly associated with increased risk of ASD (respectively: OR = 1.328, 95% CI = 1.133–1.557, P 
       
  • Comparing the effects of age, pubertal development, and symptom profile on
           
    • Abstract: Previous studies in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have shown elevated evening cortisol; however, few studies have examined diurnal rhythm in adolescents with ASD. Adolescence is a time of significant physical and psychological change, and dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis may put adolescents with ASD at increased risk for internalizing disorders, such as anxiety and depression. The extent to which cortisol levels are associated with age, puberty and symptom profile was examined in 113 youth (ages 7–17) with ASD and typical development. Salivary samples were collected over 3 days in the home, 4 times per day (waking, 30‐min post‐waking, afternoon, evening). Results showed youth with ASD had higher evening cortisol and a blunted diurnal slope relative to TD youth. Pubertal development and age were significant predictors of evening cortisol, and adolescents with ASD had higher evening cortisol levels compared to children with ASD. The study extends previous reports of elevated evening cortisol in children with ASD to reveal high levels in adolescence as well. Adolescents with ASD also show a significantly blunted diurnal slope, which may be associated with risk of internalizing symptoms. Findings suggest elevated evening cortisol persists across development in youth with ASD, thus emphasizing a need to identify potential negative effects of excess cortisol exposure on health in ASD individuals.Lay SummaryElevations in stress hormone, cortisol, during the evening may indicate increased stress from changes throughout the day in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study shows that age and pubertal development are also related to increases in evening cortisol, and this maladaptive elevation in cortisol in ASD is not going away with age. These cortisol elevations may also be associated with other psychological symptoms and warrant further investigation in adolescents with ASD. Autism Res 2017, 0: 000–000. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Disrupted integration of exteroceptive and interoceptive signaling in
           autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: In addition to deficits in social communication, individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) frequently exhibit changes in sensory and multisensory function. Recent evidence has focused on changes in audiovisual temporal processing, and has sought to relate these sensory‐based changes to weaknesses in social communication. These changes in audiovisual temporal function manifest as differences in the temporal epoch or “window” within which paired auditory and visual stimuli are integrated or bound, with those with ASD exhibiting expanded audiovisual temporal binding windows (TBWs). However, it is unknown whether this impairment is unique to audiovisual pairings, perhaps because of their relevance for speech processing, or whether it generalizes across pairings in different sensory modalities. In addition to the exteroceptive senses, there has been growing interest in ASD research in interoception (e.g., the monitoring of respiration, heartbeat, hunger, etc.), as these internally directed sensory processes appear to be altered as well in autism. In the current study, we sought to examine both exteroception and interoception in individuals with ASD and a group of typically developing (TD) matched controls, with an emphasis on temporal perception of audiovisual (exteroceptive) and cardiovisual (interoceptive to exteroceptive) cues. Results replicate prior findings showing expanded audiovisual TBWs in ASD in comparison to TD. In addition, strikingly, cardiovisual TBWs were fourfold larger in ASD than in TD, suggesting a putative complete lack of cardiovisual temporal acuity in ASD individuals. Results are discussed in light of recent evidence indicating a reduced tendency to rely on sensory priors in ASD. Autism Res 2017, 0: 000–000. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryStudies have shown that individuals with autism have difficulty in separating auditory and visual events in time. People with autism also weight sensory evidence originating from the external world and from their body differently. We measured simultaneity judgments regarding visual and auditory events and between visual and heartbeat events. Results suggest that while individuals with autism show unusual temporal function across the senses in a general manner, this deficit is greater when pairings bridged between the external world and the internal body.
       
  • Genetic background effects in Neuroligin‐3 mutant mice: Minimal
           behavioral abnormalities on C57 background
    • Abstract: Neuroligin‐3 (NLGN3) is a postsynaptic cell adhesion protein that interacts with presynaptic ligands including neurexin‐1 (NRXN1) [Ichtchenko et al., Journal of Biological Chemistry, 271, 2676–2682, 1996]. Mice harboring a mutation in the NLGN3 gene (NL3R451C) mimicking a mutation found in two brothers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were previously generated and behaviorally phenotyped for autism‐related behaviors. In these NL3R451C mice generated and tested on a hybrid C57BL6J/129S2/SvPasCrl background, we observed enhanced spatial memory and reduced social interaction [Tabuchi et al., Science, 318, 71–76, 2007]. Curiously, an independently generated second line of mice harboring the same mutation on a C57BL6J background exhibited minimal aberrant behavior, thereby providing apparently discrepant results. To investigate the origin of the discrepancy, we previously replicated the original findings of Tabuchi et al. by studying the same NL3R451C mutation on a pure 129S2/SvPasCrl genetic background. Here we complete the behavioral characterization of the NL3R451C mutation on a pure C57BL6J genetic background to determine if background genetics play a role in the discrepant behavioral outcomes involving NL3R451C mice. NL3R451C mutant mice on a pure C57BL6J background did not display spatial memory enhancements or social interaction deficits. We only observed a decreased startle response and mildly increased locomotor activity in these mice suggesting that background genetics influences behavioral outcomes involving the NL3R451C mutation. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryBehavioral symptoms of autism can be highly variable, even in cases that involve identical genetic mutations. Previous studies in mice with a mutation of the Neuroligin‐3 gene showed enhanced learning and social deficits. We replicated these findings on the same and different genetic backgrounds. In this study, however, the same mutation in mice on a different genetic background did not reproduce our previous findings. Our results suggest that genetic background influences behavioral symptoms of this autism‐associated mutation.
       
  • Psychiatric comorbidities and use of psychotropic medications in people
           with autism spectrum disorder in the United States
    • Abstract: This study investigated psychotropic medication usage in two large, cohorts of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) throughout the calendar year 2014. The cohorts referred to individuals with commercial (employer‐sponsored) and Medicaid insurance in the United States. We aimed to understand prescribing patterns of such medications across a wide age‐range and in the presence/absence of other clinical and non‐clinical characteristics, including psychiatric comorbidities. We described the prevalence and length of prescriptions by age, psychiatric comorbidity and overall. We also fitted multivariable logistic regression models to describe the relationship between treatments and subject characteristics simultaneously. Eighty percent of the identified population was male, although gender did not impact the odds of receiving medication. Medication use was strongly associated with age, increasing most rapidly before adulthood; generally plateauing thereafter. All psychiatric comorbidities studied also individually increased the chances of medication use, with epilepsy and ADHD having the highest associations in both the commercial (OR > 7) and Medicaid (OR around 12) cohorts. Those in non‐capitated insurance plans, in foster care and white individuals also had increased odds of prescriptions. Overall, slightly more Medicaid enrollees received any psychotropic treatment (commercial: 64%, Medicaid: 69%). Nonetheless in both cohorts, a large proportion of individuals received treatment even without a diagnosis of any other psychiatric comorbidity (commercial: 31%, Medicaid: 33%). In summary, this report sheds new light on the latest patterns of psychiatric comorbidity profile and psycho‐pharmacological treatment patterns in ASD Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay Summarythis study identified a large number of children and adults in the US with autism spectrum disorder (autism) from employer‐sponsored and government funded (Medicaid) health insurance data. Psychotropic medications were used by over two thirds of people, and four in ten people received two medications at the same time. The chances of receiving medication increased for individuals with other psychiatric conditions (e.g., ADHD), and also increased with age.
       
