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1.
Mol Autism ; 12(1): 27, 2021 04 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33823922

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Imitation of facial expressions plays an important role in social functioning. However, little is known about the quality of facial imitation in individuals with autism and its relationship with defining difficulties in emotion recognition. METHODS: We investigated imitation and recognition of facial expressions in 37 individuals with autism spectrum conditions and 43 neurotypical controls. Using a novel computer-based face analysis, we measured instructed imitation of facial emotional expressions and related it to emotion recognition abilities. RESULTS: Individuals with autism imitated facial expressions if instructed to do so, but their imitation was both slower and less precise than that of neurotypical individuals. In both groups, a more precise imitation scaled positively with participants' accuracy of emotion recognition. LIMITATIONS: Given the study's focus on adults with autism without intellectual impairment, it is unclear whether the results generalize to children with autism or individuals with intellectual disability. Further, the new automated facial analysis, despite being less intrusive than electromyography, might be less sensitive. CONCLUSIONS: Group differences in emotion recognition, imitation and their interrelationships highlight potential for treatment of social interaction problems in individuals with autism.

2.
Trials ; 22(1): 261, 2021 Apr 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33832537

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental condition with a prevalence rate above 1%, characterized by deficits in social communication and interaction; restrictive, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities; and a preference for sameness and routines. The majority of adult ASD patients suffer from comorbid conditions such as depression and anxiety. Therapy options for adult ASD patients are lacking, with presently no available evidence-based interventions in Germany. Recently, two interventions to improve social responsiveness have been published. FASTER ("Freiburger Asperger-Spezifische Therapie für ERwachsene" = Freiburg Asperger-specific therapy for adults) is a manualized group psychotherapy program including three modules on psychoeducation, stress regulation management, and non-verbal and verbal social communication training with videotaped tasks. SCOTT&EVA ("Social Cognition Training Tool", and its enhancement "Emotionen Verstehen und Ausdruecken" = understanding and expressing emotions) is a computer-based training program to enhance social cognition including video and audio material of emotional expressions and complex real-life social situations. Initial studies for both programs have shown good feasibility and efficacy. METHODS: Three hundred sixty adult participants with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will take part in a randomized controlled three-armed multi-center trial to prove the efficacy of manualized group psychotherapy and a manualized computer-based training program. Both interventions will be compared with a treatment as usual (TAU) group, aiming to establish evidence-based psychotherapy approaches for adult individuals with ASD. The primary outcome is evaluated by parents, spouses, or others who have sufficient insight into the respective participant's social communication and interaction, and will be measured with the Social Responsiveness Scale. First, each of both interventions will be compared to TAU. If at least one of the differences is significant, both interventions will be compared against each other. The primary outcome will be measured at baseline (T0) and 4 months after baseline (T1). DISCUSSION: The trial is the first to validate psychiatric therapeutic and training interventions for adult ASD patients in Germany. A trial is needed because the prevalence of ASD in adulthood without intellectual disability is high, and no evidence-based intervention can be offered in Germany. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trial Register DRKS00017817 . Registered on 20 April 2020.

3.
Psychophysiology ; 2020 Oct 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33037836

RESUMO

Understanding the association between autonomic nervous system [ANS] function and brain morphology across the lifespan provides important insights into neurovisceral mechanisms underlying health and disease. Resting-state ANS activity, indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV] has been associated with brain morphology, particularly cortical thickness [CT]. While findings have been mixed regarding the anatomical distribution and direction of the associations, these inconsistencies may be due to sex and age differences in HR/HRV and CT. Previous studies have been limited by small sample sizes, which impede the assessment of sex differences and aging effects on the association between ANS function and CT. To overcome these limitations, 20 groups worldwide contributed data collected under similar protocols of CT assessment and HR/HRV recording to be pooled in a mega-analysis (N = 1,218 (50.5% female), mean age 36.7 years (range: 12-87)). Findings suggest a decline in HRV as well as CT with increasing age. CT, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex, explained additional variance in HRV, beyond the effects of aging. This pattern of results may suggest that the decline in HRV with increasing age is related to a decline in orbitofrontal CT. These effects were independent of sex and specific to HRV; with no significant association between CT and HR. Greater CT across the adult lifespan may be vital for the maintenance of healthy cardiac regulation via the ANS-or greater cardiac vagal activity as indirectly reflected in HRV may slow brain atrophy. Findings reveal an important association between CT and cardiac parasympathetic activity with implications for healthy aging and longevity that should be studied further in longitudinal research.

