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  Subjects -> PSYCHOLOGY (Total: 881 journals)
Showing 1 - 174 of 174 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acción Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Colombiana de Psicología     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Comportamentalia     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
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: 5)
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
ADHD Report The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 40)
Advances in Mental Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 73)
Advances in Physiotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 56)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 61)
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: 3)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 408)
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: 16)
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: 23)
American Journal of Health Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
American Journal of Psychoanalysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
American Psychologist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 229)
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: 68)
Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28)
Annual Review of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 220)
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: 13)
Applied Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 68)
Applied Neuropsychology : Adult     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
Applied Neuropsychology : Child     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Applied Psychological Measurement     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Applied Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 151)
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48)
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: 10)
At-Tajdid : Jurnal Ilmu Tarbiyah     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Attention, Perception & Psychophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Australian Journal of Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Australian Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Autism Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
Autism Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 29)
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: 47)
Behavioral Development Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription  
Behavioral Interventions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Behavioral Neuroscience     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 54)
Behavioral Sciences & the Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Behavioral Sleep Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Behaviormetrika     Hybrid Journal  
Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Behaviour Research and Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 125)
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: 9)
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: 134)
British Journal of Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 36)
British Journal of Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
British Journal of Health Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 42)
British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
British Journal of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 58)
British Journal of Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 65)
British Journal of Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 32)
Burnout Research     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Cadernos de psicanálise (Rio de Janeiro)     Open Access  
Cadernos de Psicologia Social do Trabalho     Open Access  
Canadian Art Therapy Association     Hybrid Journal  
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Canadian Psychology / Psychologie canadienne     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology     Hybrid Journal  
Cendekia : Jurnal Kependidikan dan Kemasyarakatan     Open Access  
Child Development Perspectives     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Child Development Research     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Ciencia Cognitiva     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia e Interculturalidad     Open Access  
Ciências & Cognição     Open Access  
Ciencias Psicológicas     Open Access  
Clínica y Salud     Open Access  
Clinical Medicine Insights : Psychiatry     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Clinical Psychological Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Clinical Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 69)
Clinical Psychology and Special Education     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Clinical Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Coaching Psykologi - The Danish Journal of Coaching Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cogent Psychology     Open Access  
Cógito     Open Access  
Cognition & Emotion     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Cognitive Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 64)
Cognitive Research : Principles and Implications     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Consciousness and Cognition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Construção Psicopedagógica     Open Access  
Consulting Psychology Journal : Practice and Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Contagion : Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Contemporary Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Contemporary School Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Contextos Clínicos     Open Access  
Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Counseling Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research : Linking research with practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Counselling and Values     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Counselling Psychology Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Couple and Family Psychoanalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Couple and Family Psychology : Research and Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Creativity Research Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Creativity. Theories - Research - Applications     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Criminal Justice Ethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 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: 12)