  • Everyday executive function predicts adaptive and internalizing behavior
           among children with and without autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate challenges with executive function (EF), adaptive behavior, and mental health, all of which place long‐term wellbeing at risk. In the current study we examined the relation between parent‐rated EF and adaptive functioning and internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depression), as we expected that identifying the specific EF domains most closely related to these indices of functioning would illuminate opportunities for targeted intervention. Participants included 59 children and adolescents with ASD (M = 10.1 years) and 67 who were typically developing (TD) (M = 9.4 years) matched on age, IQ, mental age, and maternal education. Caregivers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of EF (BRIEF) and Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC‐2). Parents rated children with ASD as demonstrating significantly more challenges across most of the examined BRIEF and BASC‐2 indices and scales, with the exception of organization of materials (BRIEF) and anxiety (BASC‐2). For both groups, metacognitive EF processes emerged as strongly associated with practical, conceptual, and social skills, though different BRIEF scales emerged as significant across the component subdomains. In terms of the relation with mental health, BRIEF index scores were unrelated to anxiety for both groups. Behavior regulation, however, was significantly associated with depression symptoms for children with and without ASD. The findings highlight the possibility that targeting particular EF domains among individuals with and without ASD may not only have direct benefit for behavior regulation and metacognitive abilities, but may also extend to other areas of life, including adaptive behavior and concomitant internalizing symptomatology. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryWe examined whether parents' ratings of their children's flexibility and ability to monitor their behavior predicted adaptive skills (e.g., ability to complete day‐to‐day personal tasks, communicate, and socialize) and symptoms of anxiety and depression among children with and without autism spectrum disorder. For both groups, children's abilities to manage and monitor their behavior were strongly related to adaptive skills. Children's flexibility and ability to inhibit inappropriate behavior and control their emotions was associated with depression symptoms for both groups.
       
  • The association between theory of mind, executive function, and the
           symptoms of autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: It has been strongly argued that atypical cognitive processes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) contribute to the expression of behavioural symptoms. Comprehensive investigation of these claims has been limited by small and unrepresentative sample sizes and the absence of wide‐ranging task batteries. The current study investigated the cognitive abilities of 100 adolescents with ASD (mean age = 15 years 6 months), using 10 tasks to measure the domains of theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF). We used structural equation modelling as a statistically robust way of exploring the associations between cognition and parent‐reported measures of social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRBs). We found that ToM ability was associated with both social communication symptoms and RRBs. EF was a correlate of ToM but had no direct association with parent‐reported symptom expression. Our data suggest that in adolescence ToM ability, but not EF, is directly related to autistic symptom expression. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryThe behaviours that are common to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been linked to differences in thinking ability. We assessed autistic adolescents and found that social communication difficulties and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviours related to difficulties in understanding other peoples’ minds (theory of mind). In contrast, these behaviours were not associated with the general thinking abilities involved in planning and executing tasks (executive function).
       
  • Adaptive behavior in autism: Minimal clinically important differences on
           the Vineland‐II
    • Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is associated with persistent impairments in adaptive abilities across multiple domains. These social, personal, and communicative impairments become increasingly pronounced with development, and are present regardless of IQ. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition (Vineland‐II) is the most commonly used instrument for quantifying these impairments, but minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs) on Vineland‐II scores have not been rigorously established in ASD. We pooled data from several consortia/registries (EU‐AIMS LEAP study, ABIDE‐I, ABIDE‐II, INFOR, Simons Simplex Collection and Autism Treatment Network [ATN]) and clinical investigations and trials (Stanford, Yale, Roche) resulting in a data set of over 9,000 individuals with ASD. Two approaches were used to estimate MCIDs: distribution‐based methods and anchor‐based methods. Distribution‐based MCID [d‐MCID] estimates included the standard error of the measurement, as well as one‐fifth and one‐half of the covariate‐adjusted standard deviation (both cross‐sectionally and longitudinally). Anchor‐based MCID [a‐MCID] estimates include the slope of linear regression of clinician ratings of severity on the Vineland‐II score, the slope of linear regression of clinician ratings of longitudinal improvement category on Vineland‐II change, the Vineland‐II change score maximally differentiating clinical impressions of minimal versus no improvement, and equipercentile equating. Across strata, the Vineland‐II Adaptive Behavior Composite standardized score MCID estimates range from 2.01 to 3.2 for distribution‐based methods, and from 2.42 to 3.75 for sample‐size‐weighted anchor‐based methods. Lower Vineland‐II standardized score MCID estimates were observed for younger and more cognitively impaired populations. These MCID estimates enable users of Vineland‐II to assess both the statistical and clinical significance of any observed change. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryThe Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (2nd edition; Vineland‐II) is the most widely used scale for assessing day‐to‐day “adaptive” skills. Yet, it is unknown how much Vineland‐II scores must change for those changes to be regarded as clinically significant. We pooled data from over 9,000 individuals with ASD to show that changes of 2–3.75 points on the Vineland‐II Composite score represent the “minimal clinically‐important difference.” These estimates will help evaluate the benefits of potential new treatments for ASD.
       
  • Executive function and functional and structural brain differences in
           middle‐age adults with autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: There is a rapidly growing group of aging adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who may have unique needs, yet cognitive and brain function in older adults with ASD is understudied. We combined functional and structural neuroimaging and neuropsychological tests to examine differences between middle‐aged men with ASD and matched neurotypical (NT) men. Participants (ASD, n = 16; NT, n = 17) aged 40–64 years were well‐matched according to age, IQ (range: 83–131), and education (range: 9–20 years). Middle‐age adults with ASD made more errors on an executive function task (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test) but performed similarly to NT adults on tests of delayed verbal memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test) and local visual search (Embedded Figures Task). Independent component analysis of a functional MRI working memory task (n‐back) completed by most participants (ASD = 14, NT = 17) showed decreased engagement of a cortico‐striatal‐thalamic‐cortical neural network in older adults with ASD. Structurally, older adults with ASD had reduced bilateral hippocampal volumes, as measured by FreeSurfer. Findings expand our understanding of ASD as a lifelong condition with persistent cognitive and functional and structural brain differences evident at middle‐age. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryWe compared cognitive abilities and brain measures between 16 middle‐age men with high‐functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 17 typical middle‐age men to better understand how aging affects an older group of adults with ASD. Men with ASD made more errors on a test involving flexible thinking, had less activity in a flexible thinking brain network, and had smaller volume of a brain structure related to memory than typical men. We will follow these older adults over time to determine if aging changes are greater for individuals with ASD.
       