4.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 818, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32973574

RESUMO

Social rewards are a broad and heterogeneous set of stimuli including for instance smiling faces, gestures, or praise. They have been widely investigated in cognitive and social neuroscience as well as psychology. Research often contrasts the neural processing of social rewards with non-social ones, with the aim to demonstrate the privileged and unique nature of social rewards or to examine shared neural processing underlying them. However, such comparisons mostly neglect other important dimensions of rewards that are conflated in those types of rewards: primacy, temporal proximity, duration, familiarity, source, tangibility, naturalness, and magnitude. We identify how commonly used rewards in both social and non-social domains may differ in respect to these dimensions and how their interaction calls for careful consideration of alternative interpretations of observed effects. Additionally, we propose potential solutions on how to adapt the multidimensional view to experimental research. Altogether, these methodological considerations aim to inform and improve future experimental designs in research utilizing rewarding stimuli, especially in the social domain.

5.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 15512, 2020 09 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32968117

RESUMO

Establishing direct gaze has been shown to enhance the tendency to automatically imitate the other person's actions, an effect that seems to be reduced in autism. Most previous studies, however, used experimental tasks that may have confounded the measurement of automatic imitation with spatial compatibility effects. This calls into question whether gaze cues regulate automatic imitation, or instead affect domain-general processes of response inhibition. Using a task that disentangled imitative from spatial compatibility effects, the current study re-examined the role of autistic traits on the modulation of automatic imitation by direct and averted gaze cues. While our results do not provide evidence for an overall significant influence of gaze on neither automatic imitation nor spatial compatibility, autistic traits were predictive of a reduced inhibition of imitative behaviour following averted gaze. Nonetheless, exploratory analyses suggested that the observed modulation by autistic traits may actually be better explained by the effects of concomitant social anxiety symptoms. In addition, the ethnicity of the imitated agent was identified as another potential modulator of the gaze effects on automatic imitation. Overall, our findings highlight the contextual nature of automatic imitation, but call for a reconsideration of the role of gaze on imitative behaviour.

6.
Cogn Emot ; : 1-19, 2020 Sep 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32924798

RESUMO

A number of prominent theories have linked tendencies to mimick others' facial movements to empathy and facial emotion recognition, but evidence for such links is uneven. We conducted a meta-analysis of correlations of facial mimicry with empathy and facial emotion recognition skills. Other factors were also examined for moderating influence, e.g. facets of empathy measured, facial muscles recorded, and facial emotions being mimicked. Summary effects were estimated with a random-effects model and a meta-regression analysis was used to identify factors moderating these effects. 162 effects from 28 studies were submitted. The summary effect size indicated a significant weak positive relationship between facial mimicry and empathy, but not facial emotion recognition. The moderator analysis revealed that stronger correlations between facial mimicry and empathy were observed for static vs. dynamic facial stimuli, and for implicit vs. explicit instances of facial emotion processing. No differences were seen between facial emotions, facial muscles, emotional and cognitive facets of empathy, or state and trait measures of empathy. The results support the claim that stronger facial mimicry responses are positively related to higher dispositions for empathy, but the weakness and variability of this effect suggest that this relationship is conditional on not-fully understood factors.

