Event-Related Potential Studies of Cognitive Processing Abnormalities in Autism

  • Estate M. Sokhadze
  • Joshua Baruth
  • Allan Tasman
  • Manuel F. Casanova
Chapter

Abstract

Autism is recognized as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) usually evident during the first 3 years of life (Ruble and Brown 2003; Volkmar and Pauls 2003). Several neuropsychological models have been proposed to explain the cognitive deficits found in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (Baron-Cohen 2004), one of which is based on salient deficits in executive function (Burack 1994; Hughes et al. 1994; Ozonoff 1997; Hill 2004). Executive functioning skills fall under the purview of those prefrontal functions that facilitate problem-solving, flexible set-shifting, and forward planning in the implementation of goal-directed behavior (Hughes et al. 1994). The executive deficits in this autism model have been related to specific frontal mechanisms, principally to the prefrontal and midfrontal cortices and associated neural circuitries (Bishop 1993; Hill 2004). The domain of executive functions has significant implications for developmental psychopathologies, but there are still doubts (Griffith et al. 1999) regarding the causal explanation of signs and symptoms in autism as stemming exclusively from frontal executive functioning abnormalities.

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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Estate M. Sokhadze
    • 1
  • Joshua Baruth
    • 2
  • Allan Tasman
    • 3
  • Manuel F. Casanova
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive Neuroscience LaboratoryUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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