  • The Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale: Factor structure and
           psychometric properties in older adolescents and young adults with autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Despite the high frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a significant impact of these comorbidities on both individuals with ASD and their families, research on the validity of anxiety and depression measures in the ASD population is currently lacking. The aim of this study was to explore the psychometric properties of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS; Zigmond & Snaith, ] in a sample of older adolescents and young adults with ASD. One hundred and fifty one participants (UK Transition longitudinal study: N = 106; 75 males, Mage = 16.04 years, SD = 1.28; Longitudinal Study of Australian Schools Leavers with ASD: N = 45, 30 males; Mage = 18.35 years, SD = 2.55) completed the HADS and a range of mental health and well‐being measures. Combination of the Principal Component Analysis and Parallel Analysis indicated two factors as an optimal solution in our sample, accounting for 43.77% of variance with factors being identical in terms of content with the structure found in the general population. Internal consistency was good for the HADS anxiety scale (HADS‐A; .82–.84) and acceptable for the HADS depression scale (HADS‐D; .60–.72). Convergent validity of both HADS‐A and HADS‐D scales was excellent and divergent validity was acceptable. Our study represents a significant contribution to the literature by providing an initial validation of the HADS in older adolescents and younger adults with ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryResearch on the validity of measurement of anxiety and depression in ASD is currently lacking. The aim of this study was to explore the properties of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) in a sample of 151 young people with ASD. Participants completed HADS and a range of mental health and well‐being measures. Encouragingly, our findings suggest that HADS provides a reliable and valid assessment of anxiety and depression in ASD.
       
  • Altered task‐related modulation of long‐range connectivity in
           children with autism
    • Abstract: Functional connectivity differences between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing children have been described in multiple datasets. However, few studies examine the task‐related changes in connectivity in disorder‐relevant behavioral paradigms. In this paper, we examined the task‐related changes in functional connectivity using EEG and a movement‐based paradigm that has behavioral relevance to ASD. Resting‐state studies motivated our hypothesis that children with ASD would show a decreased magnitude of functional connectivity during the performance of a motor‐control task. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, however, we observed that task‐related modulation of functional connectivity in children with ASD was in the direction opposite to that of TDs. The task‐related connectivity changes were correlated with clinical symptom scores. Our results suggest that children with ASD may have differences in cortical segregation/integration during the performance of a task, and that part of the differences in connectivity modulation may serve as a compensatory mechanism. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryDecreased connectivity between brain regions is thought to cause the symptoms of autism. Because most of our knowledge comes from data in which children are at rest, we do not know how connectivity changes directly lead to autistic behaviors, such as impaired gestures. When typically developing children produced complex movements, connectivity decreased between brain regions. In children with autism, connectivity increased. It may be that behavior‐related changes in brain connectivity are more important than absolute differences in connectivity in autism.
       
  • Erratum to article “Mid‐childhood outcomes of infant siblings at
           familial high‐risk of autism spectrum disorder” Autism Research, 10
           (3), 546–557
    •  
  • Children with autism spectrum disorder who improve with fever: Insights
           from the Simons Simplex Collection
    • Abstract: Literature indicates that some children with ASD may show behavioral improvements during fever; however, little is known about the behavioral profiles of these children. This study aims to (a) investigate the subset of children who show parent‐reported behavioral improvements associated with fever and (b) compare the demographic, behavioral, and genetic characteristics of this subset of children to children whose parents report no change during fever. Parents of 2,152 children from the Simons Simplex Collection provided information about whether and in which areas their child improved during fever. Children were randomly assigned into discovery or replication samples. In discovery analyses, children who reportedly improved with fever (Improve Group) were compared to those who reportedly did not improve (No Improve Group) on demographics, medical history, ASD symptoms, adaptive skills, and presence of de novo ASD‐associated mutations. Significant and marginal results from discovery analyses were tested in the replication sample. Parent reports of 17% of children indicated improvements during fever across a range of domains. Discovery and replication analyses revealed that the Improve Group had significantly lower non‐verbal cognitive skills (NVIQ) and language levels and more repetitive behaviors. Groups did not differ on demographic variables, parent‐report of current ASD symptoms or the presence of de novo mutations. Understanding the profiles of children who improve during episodes of fever may provide insights into innovative treatments for ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryThis study explored characteristics of children with ASD who are reported to improve during fever. Parents of 17% of children with ASD report improvements across a range of domains during fever including cognition, communication, repetitive behaviors, social interaction, and behavior. Children who are reported to improve during fever have significantly lower non‐verbal cognitive skills and language levels and more repetitive behaviors. Understanding the profiles of children who improve during episodes of fever may provide insights into new treatments for ASD.
       
  • Pivotal response treatment for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder:
           Defining a predictor profile
    • Abstract: Behavioral characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who respond positively to Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) have been described previously, based on single‐subject design research. The present study examined several such characteristics, as well as positive affect, as predictors of expressive language (EL) gains in a representative sample of preschoolers with ASD (n = 57) enrolled in a PRT‐based community early intervention program. Children's cognitive ability, positive affect, and levels of appropriate toy contact measured at the start of intervention each contributed significantly to the prediction of EL outcomes. Together these variables accounted for 40% of the total outcome variance. In addition, a profile of increased EL ability, positive affect and appropriate toy contact, and decreased social avoidance and stereotyped and repetitive vocalizations was associated with greater gains during intervention. Results are discussed in relation to their implications for understanding both the variable treatment response documented in children with ASD and how to tailor treatment to optimize individual benefit. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryThe study examined behavior of 57 preschoolers who made the greatest and least gains from 1 year of a community Pivotal Response Treatment program. Using pre‐treatment videos, we saw that children who made the most progress showed more language, positive affect, and appropriate interactions with toys, also less avoidance of people and fewer repetitive vocalizations. Behavior profiles can be used to match treatment to individual children's needs.
       
  • Analysis and functional characterization of sequence variations in ligand
           binding domain of thyroid hormone receptors in autism spectrum disorder
           (ASD) patients
    • Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neuro developmental disorder, reported to be on a rise in the past two decades. Thyroid hormone‐T3 plays an important role in early embryonic and central nervous system development. T3 mediates its function by binding to thyroid hormone receptors, TRα and TRβ. Alterations in T3 levels and thyroid receptor mutations have been earlier implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders and have been linked to environmental toxins. Limited reports from earlier studies have shown the effectiveness of T3 treatment with promising results in children with ASD and that the thyroid hormone levels in these children was also normal. This necessitates the need to explore the genetic variations in the components of the thyroid hormone pathway in ASD children. To achieve this objective, we performed genetic analysis of ligand binding domain of THRA and THRB receptor genes in 30 ASD subjects and in age matched controls from India. Our study for the first time reports novel single nucleotide polymorphisms in the THRA and THRB receptor genes of ASD individuals. Autism Res 2017. ©2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryThyroid hormone (T3) and thyroid receptors (TRα and TRβ) are the major components of the thyroid hormone pathway. The link between thyroid pathway and neuronal development is proven in clinical medicine. Since the thyroid hormone levels in Autistic children are normal, variations in their receptors needs to be explored. To achieve this objective, changes in THRA and THRB receptor genes was studied in 30 ASD and normal children from India. The impact of some of these mutations on receptor function was also studied.
       