7.
J Psychiatr Res ; 130: 120-127, 2020 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32805521

RESUMO

Empathy refers to the ability to understand the emotions of others. It encompasses a cognitive component of decoding a mental state, and an affective component that relates to an emotional response. Deficits in empathy have been associated with social dysfunction in depression. It is further assumed that impairments are aggravated when depression takes a chronic course. Existing evidence in the literature, however, is scarce and heterogeneous. The present study investigated empathy in patients with persistent and recurrent depression as well as in healthy controls (N = 102). Empathy measurements included both self-report (Interpersonal Reactivity Index, IRI) as well as a laboratory task (Multifaceted Empathy Task, MET). A mixed model analyses of covariance, which accounted for differences in executive functioning, found no evidence for impaired cognitive empathy in depression. All three groups performed equally well in understanding mental states. However, both IRI and MET confirmed the hypothesis of significant deficits in affective empathy. Patients reported higher personal distress than controls, and showed lower affective responses towards positive emotions in others. There was no difference between patient groups. Childhood maltreatment was further related to reduced affective empathy. The present results contribute to our understanding of social dysfunction in depression, since loss of emotional reactivity to the feelings of others is considered to reduce the desire to engage in social interaction, thus leading to isolation and aggravation of depression.

8.
Front Neurol ; 11: 507, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32670178

RESUMO

Objective: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by impairments in basic cognitive functions such as information processing speed as well as in more complex, higher-order domains such as social cognition. However, as these deficits often co-occur, it has remained challenging to determine whether they have a specific pathological basis or are driven by shared biology. Methods: To identify neural signatures of social cognition deficits in MS, data were analyzed from n = 29 patients with relapsing-remitting MS and n = 29 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and education. We used neuropsychological assessments of information processing speed, attention, learning, working memory, and relevant aspects of social cognition (theory of mind, emotion recognition (ER), empathy) and employed neuroimaging of CNS networks using resting-state functional connectivity. Results: MS patients showed significant deficits in verbal learning and memory, as well as implicit ER. Performance in these domains was uncorrelated. Functional connectivity analysis identified a distinct network characterized by significant associations between poorer ER and lower connectivity of the fusiform gyrus (FFG) with the right lateral occipital cortex, which also showed lower connectivity in patients compared to controls. Moreover, while ER was correlated with MS symptoms such as fatigue and motor/sensory functioning on a behavioral level, FFG connectivity signatures of social cognition deficits showed no overlap with these symptoms. Conclusions: Our analyses identify distinct functional connectivity signatures of social cognition deficits in MS, indicating that these alterations may occur independently from those in other neuropsychological functions.

9.
Front Behav Neurosci ; 14: 88, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32595461

RESUMO

Recent findings suggest a role of oxytocin on the tendency to spontaneously mimic the emotional facial expressions of others. Oxytocin-related increases of facial mimicry, however, seem to be dependent on contextual factors. Given previous literature showing that people preferentially mimic emotional expressions of individuals associated with high (vs. low) rewards, we examined whether the reward value of the mimicked agent is one factor influencing the oxytocin effects on facial mimicry. To test this hypothesis, 60 male adults received 24 IU of either intranasal oxytocin or placebo in a double-blind, between-subject experiment. Next, the value of male neutral faces was manipulated using an associative learning task with monetary rewards. After the reward associations were learned, participants watched videos of the same faces displaying happy and angry expressions. Facial reactions to the emotional expressions were measured with electromyography. We found that participants judged as more pleasant the face identities associated with high reward values than with low reward values. However, happy expressions by low rewarding faces were more spontaneously mimicked than high rewarding faces. Contrary to our expectations, we did not find a significant direct effect of intranasal oxytocin on facial mimicry, nor on the reward-driven modulation of mimicry. Our results support the notion that mimicry is a complex process that depends on contextual factors, but failed to provide conclusive evidence of a role of oxytocin on the modulation of facial mimicry.