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: 50)
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
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: 15)
Depression Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
Developmental Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Developmental Psychobiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 45)
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: 13)
Ecopsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
ECOS - Estudos Contemporâneos da Subjetividade     Open Access  
Educational Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48)
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: 32)
Emotion Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
En-Claves del pensamiento     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Enseñanza e Investigacion en Psicologia     Open Access  
Epiphany     Open Access   (Followers: 3)

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Journal Cover Autism Research
  [SJR: 2.126]   [H-I: 39]   [32 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  [1577 journals]
  • Autism: Too eager to learn? Event related potential findings of increased
           dependency on intentional learning in a serial reaction time task
    • Authors: Fenny S. Zwart; Constance W.Th.M Vissers, Roemer van der Meij, Roy P.C. Kessels, Joseph H.R. Maes
      Abstract: It has been suggested that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have an increased tendency to use explicit (or intentional) learning strategies. This altered learning may play a role in the development of the social communication difficulties characterizing ASD. In the current study, we investigated incidental and intentional sequence learning using a Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task in an adult ASD population. Response times and event related potentials (ERP) components (N2b and P3) were assessed as indicators of learning and knowledge. Findings showed that behaviorally, sequence learning and ensuing explicit knowledge were similar in ASD and typically developing (TD) controls. However, ERP findings showed that learning in the TD group was characterized by an enhanced N2b, while learning in the ASD group was characterized by an enhanced P3. These findings suggest that learning in the TD group might be more incidental in nature, whereas learning in the ASD group is more intentional or effortful. Increased intentional learning might serve as a strategy for individuals with ASD to control an overwhelming environment. Although this led to similar behavioral performances on the SRT task, it is very plausible that this intentional learning has adverse effects in more complex social situations, and hence contributes to the social impairments found in ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-27T09:28:54.014037-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1802
  • Long-term memory in older children/adolescents and adults with autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Authors: Diane L. Williams; Nancy J. Minshew, Gerald Goldstein, Carla A. Mazefsky
      Abstract: This study extends prior memory reports in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) by investigating memory for narratives after longer recall periods and by examining developmental aspects of narrative memory using a cross-sectional design. Forty-seven older children/adolescents with ASD and 31 youth with typical development (TD) and 39 adults with ASD and 45 TD adults were compared on memory for stories from standardized measures appropriate for each age group at three intervals (immediate, 30 min, and 2 day). Both the youth with and without ASD had difficulty with memory for story details with increasing time intervals. More of the youths with ASD performed in the range of impairment when recalling the stories 2 days later as compared to the TD group. The adults with ASD had more difficulty on memory for story details with increasing delay and were poorer at recall of thematic information (needed to create a gist) across the three delay conditions as compared to the TD group. Analyses of the individual results suggested that memory for details of most of the adults with ASD was not impaired when applying a clinical standard; however, a significant percentage of the adults with ASD did not make use of thematic information to organize the narrative information, which would have helped them to remember the stories. The youth with and without ASD performed similarly when both were at a stage of development when memory for details is the primary strategy. The adults with ASD had difficulty with use organizational strategies to support episodic memory. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-27T09:28:48.776518-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1801
  • The joint effect of air pollution exposure and copy number variation on
           risk for autism
    • Authors: Dokyoon Kim; Heather Volk, Santhosh Girirajan, Sarah Pendergrass, Molly A. Hall, Shefali S. Verma, Rebecca J. Schmidt, Robin L. Hansen, Debashis Ghosh, Yunin Ludena-Rodriguez, Kyoungmi Kim, Marylyn D. Ritchie, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Scott B. Selleck
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder is a complex trait with a high degree of heritability as well as documented susceptibility from environmental factors. In this study the contributions of copy number variation, exposure to air pollutants, and the interaction between the two on autism risk, were evaluated in the population-based case-control Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) Study. For the current investigation, we included only those CHARGE children (a) who met criteria for autism or typical development and (b) for whom our team had conducted both genetic evaluation of copy number burden and determination of environmental air pollution exposures based on mapping addresses from the pregnancy and early childhood. This sample consisted of 158 cases of children with autism and 147 controls with typical development. Multiple logistic regression models were fit with and without environmental variable-copy number burden interactions. We found no correlation between average air pollution exposure from conception to age 2 years and the child's CNV burden. We found a significant interaction in which a 1SD increase in duplication burden combined with a 1SD increase in ozone exposure was associated with an elevated autism risk (OR 3.4, P 
      PubDate: 2017-04-27T09:18:59.445654-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1799