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms in autism spectrum disorder: A review of the
           literature on ascertainment and prevalence
    • Abstract: There is no standard approach to measuring GI symptoms in individuals with ASD, despite postulated interactions. The objectives of this study were to (a) describe the range of GI symptom ascertainment approaches in studies of ASD, (b) describe the range of prevalence estimates across studies, and (c) assess associations between ascertainment approach and prevalence estimates. Studies published from 1/1/1980 to 1/31/2017 were collected via PubMed. Eligibility included studies with at least ten individuals with ASD that measured GI symptoms or conditions. We excluded review and hypothesis papers. We extracted information on study design, GI symptom ascertainment method, demographics, and ASD diagnostic criteria. From a subset of studies, we extracted GI symptom estimates. Out of a possible 386 titles, 144 were included. The prevalence range for constipation was 4.3–45.5% (median 22%), for diarrhea was 2.3–75.6% (median 13.0%), and for any or more than one symptom was 4.2–96.8% (median 46.8%). GI symptoms differed significantly by age of individuals, primary goal of study, study design, study sample, and who reported symptoms (P 
       
  • Altered attentional processing in male and female rats in a prenatal
           valproic acid exposure model of autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Attention is foundational to efficient perception and optimal goal driven behavior. Intact attentional processing is crucial for the development of social and communication skills. Deficits in attention are therefore likely contributors to the core pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Clinical evidence in ASD is suggestive of impairments in attention and its control, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We examined sustained, spatially divided attention in a prenatal valproic acid (VPA) model of ASD using the 5‐choice serial reaction time task (5‐CSRTT). As compared to controls, male and female VPA rats had progressively lower accuracy and higher omissions with increasing attentional demands during 5‐CSRTT training, and showed further performance decrements when subjected to parametric task manipulations. It is noteworthy that although VPA exposure induced attentional deficits in both sexes, there were task parameter specific sex differences. Importantly, we did not find evidence of impulsivity or motivational deficits in VPA rats but we did find reduced social preference, as well as sensorimotor deficits that suggest pre‐attentional information processing impairments. Importantly, with fixed rules, graded difficulty levels, and more time, VPA rats could be successfully trained on the attentional task. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study examining attentional functions in a VPA model. Our work underscores the need for studying both sexes in ASD animal models and validates the use of the VPA model in the quest for mechanistic understanding of aberrant attentional functions and for evaluating suitable therapeutic targets. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryWe studied rats prenatally exposed to valproic acid (VPA), an established rodent model of autism. Both male and female VPA rats had a range of attentional impairments with sex‐specific characteristics. Importantly, with fixed rules, graded difficulty levels, and more time, VPA rats could be successfully trained on the attentional task. Our work validates the use of the VPA model in the quest for evaluating suitable therapeutic targets for improving attentional performance.
       
  • Toward the identification of adaptive functioning intervention targets for
           intellectually‐able, transition‐aged youth with autism: An examination
           of caregiver responses on the Vineland‐II
    • Abstract: Little is known about specific adaptive functioning impairments in intellectually‐able individuals with autism spectrum disorder. In adolescents (n = 22) and young adults (n = 22) matched on composite IQ scores, this study examined profiles of cognitive and adaptive functioning, and caregiver responses on individual Vineland‐II items. Adaptive functioning standard scores were significantly lower than IQ scores, and the adult group had significantly lower adaptive functioning standard scores than the adolescent group. Examination of caregiver responses to individual Vineland‐II items identified more than 100 potential intervention targets. Differences favoring the adult group were observed on only 16 items across all three adaptive functioning domains, suggesting that little skill development is occurring during the transition to adulthood. Future research will examine the relevance of identified intervention targets to optimal outcomes. Autism Res 2017,. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryAdolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) without intellectual disability demonstrated impaired adaptive functioning skills (i.e., age appropriate skills necessary for independent living). Development of adaptive functioning skills appears to slow with age among individuals without intellectual disability. Findings clarify the specific adaptive functioning skills that transition‐aged youth with ASD have difficulty completing independently and will inform the development of interventions to increase the likelihood of independent living in adulthood.
       
  • Characterization of early communicative behavior in mouse models of
           neurofibromatosis type 1
    • Abstract: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a monogenic neurodevelopmental disease caused by germline loss-of-function mutations in the NF1 tumor suppressor gene. Cognitive impairments are observed in approximately 80% of children with this disease, with 45–60% exhibiting autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptomatology. In light of the high comorbidity rate between ASD and NF1, we assessed early communicative behavior by maternal-separation induced pup ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) and developmental milestones in two distinct Nf1 genetically engineered models, one modeling clinical germline heterozygous loss of Nf1 function (Nf1+/– mice), and a second with somatic biallelic Nf1 inactivation in neuroglial progenitor cells (Nf1GFAPCKO mice). We observed altered USV production in both models: Nf1+/– mice exhibited both increased USVs across development and alterations in aspects of pitch, while Nf1GFAPCKO mice demonstrated a decrease in USVs. Developmental milestones, such as weight, pinnae detachment, and eye opening, were not disrupted in either model, indicating the USV deficits were not due to gross developmental delay, and likely reflected more specific alterations in USV circuitry. In this respect, increased whole-brain serotonin was observed in Nf1+/– mice, but whole-brain levels of dopamine and its metabolites were unchanged at the age of peak USV disruption, and USV alterations did not correlate with overall level of neurofibromin loss. The early communicative phenotypes reported herein should motivate further studies into the risks mediated by haploinsufficiency and biallelic deletion of Nf1 across a full battery of ASD-relevant behavioral phenotypes, and a targeted analysis of underlying circuitry disruptions. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryNeurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common neurogenetic disorder caused by mutation of the NF1 gene, in which 80% of affected children exhibit cognitive and behavioral issues. Based on emerging evidence that NF1 may be an autism predisposition gene, we examined autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-relevant early communicative behavior in Nf1 mouse models and observed alterations in both models. The changes in early communicative behavior in Nf1 mutant mice should motivate further studies into the causative factors and potential treatments for ASD arising in the context of NF1.
       