10.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 8396, 2020 05 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32440002

RESUMO

Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have been linked to aberrant reward processing, but it remains unclear whether it is a general dysfunction or limited to social stimuli, and whether it affects both phases of reward processing, namely anticipation and reception. We used event-related brain potentials and a population-based approach to investigate reward anticipation and reception to socially relevant (i.e., picture of experimenter's face showing approval/disapproval) and monetary rewards in 51 neurotypical individuals with varying levels of autistic traits. Higher autistic traits were associated with enhanced reward anticipation across reward types in the early anticipation phase (triggered by incentive cues), but not in the late anticipation phase (directly before reward reception), as reflected by the CNV component. The P3 component in response to reward reception showed a general increase for monetary outcomes, which was not modulated by autistic traits. These results suggest that higher autistic traits are related to enhanced reward anticipation, but do not modulate reward reception. No interaction between reward types and autistic traits was observed. We propose that the relevance of social rewards had higher reward value than commonly used pictures of strangers, which specifically normalised responses for individuals with high autistic traits.

11.
NPJ Digit Med ; 3: 25, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32140568

RESUMO

Social interaction deficits are evident in many psychiatric conditions and specifically in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but hard to assess objectively. We present a digital tool to automatically quantify biomarkers of social interaction deficits: the simulated interaction task (SIT), which entails a standardized 7-min simulated dialog via video and the automated analysis of facial expressions, gaze behavior, and voice characteristics. In a study with 37 adults with ASD without intellectual disability and 43 healthy controls, we show the potential of the tool as a diagnostic instrument and for better description of ASD-associated social phenotypes. Using machine-learning tools, we detected individuals with ASD with an accuracy of 73%, sensitivity of 67%, and specificity of 79%, based on their facial expressions and vocal characteristics alone. Especially reduced social smiling and facial mimicry as well as a higher voice fundamental frequency and harmony-to-noise-ratio were characteristic for individuals with ASD. The time-effective and cost-effective computer-based analysis outperformed a majority vote and performed equal to clinical expert ratings.

12.
Psychol Res ; 2020 Mar 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32206856

RESUMO

Research in social cognition has shown that our own emotional experiences are an important source of information to understand what other people are feeling. The current study investigated whether individuals project their own affective states when reading other's emotional expressions. We used brief autobiographical recall and audiovisual stimuli to induce happy, neutral and sad transient states. After each emotion induction, participants made emotion judgments about ambiguous faces displaying a mixture of happiness and sadness. Using an adaptive psychophysics procedure, we estimated the tendency to perceive the faces as happy under each of the induced affective states. Results demonstrate the occurrence of egocentric projections, such that faces were more likely judged as happy when participants reported being happy as compared to when they were sad. Moreover, the degree of emotional egocentricity was associated with individual differences in perspective-taking, with smaller biases being observed in individuals with higher disposition to take the perspective of others. Our findings extend previous literature on emotional egocentricity by showing that self-projection occurs when we make emotion attributions based on the other's emotional expressions, and supports the notion that perspective-taking tendencies play a role in the ability to understand the other's affective states.

13.
Psychol Med ; 50(14): 2374-2384, 2020 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31551097

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The promise of precision medicine for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) hinges on developing neuroscience-informed individualized interventions. Taking an important step in this direction, we investigated neuroplasticity in response to an ecologically-valid, computer-based social-cognitive training (SCOTT). METHODS: In an active control group design, 48 adults with ASD were randomly assigned to a 3-month SCOTT or non-social computer training. Participants completed behavioral tasks, a functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging session before and after the training period. RESULTS: The SCOTT group showed social-cognitive improvements on close and distant generalization tasks. The improvements scaled with reductions in functional activity and increases in cortical thickness in prefrontal regions. CONCLUSION: In sum, we provide evidence for the sensitivity of neuroscientific methods to reflect training-induced social-cognitive improvements in adults with ASD. These results encourage the use of neuroimaging data to describe and quantify treatment-related changes more broadly.