  • Placebo-like response in absence of treatment in children with Autism
    • Authors: Rebecca M. Jones; Caroline Carberry, Amarelle Hamo, Catherine Lord
      Abstract: Caregiver report is the most common measure of change in pediatric psychiatry. Yet, placebo response rates pose significant challenges to reliably detect a treatment response. The present study simulated an eight-week clinical trial protocol for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for the purpose of testing the feasibility and validity of several outcome measures. Twenty caregivers answered questions about their child's behavior on their smartphone each week and completed a battery of paper questionnaires during weeks one and eight. No treatment was administered. Caregivers reported a significant decrease in problem behaviors on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) (29% decrease) and general ASD behaviors on the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) (7% decrease). There was also a trend of behavior improvement from smartphone questions but no significant changes in clinical ratings of core diagnostic features of ASD. Participation in a comprehensive protocol in the absence of a particular treatment significantly influenced how caregivers perceived the severity of their children's problem behaviors. These placebo-like effects represent substantial challenges for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that use treatment as usual and have implications for future behavioral and pharmacological treatment trial designs. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12T03:55:51.889813-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1798
  • The Social Communication Questionnaire for adults with intellectual
           disability: SCQ-AID
    • Authors: Olivia Derks; Manuel Heinrich, Whitney Brooks, Paula Sterkenburg, Jane McCarthy, Lisa Underwood, Tanja Sappok
      Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently co-occurs with intellectual disability (ID) and often remains undiagnosed until adulthood. The Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) is a widely used measure to screen for ASD. To improve the utility of the SCQ for adults with ID, the aim of this study was to develop an ID-specific and adult appropriate algorithm for the SCQ using a core set of valid items. These items were identified in one sample (N = 226) and further cross-validated in a second, independent sample (N = 225) from Germany, England and the U.S. The newly developed algorithm has 24 items compared with the 40 items in the original instrument. The reduced item core set yielded similar diagnostic validity as the original algorithm with good sensitivity values (0.81–0.89) and low specificity values (0.62–0.72). Overall, these results suggest that the removed items may not carry diagnostically relevant information in adults with ID; thus, excluding these items may result in a more efficient and age-appropriate screening measure for this population. However, due to the low specificity values, a comprehensive assessment is essential for a final diagnostic assignment. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12T03:55:50.289212-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1795
  • Psychophysiological responses to emotions of others in young children with
           autism spectrum disorders: Correlates of social functioning
    • Authors: Gemma Zantinge; Sophie van Rijn, Lex Stockmann, Hanna Swaab
      Abstract: Studying cognitive and affective mechanisms of social behavior could lead to identifying early indicators of derailing social behavior in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The present study combined sensitive and objective techniques, such as eyetracking and psychophysiology, to provide insight into early neurodevelopmental mechanisms that are more difficult to uncover when relying on behavioral measures. Social attention towards faces and changes in affective arousal were investigated together in 28 young children with ASD (42–75 months) and 45 nonclinical controls (41–81 months). Children were shown a social-emotional video clip while eyetracking and heart rate were measured. Children with ASD fixated less on key social-emotional features within the clip as compared to controls, even though both groups attended equally toward the screen. In contrast to the control group, children with ASD did not show an increase or modulation in affective arousal in response to the social-emotional scenes. Severity of ASD symptoms, specifically social problems, was associated with arousal modulation and social attention within the ASD group. Early ASD symptoms are associated with impairments in fundamental building blocks of social behavior as expressed in a lack in spontaneous social attention and affective arousal. Such sensitive and objective measures of underlying mechanisms might serve as indicators for tailored approaches in treatment and may help in evaluating effectiveness of early interventions aimed at positively influencing social development and related quality of life in individuals with ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:20:44.489326-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1794
  • The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST): Spanish adaptation and
    • Authors: Paula Morales-Hidalgo; Joana Roigé-Castellví, Andreu Vigil-Colet, Josefa Canals Sans
      Abstract: The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST; Scott et al. Autism 2002; 6:9–31) has proved to be a good test for screening autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and social communication problems. This study provides evidence on the statistical properties of the CAST, specifically its validity, factorial structure and discriminative capacity as an ASD screening test, in a Spanish sample of 4–12 year-old children from community and clinical settings. The study concludes that the test was valid and reliable for ASD screening in Spanish clinical and community populations and allowed us to create a new abbreviated version. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:20:37.675113-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1793
  • Assessment of presentation patterns, clinical severity, and sensorial
           mechanism of tip-toe behavior in severe ASD subjects with intellectual
           disability: A cohort observational study
    • Authors: Giulio Valagussa; Luca Trentin, Valeria Balatti, Enzo Grossi