  • Reading comprehension of ambiguous sentences by school-age children with
           autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Weak central coherence (processing details over gist), poor oral language abilities, poor suppression, semantic interference, and poor comprehension monitoring have all been implicated to affect reading comprehension in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study viewed the contributions of different supporting skills as a collective set of skills necessary for context integration—a multi-component view—to examine individual differences in reading comprehension in school-age children (8–14 years) with ASD (n = 23) and typically developing control peers (n = 23). Participants completed a written ambiguous sentence comprehension task in which participants had to integrate context to determine the correct homonym meaning via picture selection. Both comprehension products (i.e., offline representations after reading) and processes (i.e., online processing during reading) were evaluated. Results indicated that children with ASD, similar to their TD peers, integrated the context to access the correct homonym meanings while reading. However, after reading the sentences, when participants were asked to select the meanings, both groups experienced semantic interference between the two meanings. This semantic interference hindered the children with ASD's sentence representation to a greater degree than their peers. Individual differences in age/development, word recognition, vocabulary breadth (i.e., number of words in the lexicon), and vocabulary depth (i.e., knowledge of the homonym meanings) contributed to sentence comprehension in both children with ASD and their peers. Together, this evidence supports a multi-component view, and that helping children with ASD develop vocabulary depth may have cascading effects on their reading comprehension. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryLike their peers, children with ASD were able to integrate context, or link words while reading sentences with ambiguous words (words with two meanings). After reading the sentences, both groups found it hard to pick the correct meaning of the ambiguous sentence and this decision was more difficult for the participants with ASD. Older children, children with better word reading abilities, and children with higher vocabularies were better at understanding ambiguous sentences. Helping children with ASD to develop richer vocabularies could be important for improving their reading comprehension.
       
  • Processing of co-reference in autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Accuracy for reading comprehension and inferencing tasks has previously been reported as reduced for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), relative to typically developing (TD) controls. In this study, we used an eye movements and reading paradigm to examine whether this difference in performance accuracy is underpinned by differences in the inferential work required to compute a co-referential link. Participants read two sentences that contained a category noun (e.g., bird) that was preceded by and co-referred to an exemplar that was either typical (e.g., pigeon) or atypical (e.g., penguin). Both TD and ASD participants showed an effect of typicality for gaze durations upon the category noun, with longer times being observed when the exemplar was atypical, in comparison to typical. No group differences or interactions were detected for target processing, and verbal language proficiency was found to predict general reading and inferential skill. The only difference between groups was that individuals with ASD engaged in more re-reading than TD participants. These data suggest that readers with ASD do not differ in the efficiency with which they compute anaphoric links on-line during reading. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryIndividuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have previously been reported to have difficulties with reading comprehension. This study examined whether a difference in the speed with which individuals with ASD form connections between words (co-reference processing) may contribute to comprehension difficulties. No evidence was found to suggest that ASD readers differ to typically developing readers in the speed of co-reference processing. Therefore, this data would suggest that differences in co-reference processing are unlikely to account for reading comprehension difficulties in ASD.
       
  • Investigating facial phenotype in autism spectrum conditions: The
           importance of a hypothesis driven approach
    • Abstract: Atypical facial characteristics have been observed in many disorders associated with developmental disability. While autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have not previously been thought to be associated with a distinct facial phenotype, an emerging research literature is casting doubt on this assumption. The identification of differences in the facial phenotype of individuals with ASC may contribute to efforts to promote early identification of the condition and help elucidate etiological pathways. With the aim of identifying facial phenotypes associated with ASC, this commentary evaluated facial features purported to distinguish ASC from typical development. Although there is little consensus across the reviewed studies for the majority of facial characteristics described, preliminary evidence suggests increased facial asymmetry may be more common in ASC. There is also evidence to suggest that there are morphologically distinct subgroups within ASC that correspond with different cognitive and behavioral symptomatology. However, in light of the various inconsistencies in the reported literature, and based on an accumulating understanding of etiological pathways proposed to be associated with ASC, we propose an alternative paradigm for investigating facial phenotypes in ASC. A series of studies are outlined to demonstrate the promise of a research program that has taken a hypothesis-driven approach to examine facial phenotypes associated with increased exposure to prenatal testosterone and to ASC. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryThis commentary reviewed studies that found differences in the facial features of individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) compared to typically developing individuals. While there is little agreement between studies, there is some support for asymmetrical facial features associated with ASC, and preliminary evidence that particular facial features relate to specific patterns of cognitive and behavioral symptoms. However, in light of inconsistencies between studies and based on accumulating understanding of etiological pathways, we propose an alternative approach to investigating facial differences in ASC.
       
  • Sticking with it: Psychotherapy outcomes for adults with autism spectrum
           disorder in a university counseling center setting
    • Abstract: Young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience high rates of comorbid mental health concerns in addition to distress arising from the core symptoms of autism. Many adults with ASD seek psychological treatment in outpatient facilities in their communities that are not specifically geared toward individuals with ASD. However, few studies have looked at the effectiveness of standard psychotherapeutic care in adults with ASD. This study aimed to discover how individuals with ASD fare in psychotherapy within a college counseling setting, compared to their neurotypical peers. Clients with ASD (n = 76) or possible ASD (n = 91) were retrospectively identified from counseling center case notes. Data from the Outcome Questionnaire-45 (OQ) were retrieved for each therapy session as a measure of client distress. Clients with ASD showed no difference in level of distress at intake compared to their neurotypical peers (n = 21,546), and improved about the same amount from pre- to post-treatment. However, students with ASD stayed in treatment for significantly more sessions than neurotypical clients, and took significantly longer to achieve maximum improvement on OQ reports. Results are discussed with implications for university and other community based treatment settings. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryThis study aimed to discover how individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) fare in psychotherapy within a university counseling setting, compared to their neurotypical peers. Clients with ASD showed no difference in level of distress at intake compared to their neurotypical peers, and improved about the same amount from pre- to post-treatment. However, students with ASD stayed in treatment for significantly more sessions than neurotypical clients, and took significantly longer to achieve maximum improvement on Outcome Questionnaire-45 reports.
       
  • Production and perception of emotional prosody by adults with autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: This study examined production and perception of affective prosody by adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous research has reported increased pitch variability in talkers with ASD compared to typically developing (TD) controls in grammatical speaking tasks (e.g., comparing interrogative vs. declarative sentences), but it is unclear whether this pattern extends to emotional speech. In this study, speech recordings in five emotion contexts (angry, happy, interested, sad, and neutral) were obtained from 15 adult males with ASD and 15 controls (Experiment 1), and were later presented to 52 listeners (22 with ASD) who were asked to identify the emotion expressed and rate the level of naturalness of the emotion in each recording (Experiment 2). Compared to the TD group, talkers with ASD produced phrases with greater intensity, longer durations, and increased pitch range for all emotions except neutral, suggesting that their greater pitch variability was specific to emotional contexts. When asked to identify emotion from speech, both groups of listeners were more accurate at identifying the emotion context from speech produced by ASD speakers compared to TD speakers, but rated ASD emotional speech as sounding less natural. Collectively, these results reveal differences in emotional speech production in talkers with ASD that provide an acoustic basis for reported perceptions of oddness in the speech presentation of adults with ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryThis study examined emotional speech communication produced and perceived by adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically-developing (TD) controls. Compared to the TD group, talkers with ASD produced emotional phrases that were louder, longer, and more variable in pitch. Both ASD and TD listeners were more accurate at identifying emotion in speech produced by ASD speakers compared to TD speakers, but rated ASD emotional speech as sounding less natural.
       
