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Brain Topography

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 895–903 | Cite as

Somatosensory Event-Related Potentials and Association with Tactile Behavioral Responsiveness Patterns in Children with ASD

  • Carissa J. CascioEmail author
  • Chang Gu
  • Kimberly B. Schauder
  • Alexandra P. Key
  • Paul Yoder
Original Paper

Abstract

The goal of this study was to explore neural response to touch in children with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Patterns of reduced (hypo-responsiveness) and enhanced (hyper-responsiveness) behavioral reaction to sensory input are prevalent in ASD, but their neural mechanisms are poorly understood. We measured event-related potentials (ERP) to a puff of air on the fingertip and collected parent report of tactile hypo- and hyper-responsiveness in children with ASD (n = 21, mean (SD) age 11.25 (3.09), 2 female), and an age-matched typically developing comparison group (n = 28, mean (SD) age 10.1 (3.08, 2 female). A global measure of ERP response strength approximately 220–270 ms post-stimulus was associated with tactile hypo-responsiveness in ASD, while tactile hyper-responsiveness was associated with earlier neural response (approximately 120–220 ms post-stimulus) in both groups. These neural responses also related to autism severity. These results suggest that, in ASD, tactile hypo- and hyper-responsiveness may reflect different waypoints in the neural processing stream of sensory input. The timing of the relationship for hyper-responsiveness is consistent with somatosensory association cortical response, while that for hypo-responsiveness is more consistent with later processes that may involve allocation of attention or emotional valence to the stimulus.

Keywords

Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Parent Report Neural Response Autism Spectrum Disorder Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (K01 MH090232 awarded to C.J.C., UL1 TR000445 from NCATS/NIH, and P30 HD015052). Effort for C.J.C. is also supported by R01 MH102272. The authors wish to thank Dorita Jones of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Psychophysiology Laboratory for performing data processing, Jennifer Foss-Feig for assistance with a pilot version of the study, and Nathalie Maitre, M.D., PhD for supplying the puffer stimulator and protocol. The Cartool software (brainmapping.unige.ch/cartool) has been programmed by Denis Brunet, from the Functional Brain Mapping Laboratory, Geneva, Switzerland, and is supported by the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM) of Geneva and Lausanne.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryVanderbilt University School of MedicineNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in PsychologyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  4. 4.Department of Hearing and Speech SciencesVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Special EducationVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  6. 6.Vanderbilt Kennedy CenterNashvilleUSA

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