      Abstract: We assessed presentation patterns and characteristics of tip-toe behavior (TTB), more commonly known as toe walking, in a cohort of severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) subjects with intellectual disability in two studies. The first study included 69 consecutive ASD subjects (57 males, mean age = 14 years—3.7 SD) under observation at our institute. A therapist assessed the presence of TTB during standing, walking, and running through direct observation and an interview with the subjects main caregiver. The prevalence of TTB was 32%. We found three clinical presentation patterns of TTB: (1) present when standing, walking and running (45.5%), (2) present when walking and running (18.4%), or (3) present only when running (36.4%). TTB subjects were more frequently nonverbal than those without TTB (72.7% vs. 44.6%-P = 0.03). On the other hand, no significant difference in ASD severity according to the ADOS scale was found between TTB and non-TTB subjects. In the second study, carried out in a subgroup of 14 ASD subjects (7 TTB and 7 non-TTB), we evidenced that a soft floor surface (foam mats) made a substantial difference in reducing the TTB phenomenon. TTB is frequently present in ASD individuals and may occur in three mutually exclusive modalities, which ultimately defines what is commonly known as toe walking. The presence of TTB seems correlated to the severity of language delay. Foot contact on soft surfaces reduces TTB both during static and/or dynamic tasks. Further evaluation is needed to clarify the potential pathophysiological implications of this phenomenon. Autism Res 2017,. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:20:33.483948-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1796
  • Maternal hirsutism and autism spectrum disorders in offspring
    • Authors: Brian K. Lee; Stefan Arver, Linnea Widman, Renee M. Gardner, Cecilia Magnusson, Christina Dalman, Kyriaki Kosidou
      Abstract: Because animal and human studies indicate that androgen exposure can influence neurodevelopment, it has been hypothesized that prenatal exposure to excess androgens may predispose to disorders with male-skewed ratio such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Therefore, maternal conditions characterized by hyperandrogenism such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or hirsutism may be relevant to child ASD. We previously found in a large Swedish case-control study of 23,748 ASD cases and 208,796 matched controls that PCOS in mothers is associated with increased offspring risk of ASD. In the same sample, we have now examined whether maternal diagnoses of hirsutism were associated with ASD. In both unadjusted logistic regression models and models adjusted for a variety of covariates, hirsutism was associated with higher odds of ASD. The most adjusted odds ratios for associations with ASD for hirsutism diagnosis before birth and lifetime diagnosis of hirsutism were 1.64 (95% CI: 0.94, 2.83) and 1.26 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.57), respectively. The presence of an association of maternal hirsutism with child ASD is consistent with the hypothesis that androgens may be involved in the etiology of ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06T04:19:29.1583-05:00
      DOI: 10.1002/aur.1797
  • 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.
  • Issue Information
  • Scientific Summaries for Families with 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
    • 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
    • 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 
  • The influence of parental concern on the utility of autism diagnostic
    • Abstract: The parental report-based Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the clinician observation-based Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) have been validated primarily in U.S. clinics specialized in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in which most children are referred by their parents because of ASD concern. This study assessed diagnostic agreement of the ADOS-2 and ADI-R toddler algorithms in a more broadly based sample of 679 toddlers (age 35–47 months) from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort. We also examined whether parental concern about ASD influenced instrument performance, comparing toddlers identified based on parental ASD concern (n = 48) and parent-reported signs of developmental problems (screening) without a specific concern about ASD (n = 400). The ADOS cutoffs showed consistently well-balanced sensitivity and specificity. The ADI-R cutoffs demonstrated good specificity, but reduced sensitivity, missing 43% of toddlers whose parents were not specifically concerned about ASD. The ADI-R and ADOS dimensional scores agreed well with clinical diagnoses (area under the curve ≥ 0.85), contributing additively to their prediction. On the ADI-R, different cutoffs were needed according to presence or absence of parental ASD concern, in order to achieve comparable balance of sensitivity and specificity. These results highlight the importance of taking parental concern about ASD into account when interpreting scores from parental report-based instruments such as the ADI-R. While the ADOS cutoffs performed consistently well, the additive contributions of ADI-R and ADOS scores to the prediction of ASD diagnosis underscore the value of combining instruments based on parent accounts and clinician observation in evaluation of ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Validating the social responsiveness scale for adults with autism
    • Abstract: The Social Responsiveness Scale [SRS; Constantino & Gruber, 2005] is a widely-used measure of autism symptoms, but its application for the study of adults with autism spectrum disorders has not been fully evaluated. Using a factor structure consistent with The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., DSM-V) criteria for autism spectrum disorder [Frazier et al., 2014], the primary purpose of the current study was to establish the validity of the SRS with a sample of adults with autism spectrum disorder (N = 237). Correlational analyses indicated that SRS factors were highly associated with autism symptoms and behavioral measures, indicating concurrent and predictive validity. Multiple regression results demonstrated that SRS factors were differentially related to measures specific to social or behavioral domains, indicating convergent and discriminant validity. Implications for future research are discussed. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Auditory processing in autism spectrum disorder: Mismatch negativity
    • 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.