  • Normative data and psychometric properties of a farsi translation of the
           strange stories test
    • Abstract: Background and objectiveThe Strange Stories test is one of the most commonly used tests to evaluate advanced “theory of mind,” i.e. attribution of mental states. Normative data and psychometric properties of a new Farsi translation of this test were evaluated in a large community-based sample of Iranian school-aged children. Methods: Through randomized cluster sampling, 398 children aged 9–11 years studying at 20 elementary schools were recruited from 4 central regions of Tehran, Iran. The mean age of the students was 9.96 years (SD = 0.92), and 51% were girls (n = 202). The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was completed by parents. The Strange Stories test was completed by all children and repeated for 20% of them after 2–4 weeks to assess the test-retest reliability. Findings: Students in upper grades had higher scores (P 
       
  • Early autism symptoms in infants with tuberous sclerosis complex
    • Abstract: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a rare, autosomal dominant genetic syndrome that confers significantly increased risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with 50–60% of infants with TSC meeting criteria for ASD by 3 years of age. In a previous study of the current longitudinal cohort, we found that infants with TSC who develop ASD (TSC/ASD) evidence decreased cognitive abilities that diverge from infants with TSC and no ASD (TSC/no ASD). We extended this work by asking whether TSC/ASD infants (n = 13) differed from TSC/no ASD infants (n = 10) and infants with low developmental risk and no ASD (LR; n = 21) in their social communication functioning during the first year of life. We measured early ASD symptoms with the Autism Observation Scale for Infants (AOSI) at 9 and 12 months of age. At both ages, infants in the TSC/ASD group had significantly higher AOSI total scores than infants in the TSC/no ASD and LR groups, which were not fully explained by differences in cognitive abilities. Several items on the AOSI at both ages were predictive of ASD outcome, particularly those representing core social communication deficits (e.g., social referencing). Our findings signal the need for further study of this population within the first year and provide strong justification for early identification and early intervention targeting social communication skills in infants with TSC. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryWe examined early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in infants with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), approximately 50% of whom will meet criteria for ASD by age 3. Infants with TSC and ASD showed deficits in social communication behaviors by 9 months of age that were clearly distinguishable from behaviors in infants with TSC who do not develop ASD and low risk infants. Results support the importance of early ASD screening and intervention for infants with TSC.
       
  • Prenatal exposure to fever is associated with autism spectrum disorder in
           the boston birth cohort
    • Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is phenotypically and etiologically heterogeneous, with evidence for genetic and environmental contributions to disease risk. Research has focused on the prenatal period as a time where environmental exposures are likely to influence risk for ASD. Epidemiological studies have shown significant associations between prenatal exposure to maternal immune activation (MIA), caused by infections and fever, and ASD. However, due to differences in study design and exposure measurements no consistent patterns have emerged revealing specific times or type of MIA exposure that are most important to ASD risk. No prior studies have examined prenatal MIA exposure and ASD risk in an under-represented minority population of African ancestry. To overcome these limitations, we estimated the association between prenatal exposure to fever and maternal infections and ASD in a prospective birth cohort of an understudied minority population in a city in the United States. No association was found between prenatal exposure to genitourinary infections or flu and the risk of ASD in a nested sample of 116 ASD cases and 988 typically developing controls in crude or adjusted analyses. Prenatal exposure to fever was associated with increased ASD risk (aOR 2.02 [1.04–3.92]) after adjustment for educational attainment, marital status, race, child sex, maternal age, birth year, gestational age, and maternal smoking. This effect may be specific to fever during the third trimester (aOR 2.70 [1.00–7.29]). Our findings provide a focus for future research efforts and ASD prevention strategies across diverse populations. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Lay SummaryWe looked at whether activation of the immune system during pregnancy increases the chance a child will develop ASD. We examined 116 children with ASD and 988 children without ASD that came from a predominantly low income, urban, minority population. We found that having the flu or genitourinary tract infections during pregnancy is not related to the child being diagnosed with ASD. However, we did find children were at increased risk for ASD when their mothers had a fever during pregnancy.
       
