Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 1–10

Neural Mechanisms of Improvements in Social Motivation After Pivotal Response Treatment: Two Case Studies

Authors

    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
    • UCSB Koegel Autism Center, Graduate School of EducationUC, Santa Barbara
  • Kevin A. Pelphrey
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
  • Jonathan Tirrell
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
  • Danielle Z. Bolling
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
  • Brent Vander Wyk
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
  • Martha D. Kaiser
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
  • James C. McPartland
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
  • Fred R. Volkmar
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
  • Pamela Ventola
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-012-1683-9

Cite this article as:
Voos, A.C., Pelphrey, K.A., Tirrell, J. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2013) 43: 1. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1683-9

Abstract

Pivotal response treatment (PRT) is an empirically validated behavioral treatment that has widespread positive effects on communication, behavior, and social skills in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). For the first time, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to identify the neural correlates of successful response to PRT in two young children with ASD. Baseline measures of social communication, adaptive behavior, eye tracking and neural response to social stimuli were taken prior to treatment and after 4 months of PRT. Both children showed striking gains on behavioral measures and also showed increased activation to social stimuli in brain regions utilized by typically developing children. These results suggest that neural systems supporting social perception are malleable through implementation of PRT.

Keywords

Pivotal response treatment fMRI Autism Intervention Outcome

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012