  • Empathic responding in preschool-aged children with familial risk for
    • Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show deficits in social and emotional reciprocity, which often include empathic responding. The younger siblings of children with ASD (high-risk siblings) are at elevated risk for ASD and for subclinical deficits in social-emotional functioning. Higher levels of empathy in high-risk siblings during the second and third years of life predict fewer ASD symptoms and likelihood of diagnosis. We conducted a multi-method investigation of empathic responding to an examiner's accident in 30 low-risk and 48 high-risk siblings with (n = 12) and without ASD outcomes (n = 36) at 4–6 years of age. Empathic responding was measured through behavioral observation and parent report. Prosocial behavior did not differ by ASD outcome. Children with ASD exhibited lower levels of personal distress than high-risk and low-risk siblings without ASD. Per parent report, high-risk siblings without ASD demonstrated higher levels of empathic responding than low-risk children, while the ASD group did not differ from children without ASD on this measure. Higher levels of observed empathic concern, but not prosocial behavior, were associated with lower Social Affect scores on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule in high-risk children. Results suggest that ASD diagnosis and symptoms are associated with reduced emotional responsiveness to an adult's distress, but not associated with deficits in prosocial behavior at preschool age. Results do not support the idea that empathic responding is negatively impacted in a broader autism phenotype. Findings extend previous research by suggesting that empathy may be a protective factor in the social-emotional development of children with familial risk for ASD. 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.
  • Evaluating the importance of social motor synchronization and motor skill
           for understanding autism
    • Abstract: Impairments in social interaction and communicating with others are core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the specific processes underlying such social competence impairments are not well understood. An important key for increasing our understanding of ASD-specific social deficits may lie with the social motor synchronization that takes place when we implicitly coordinate our bodies with others. Here, we tested whether dynamical measures of synchronization differentiate children with ASD from controls and further explored the relationships between synchronization ability and motor control problems. We found (a) that children with ASD exhibited different and less stable patterns of social synchronization ability than controls; (b) children with ASD performed motor movements that were slower and more variable in both spacing and timing; and (c) some social synchronization that involved motor timing was related to motor ability but less rhythmic synchronization was not. These findings raise the possibility that objective dynamical measures of synchronization ability and motor skill could provide new insights into understanding the social deficits in ASD that could ultimately aid clinical diagnosis and prognosis. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Behavioral abnormalities in the Fmr1-KO2 mouse model of fragile X
           syndrome: The relevance of early life phases
    • Abstract: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a developmental disorder caused by a mutation in the X-linked FMR1 gene, coding for the FMRP protein which is largely involved in synaptic function. FXS patients present several behavioral abnormalities, including hyperactivity, anxiety, sensory hyper-responsiveness, and cognitive deficits. Autistic symptoms, e.g., altered social interaction and communication, are also often observed: FXS is indeed the most common monogenic cause of autism. Mouse models of FXS are therefore of great interest for research on both FXS and autistic pathologies. The Fmr1-KO2 mouse line is the most recent FXS model, widely used for brain studies; surprisingly, little is known about the face validity of this model, i.e., its FXS-like behavioral phenotype. Furthermore, no data are available for the age-related expression of the pathological phenotypes in this mouse line, a critical issue for modelling neurodevelopmental disorders. Here we performed an extensive behavioral characterization of the KO2 model at infancy, adolescent and adult ages. Hyperactivity, altered emotionality, sensory hyper-responsiveness and memory deficits were already present in KO mice at adolescence and remained evident at adulthood. Alterations in social behaviors were instead observed only in young KO animals: during the first 2 weeks of life, KOs emitted longer ultrasonic vocalizations compared to their WT littermates and as adolescents they displayed more aggressive behaviors towards a conspecific. These results strongly support the face validity of the KO2 mouse as a model for FXS, at the same time demonstrating that its ability to recapitulate social autistic-relevant phenotypes depends on early testing ages. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • The measurement properties of the spence children's anxiety scale-parent
           version in a large international pooled sample of young people with autism
           spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Anxiety-related difficulties are common in ASD, but measuring anxiety reliably and validly is challenging. Despite an increasing number of studies, there is no clear agreement on which existing anxiety measure is more psychometrically sound and what is the factor structure of anxiety in ASD. The present study examined the internal consistency, convergent, divergent, and discriminant validity, as well as the factor structure of the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale-Parent Version (SCAS-P), in a large international pooled sample of 870 caregivers of youth with ASD from 12 studies in the United Kingdom, United States, and Singapore who completed the SCAS-P. Most were community recruited, while the majority had at least one measure of ASD symptomatology and either cognitive or adaptive functioning measures completed. Existing SCAS-P total scale and subscales had excellent internal consistency and good convergent, divergent and discriminant validity similar to or better than SCAS-P properties reported in typically developing children, except for the poorer internal consistency of the physical injury subscale. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) of the existing SCAS-P six-correlated factor structure was a poor fit for this pooled database. Principal component analysis using half of the pooled sample identified a 30-item five correlated factor structure, but a CFA of this PCA-derived structure in the second half of this pooled sample revealed a poor fit, although the PCA-derived SCAS-P scale and subscales had stronger validity and better internal consistency than the original SCAS-P. The study's limitations, the use of the SCAS-P to screen for DSM-derived anxiety problems in ASD and future research directions are discussed. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Cross-site randomized control trial of the Social ABCs caregiver-mediated
           intervention for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: To evaluate the efficacy of the Social ABCs parent-mediated intervention for toddlers with suspected or confirmed autism spectrum disorder (ASD), through a cross-site randomized control trial, sixty-three parent–toddler dyads (toddler age: 16–30 months) were randomized into treatment (Social ABCs) or control (service-as-usual) conditions. Video data were obtained at three key time-points: Baseline; Post-training (PT; week 12); and Follow-Up (week 24). Analyses included 62 dyads. Treatment allocation significantly accounted for PT gains, all favouring the Treatment group, in (1) child functional vocal responsiveness to parent prompts (R2 = 0.43, P 
  • Sex differences in parent-reported executive functioning and adaptive
           behavior in children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: This study is the largest to date examining executive function and adaptive skills in females with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Its primary aim was to utilize parent ratings of real-world executive functioning and adaptive behavior to better understand whether females with ASD differ from males with ASD in these areas of everyday functioning. We compared 79 females with ASD to 158 males with ASD (ages 7–18) who were statistically matched on age, IQ, and level of ADHD or ASD traits. All participants were assessed using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and a subset (56 females and 130 males) also received the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS). Females were rated by parents as having greater problems with executive function on the BRIEF. Parents also rated females as exhibiting more difficulties than males on the Daily Living Skills domain of the VABS. There was a correlation between increased global EF difficulty and decreased adaptive ability in both males and females. Our results indicate relative weaknesses for females compared to males diagnosed with ASD on executive function and daily living skills. These differences occur in the absence of sex differences in our sample in age, IQ, clinician ratings of core ASD symptomatology, parent ratings of ADHD symptoms, and parent-reported social and communication adaptive skills on the VABS. These findings indicate specific liabilities in real world EF and daily living skills for females with ASD and have important implications for targeting their treatments. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder and autistic symptoms in a
           school-based cohort of children in Kolkata, India
    • Abstract: Despite housing ∼18% of the world's population, India does not yet have an estimate of prevalence of autism. This study was carried out to estimate the prevalence of autism in a selected population of school-children in India. N = 11,849 children (mean age = 5.9 [SD = 1.3], 39.5% females) were selected from various school types from three boroughs in Kolkata, India. Parents/caregivers and teachers filled in the social and communication disorders checklist (SCDC). Children meeting cutoff on parent-reported SCDC were followed up with the social communication questionnaire (SCQ). SCQ-positive children were administered the autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS). Teacher report on SCDC was available on all 11,849 children. Parent-report SCDC scores were obtained for 5,947 children. Mean scores on teacher SCDC were significantly lower than parent SCDC. Out of 1,247 SCDC-positive children, 882 answered the SCQ, of whom 124 met the cutoff score of 15. Six of these children met criteria for autism, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or broader autism spectrum on the ADOS. The weighted estimate of supra-threshold SCQ scores was 3.54% (CI: 2.88–4.3%). The weighted prevalence estimate of positive scores (for broader autism spectrum + ASD + autism) was 0.23% (0.07–0.46%). As ∼20% children in this state are known to be out of the school system, and ASD prevalence is likely to be higher in this group, this estimate is likely to represent the lower-bound of the true prevalence. This study provides preliminary data on the prevalence of broader-spectrum autism and supra-threshold autistic traits in a population sample of school children in Eastern India. Autism Res 2017. ©2017 The
      Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research