  • Social motivation and implicit theory of mind in children with autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: According to the social motivation theory of autism, children who develop Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have early deficits in social motivation, which is expressed by decreased attention to social information. These deficits are said to lead to impaired socio-cognitive development, such as theory of mind (ToM). There is little research focused on the relation between social motivation and ToM in this population. The goal of the present study was to investigate the link between one aspect of social motivation, social orienting, and ToM in preschoolers with ASD. It was expected that, in contrast to typically developing (TD) children, children with ASD would show impaired performance on tasks measuring social orienting and ToM. It was also expected that children's performance on the social orienting tasks would be correlated with their performance on the ToM task. A total of 17 children with ASD and 16 TD children participated in this study. Participants completed two social orienting tasks, a face preference task and a biological motion preference task, as well an implicit false belief task. Results reveal that TD children, but not children with ASD, exhibited social preference as measured by a preference for faces and biological motion. Furthermore, children with ASD tended to perform worse on the ToM task compared to their TD counterparts. Performance on the social motivation tasks and the ToM task tended to be related but only for the TD children. These findings suggest that ToM is multifaceted and that motivational deficits might have downstream effects even on implicit ToM. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Basal ganglia and autism – a translational perspective
    • Abstract: The basal ganglia are a collection of nuclei below the cortical surface that are involved in both motor and non-motor functions, including higher order cognition, social interactions, speech, and repetitive behaviors. Motor development milestones that are delayed in autism such as gross motor, fine motor and walking can aid in early diagnosis of autism. Neuropathology and neuroimaging findings in autism cases revealed volumetric changes and altered cell density in select basal ganglia nuclei. Interestingly, in autism, both the basal ganglia and the cerebellum are impacted both in their motor and non-motor domains and recently, found to be connected via the pons through a short disynaptic pathway. In typically developing individuals, the basal ganglia plays an important role in: eye movement, movement coordination, sensory modulation and processing, eye-hand coordination, action chaining, and inhibition control. Genetic models have proved to be useful toward understanding cellular and molecular changes at the synaptic level in the basal ganglia that may in part contribute to these autism-related behaviors. In autism, basal ganglia functions in motor skill acquisition and development are altered, thus disrupting the normal flow of feedback to the cortex. Taken together, there is an abundance of emerging evidence that the basal ganglia likely plays critical roles in maintaining an inhibitory balance between cortical and subcortical structures, critical for normal motor actions and cognitive functions. In autism, this inhibitory balance is disturbed thus impacting key pathways that affect normal cortical network activity. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Shared atypical default mode and salience network functional connectivity
           between autism and schizophrenia
    • Abstract: Schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are two prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders sharing some similar genetic basis and clinical features. The extent to which they share common neural substrates remains unclear. Resting-state fMRI data were collected from 35 drug-naïve adolescent participants with first-episode schizophrenia (15.6 ± 1.8 years old) and 31 healthy controls (15.4 ± 1.6 years old). Data from 22 participants with ASD (13.1 ± 3.1 years old) and 21 healthy controls (12.9 ± 2.9 years old) were downloaded from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange. Resting-state functional networks were constructed using predefined regions of interest. Multivariate pattern analysis combined with multi-task regression feature selection methods were conducted in two datasets separately. Classification between individuals with disorders and controls was achieved with high accuracy (schizophrenia dataset: accuracy = 83%; ASD dataset: accuracy = 80%). Shared atypical brain connections contributing to classification were mostly present in the default mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN). These functional connections were further related to severity of social deficits in ASD (p = 0.002). Distinct atypical connections were also more related to the DMN and SN, but showed different atypical connectivity patterns between the two disorders. These results suggest some common neural mechanisms contributing to schizophrenia and ASD, and may aid in understanding the pathology of these two neurodevelopmental disorders. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Decreased parvalbumin mRNA levels in cerebellar Purkinje cells in autism
    • Abstract: Recent neuropathology studies in human brains indicate that several areas of the prefrontal cortex have decreased numbers of parvalbumin interneurons or decreased parvalbumin expression in Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD) [Hashemi, Ariza, Rogers, Noctor, & Martinez-Cerdeno, 2017; Zikopoulos & Barbas, ]. These data suggest that a deficit in parvalbumin may be a key neuropathology of ASD and contribute to altered GABAergic inhibition. However, it is unclear if a deficit in parvalbumin is a phenomenon that occurs in regions other than the cerebral cortex. The cerebellum is a major region where neuropathology was first detected in ASD over three decades ago [Bauman & Kemper, ]. In view of the documented association between parvalbumin-expressing neurons and autism, the objective of the present study was to determine if parvalbumin gene expression is also altered in Purkinje neurons of the cerebellum. Radioisotopic in situ hybridization histochemistry was used on human tissue sections from control and ASD brains in order to detect and measure parvalbumin mRNA levels at the single cell level in Purkinje cells of Crus II of the lateral cerebellar hemispheres. Results indicate that parvalbumin mRNA levels are significantly lower in Purkinje cells in ASD compared to control brains. This decrease was not influenced by post-mortem interval or age at death. This result indicates that decreased parvalbumin expression is a more widespread feature of ASD. We discuss how this decrease may be implicated in altered cerebellar output to the cerebral cortex and in key ASD symptoms. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Developmental delays in emotion regulation strategies in preschoolers with
           autism
    • Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly present with difficulty regulating negative emotions, which has been found to impact their behavioral and mental health. Little research has documented the strategies that children with ASD use to regulate their emotion to understand whether they use qualitatively different strategies to children without ASD, whether these are developmentally delayed, or both. Forty-four children with ASD and 29 typically-developing children (2–4 years) were given tasks designed to mimic everyday life experiences requiring children to manage low-level stress (e.g., waiting for a snack) and children's emotion regulation strategies were coded. Parents reported on their child's mental health, wellbeing, and self-development. The results suggest differences in using emotion regulation strategies in children with ASD, reflecting a delay, rather than a deviance when compared to those used by children without ASD. Only children with ASD relied on their family members for physical and communicative soothing; the typically developing children relied on people outside of their family for help regulating their emotion. More frequent approach/less frequent avoidance was related to a higher self-evaluation in both groups, but was only additionally related to higher self-recognition and autonomy in the ASD group. These findings help to identify important emotion regulation intervention targets for this population, including supporting communication with people outside of the family and independence. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Socio-sexual functioning in autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review
           and meta-analyses of existing literature
    • Abstract: Socio-sexual functioning encompasses an individual's interests, behaviors, and knowledge with respect to sexual, romantic, and social aspects of life. An individual's understanding of these domains is developed through a range of informal and formal avenues of sexual health education. The current model demonstrated this and proposed that, compared to typically developing individuals, those with ASD develop socio-sexual functioning differently due to having less peer engagement, less relationship experience, more parental guidance, greater use of online materials, receive less school-based sexual health education, and more support from wellbeing services. Systematic review and meta-analysis of existing literature revealed that individuals with ASD have greater difficultly adhering to privacy norms, engage in less social behavior, are described as engaging in less appropriate sexual behavior, have greater concerns about themselves, and receive less sexual health education. Having fewer opportunities for appropriate informal and formal sexual health education leaves them at a double disadvantage from others who are receiving this information from both of these avenues. Some of the current meta-analytic results are cautioned by large l-square statistics which suggest that a degree of variance is being caused by extraneous factors. Further empirical research in this area is needed to overcome current design and sample limitations. Finally, the Sexual Behavior Scale was the most commonly utilized tool in the meta-analyzed studies, thus comprehensive evaluation of its functioning is warranted. The importance of work in this area is highlighted by the central role of social and sexual wellbeing on one's quality of life. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Language and motor skills in siblings of children with autism spectrum
           disorder: A meta-analytic review
    • Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show significant linguistic and motor impairments compared to children with typical development (TD). Findings from studies of siblings of children with ASD show similarities to conclusions from studies of children with ASD. The current meta-analysis reviewed studies reporting linguistic and/or motor skills in siblings of children with ASD compared to siblings of children with TD. Thirty-four studies published between 1994 and 2016 met all inclusion criteria. We compared three different age groups (12 months or younger, 13 to 24 months, and 25 to 36 months). At 12 months, compared to siblings of children with TD, siblings of children with ASD had worse receptive language (d = −.43, 95% CI [−.53, −.33]) and expressive language skills (d = −.40, 95% CI [−.57, −.23]), and these effects were sustained at 24 and 36 months. Similar, albeit smaller differences in fine motor skills were detected at 12 months (d = −.22, 95% CI [−.39, −.04]), and these differences were larger at 36 months (d = −.36, 95% CI [−.54, −.17]). There were differences in gross motor skills at 12 months (d = −.22, 95% CI [−.40, −.04]), but only a few studies were available at later ages. Compared to siblings of children with TD, infants who have siblings with ASD have worse linguistic and motor skills. These differences are detectable as early as when infants are 12 months old and seem to be sustained until they are 3 years old. Differences in language skills are larger than those in motor skills, especially during the first year. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Are autistic traits associated with suicidality' A test of the
           interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide in a non-clinical young
           adult sample
    • Abstract: Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) has recently been associated with increased risk of suicidality. However, no studies have explored how autistic traits may interact with current models of suicidal behavior in a non-clinical population. The current study therefore explored how self-reported autistic traits interact with perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness in predicting suicidal behavior, in the context of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS). 163 young adults (aged 18–30 years) completed an online survey including measures of thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness (Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire), self-reported autistic traits (Autism Spectrum Quotient), current depression (Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale), and lifetime suicidality (Suicide Behavior Questionnaire-Revised). Results showed that burdensomeness and thwarted belonging significantly mediated the relationship between autistic traits and suicidal behavior. Both depression and autistic traits significantly predicted thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness. Autistic traits did not significantly moderate the relationship between suicidal behavior and thwarted belonging or perceived burdensomeness. Results suggest that the IPTS provides a useful framework for understanding the influence of autistic traits on suicidal behavior. However, the psychometric properties of these measures need be explored in those with clinically confirmed diagnosis of ASC. Autism Res. 2017. © 2017 The
      Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Prenatal maternal stress events and phenotypic outcomes in Autism Spectrum
           Disorder
    • Abstract: There is significant heterogeneity amongst individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in symptom presentation and severity. An understanding of the factors that contribute to and modulate symptom severity are critical to informing prognosis, stratification, and treatment decisions. Maternal prenatal stress exposure is a nonspecific risk factor for a wide array of neurodevelopmental outcomes in subsequent offspring. Emerging evidence suggests that prenatal maternal stress may increase ASD risk and contribute to variability in autism-like traits in the general population. In the current study, we aimed to determine whether prenatal maternal exposure to stressful life events is associated with symptom severity amongst individuals with ASD. We performed multiple regression analyses to examine associations between retrospectively recalled maternal prenatal stressful life events and the severity of ASD-associated symptoms in 174 children with ASD (Mage = 9.09 years; SD = 3.81). ASD-related symptom severity was measured using the Social Responsiveness Scale and communication abilities were measured using the Children's Communication Checklist. Exposure to prenatal stressful life events was a significant predictor of ASD-related symptom severity (t = 2.014; P = .048) and communication abilities (t = −2.925; P = .004) amongst children with ASD, even after controlling for a range of sociodemographic and obstetric variables. Follow-up analyses demonstrated significant increases in symptom severity only in the context of multiple (two or more) prenatal stressful life events. Together, these findings indicate that ASD, in the context of prenatal maternal stress exposure, may be associated with a more severe phenotype, particularly when there are multiple prenatal exposures. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Associations of endocrine stress-related gene polymorphisms with risk of
           autism spectrum disorders: Evidence from an integrated meta-analysis
    • Abstract: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are related to serotonin transporter (5-HTT) and catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) as two most monoaminergic polymorphic variations. However, multiple studies assessing rs4680 and 5-HTTLPR variants in ASD have reported inconsistent results. Therefore, we conducted an integrated meta-analysis to combine case-control and transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT) studies to determine whether COMT and 5-HTT are associated with ASD. We searched multiple electronic databases (PubMed, EmBase and Web of Science) to identify studies assessing the rs4680 and 5-HTTLPR variants in ASD from Jan 1997 to Dec 2016. Then allelic data from case–control and TDT studies were analyzed by the Catmap package in the R software. A total of 5 studies were eligible for the meta-analysis of rs4680, including 3 case–control, 1 TDT and 1 TDT & case–control studies. Meanwhile, 22 studies of 5-HTTLPR were available, including 16 TDT, 4 case–control and 2 TDT & case–control studies. The current meta-analysis included 814 ASD cases, 741 controls and 311 families related to rs4680; 749 ASD cases, 1,118 controls and 1,861 families relevant to 5-HTTLPR were also evaluated. For rs4680, the pooled OR was 1.18 (95% CI = 0.87–1.59, P = 0.29, Pheterogeneity 
       
