Review

Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

, 4:14

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

New approaches to investigating social gestures in autism spectrum disorder

  • Kenneth T KishidaAffiliated withHuman Neuroimaging Laboratory and Computational Psychiatry Unit, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
  • , Jian LiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, New York University
  • , Justin SchwindAffiliated withDepartment of Athletics, University of South Alabama
  • , Pendleton Read MontagueAffiliated withHuman Neuroimaging Laboratory and Computational Psychiatry Unit, Virginia Tech Carilion Research InstituteDepartment of Physics, Virginia TechWellcome Trust Centre for NeuroimagingVirginia Tech Carilion Research Institute & Department of Physics, Virginia Tech Email author 
Topical Collection
Reward processing in autism

Abstract

The combination of economic games and human neuroimaging presents the possibility of using economic probes to identify biomarkers for quantitative features of healthy and diseased cognition. These probes span a range of important cognitive functions, but one new use is in the domain of reciprocating social exchange with other humans - a capacity perturbed in a number of psychopathologies. We summarize the use of a reciprocating exchange game to elicit neural and behavioral signatures for subjects diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Furthermore, we outline early efforts to capture features of social exchange in computational models and use these to identify quantitative behavioral differences between subjects with ASD and matched controls. Lastly, we summarize a number of subsequent studies inspired by the modeling results, which suggest new neural and behavioral signatures that could be used to characterize subtle deficits in information processing during interactions with other humans.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Social exchange Reciprocation Game theory Computational models Functional magnetic resonance imaging Biomarker