  • Proteomic explorations of autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Proteomics, the large-scale study of protein expression in cells and tissues, is a powerful tool to study the biology of clinical conditions and has provided significant insights in many experimental systems. Herein, we review the basics of proteomic methodology and discuss challenges in using proteomic approaches to study autism. Unlike other experimental approaches, such as genomic approaches, there have been few large-scale studies of proteins in tissues from persons with autism. Most of the proteomic studies on autism used blood or other peripheral tissues; few studies used brain tissue. Some studies found dysregulation of aspects of the immune system or of aspects of lipid metabolism, but no consistent findings were noted. Based on the challenges in using proteomics to study autism, we discuss considerations for future studies. Apart from the complex technical considerations implicit in any proteomic analysis, key nontechnical matters include attention to subject and specimen inclusion/exclusion criteria, having adequate sample size to ensure appropriate powering of the study, attention to the state of specimens prior to proteomic analysis, and the use of a replicate set of specimens, when possible. We conclude by discussing some potentially productive uses of proteomics, potentially coupled with other approaches, for future autism research including: (1) proteomic analysis of banked human brain specimens; (2) proteomic analysis of tissues from animal models of autism; and (3) proteomic analysis of induced pluripotent stem cells that are differentiated into various types of brain cells and neural organoids. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • White matter compromise in autism' Differentiating motion confounds
           from true differences in diffusion tensor imaging
    • Abstract: Common findings from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include reduced fractional anisotropy (FA), and increased mean and radial diffusivity (MD, RD) of white matter tracts. However, findings may be confounded by head motion. We examined how group-level motion matching affects DTI comparisons between ASD and typically developing (TD) groups. We included 57 ASD and 50 TD participants, comparing three subsets at increasing levels of motion-matching stringency: full sample (FS); quality-controlled (QC); and quantitatively-matched (QM). Groups were compared on diffusivity measures using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) and probabilistic tractography. Two methods for estimating diffusivity were compared: dti-fit and restore. TBSS: In set FS, FA was reduced in the ASD compared to the TD group throughout the right hemisphere. This effect was less extensive in set QC and absent in set QM. However, effect sizes remained stable or increased with better quality-control in some regions. Tractography: In set QM, MD was significantly higher in ASD overall and RD was higher in bilateral ILF. Effects were more robust in QM than in FS or QC sets. Effect sizes in several tracts increased with stringent quality matching. Restore improved tensor estimates, with some increases in effect sizes, but did not fully compensate for reduced quality. Findings suggest that some previously reported DTI findings for ASD may have been confounded by motion. However, effects in the tightly matched subset indicate that tract-specific anomalies probably do exist in ASD. Our results highlight the need for careful quality-control and motion-matching. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Atypical perception in autism
    • Abstract: We examined whether reduced perceptual specialization underlies atypical perception in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) testing classifications of stimuli that differ either along integral dimensions (prototypical integral dimensions of value and chroma), or along separable dimensions (prototypical separable dimensions of value and size). Current models of the perception of individuals with an ASD would suggest that on these tasks, individuals with ASD would be as, or more, likely to process dimensions as separable, regardless of whether they represented separable or integrated dimensions. In contrast, reduced specialization would propose that individuals with ASD would respond in a more integral manner to stimuli that differ along separable dimensions, and at the same time, respond in a more separable manner to stimuli that differ along integral dimensions. A group of nineteen adults diagnosed with high functioning ASD and seventeen typically developing participants of similar age and IQ, were tested on speeded and restricted classifications tasks. Consistent with the reduced specialization account, results show that individuals with ASD do not always respond more analytically than typically developed (TD) observers: Dimensions identified as integral for TD individuals evoke less integral responding in individuals with ASD, while those identified as separable evoke less analytic responding. These results suggest that perceptual representations are more broadly tuned and more flexibly represented in ASD. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Identifying the clinical needs and patterns of health service use of
           adolescent girls and women with autism spectrum disorder
    • Abstract: Girls and women in the general population present with a distinct profile of clinical needs and use more associated health services compared to boys and men; however, research focused on health service use patterns among girls and women with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is limited. In the current study, caregivers of 61 adolescent girls and women with ASD and 223 boys and men with ASD completed an online survey. Descriptive analyses were conducted to better understand the clinical needs and associated service use patterns of girls and women with ASD. Sex/gender comparisons were made of individuals’ clinical needs and service use. Adolescent girls and women with ASD had prevalent co-occurring mental and physical conditions and parents reported elevated levels of caregiver strain. Multiple service use was common across age groups, particularly among adolescent girls and women with intellectual disability. Overall, few sex/gender differences emerged, although a significantly greater proportion of girls and women accessed psychiatry and emergency department services as compared to boys and men. Though the current study is limited by its use of parent report and small sample size, it suggests that girls and women with ASD may share many of the same high clinical needs and patterns of services use as boys and men with ASD. Areas for future research are discussed to help ensure appropriate support is provided to this understudied population. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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