  • Auditory processing in autism spectrum disorder: Mismatch negativity
           deficits
    • Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often show changes in (automatic) auditory processing. Electrophysiology provides a method to study auditory processing, by investigating event-related potentials such as mismatch negativity (MMN) and P3a-amplitude. However, findings on MMN in autism are highly inconsistent, partly due to small sample sizes in the studies and differences in MMN paradigms. Therefore, in the current study, MMN and P3a amplitude were assessed in a relatively large sample of children with ASD, using a more extensive MMN paradigm and compared with that of typically developing children (TDC). Thirty-five children (aged 8–12 years) with ASD and 38 age and gender matched TDC were assessed with a MMN paradigm with three types of deviants, i.e., frequency, duration and a combination of these two. MMN elicited by duration and frequency-duration deviants was significantly reduced in the ASD group. P3a-amplitude elicited by duration deviants was significantly increased in the ASD group. Reduced MMN in children with ASD suggests that children with ASD may be less responsive to environmentally deviant stimuli at an early (sensory) level. P3a-amplitude was increased in ASD, implying a hyper-responsivity at the attentional level. In addition, as similar MMN deficits are found in schizophrenia, these MMN results may explain some of the frequently reported increased risk of children with ASD to develop schizophrenia later in life. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Audition-specific temporal processing deficits associated with language
           function in children with autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Sensory processing alterations are highly prevalent in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Neurobiologically-based theories of ASD propose that abnormalities in the processing of temporal aspects of sensory input could underlie core symptoms of ASD. For example, rapid auditory temporal processing is critical for speech perception, and language difficulties are central to the social communication deficits defining the disorder. This study assessed visual and auditory temporal processing abilities and tested their relation to core ASD symptoms. 53 children (26 ASD, 27 TD) completed visual and auditory psychophysical gap detection tasks to measure gap detection thresholds (i.e., the minimum interval between sequential stimuli needed for individuals to perceive an interruption between the stimuli) in each domain. Children were also administered standardized language assessments such that the relation between individual differences in auditory gap detection thresholds and degree of language and communication difficulties among children with ASD could be assessed. Children with ASD had substantially higher auditory gap detection thresholds compared to children with TD, and auditory gap detection thresholds were correlated significantly with several measures of language processing in this population. No group differences were observed in the visual temporal processing. Results indicate a domain-specific impairment in rapid auditory temporal processing in ASD that is associated with greater difficulties in language processing. Findings provide qualified support for temporal processing theories of ASD and highlight the need for future research testing the nature, extent, and universality of auditory temporal processing deficits in this population. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
  • Reward learning modulates the attentional processing of faces in children
           with and without autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: The processing of social stimuli, such as human faces, is impaired in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which could be accounted for by their lack of social motivation. The current study examined how the attentional processing of faces in children with ASD could be modulated by the learning of face-reward associations. Sixteen high-functioning children with ASD and 20 age- and ability-matched typically developing peers participated in the experiments. All children started with a reward learning task, in which the children were presented with three female faces that were attributed with positive, negative, and neutral values, and were required to remember the faces and their associated values. After this, they were tested on the recognition of the learned faces and a visual search task in which the learned faces served as the distractor. We found a modulatory effect of the face-reward associations on the visual search but not the recognition performance in both groups despite the lower efficacy among children with ASD in learning the face-reward associations. Specifically, both groups responded faster when one of the distractor faces was associated with positive or negative values than when the distractor face was neutral, suggesting an efficient attentional processing of these reward-associated faces. Our findings provide direct evidence for the perceptual-level modulatory effect of reward learning on the attentional processing of faces in individuals with ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
       
 
 
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