Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 10, pp 3125–3138 | Cite as

Differences in Neural Correlates of Speech Perception in 3 Month Olds at High and Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Laura A. Edwards
  • Jennifer B. Wagner
  • Helen Tager-Flusberg
  • Charles A. Nelson
Original Paper


In this study, we investigated neural precursors of language acquisition as potential endophenotypes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 3-month-old infants at high and low familial ASD risk. Infants were imaged using functional near-infrared spectroscopy while they listened to auditory stimuli containing syllable repetitions; their neural responses were analyzed over left and right temporal regions. While female low risk infants showed initial neural activation that decreased over exposure to repetition-based stimuli, potentially indicating a habituation response to repetition in speech, female high risk infants showed no changes in neural activity over exposure. This finding may indicate a potential neural endophenotype of language development or ASD specific to females at risk for the disorder.


Autism spectrum disorders Near infrared spectroscopy Speech processing Infancy Endophenotype Language 

Supplementary material

10803_2017_3222_MOESM1_ESM.docx (228 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 228 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura A. Edwards
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jennifer B. Wagner
    • 2
  • Helen Tager-Flusberg
    • 3
  • Charles A. Nelson
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Marcus Autism CenterAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.College of Staten Island, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Boston Children’s HospitalHarvard UniversityBostonUSA
  5. 5.Harvard Graduate School of EducationCambridgeUSA

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