14.
J Pers Disord ; 34(2): 181-198, 2020 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30179580

RESUMO

Relationship dysfunction is a key criterion of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Nevertheless, little is known about the characteristics of romantic relationship functioning in BPD. In this study, couples in which the women were diagnosed with BPD (BPD couples) and healthy control couples (HC) were compared in their perceived relationship characteristics (e.g., relationship quality) and interpersonal experience variables (e.g., attachment). The hypothesis was tested that insecure attachment styles account for group differences in relationship characteristics. Variables were measured by self-report. Romantic relationships were appraised as more negative and conflictual by both members of BPD couples compared to HC. The perception of women with BPD was often more negative than that of their male partners, indicating potential biases in BPD patients' relationship evaluation. Insecure attachment styles only partially explained group differences in relationship characteristics, showing that attachment style is one, but not the only predictor of decreased relationship functioning in BPD couples.

15.
Psychol Psychother ; 93(4): 739-753, 2020 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31692159

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: Social cognitive impairment is considered to be a psychopathological cornerstone in adolescent females with borderline personality disorder. The aim is to compare the social cognitive performance in adolescent females with borderline personality traits and healthy adolescent females, and to assess the social cognitive performance in relation to the severity of borderline personality features. DESIGN: A case-control study was conducted on 30 adolescent females who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV of borderline personality traits, compared to 30 matched healthy volunteer adolescent females. METHODS: Borderline Personality Questionnaire (BPQ) was used to rate borderline personality features. Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMET) and Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC) were applied to assess social cognitive abilities. RESULTS: The scores of RMET and some domains of MASC showed a highly significant difference between the patient and control groups. Scores of RMET and some domains of MASC showed significant correlation with impulsiveness, emptiness, relationship patterns, and quasi-psychotic states subscales of BPQ. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent females with borderline personality traits had lower social cognitive performance compared to healthy adolescent females. The intensity of this social cognitive deficit was evident to be related to impulsivity, emptiness, pattern of relationships, and quasi-psychotic states.

16.
Transl Psychiatry ; 9(1): 328, 2019 12 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31801937

RESUMO

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by severe interpersonal dysfunction with problems in social cognition, empathy and social approach. Although the neuropeptide oxytocin is known to regulate complex social cognition and behavior in healthy individuals and clinical populations, there is still a lack of evidence for a potential beneficial effect of oxytocin administration on social cognition and social approach in BPD. Fifty-one women with BPD and 51 matched healthy controls were randomized to a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subject experimental trial. We administered a single dose of 24 IU oxytocin or placebo intranasally prior to a standardized task measuring affective and cognitive empathy and approach motivation. All participants were free of hormonal contraception and tested in the mid-luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. In the placebo condition, patients with BPD showed reduced cognitive and affective empathy, and less approach behavior motivation than healthy controls. Intranasal oxytocin significantly increased affective empathy and approach motivation in both BPD patients and healthy controls compared to placebo. More importantly, oxytocin administration led to similar scores between BPD and healthy controls. These findings provide the first evidence for a beneficial effect of oxytocin on deficits in affective empathy and approach motivation of BPD. Our results indicate a beneficial effect of a single dose of oxytocin on affective empathy and approach motivation in women with BPD adapting their level of social functioning to healthy controls. Future clinical trials will need to investigate the long-term effects and effectiveness of oxytocin as an add-on treatment for social impairments in BPD.


Assuntos
Transtorno da Personalidade Borderline/tratamento farmacológico , Transtorno da Personalidade Borderline/fisiopatologia , Empatia/efeitos dos fármacos , Motivação/efeitos dos fármacos , Ocitocina/farmacologia , Administração Intranasal , Adulto , Feminino , Humanos , Ocitocina/administração & dosagem , Resultado do Tratamento , Adulto Jovem
17.
Brain Behav ; 9(10): e01401, 2019 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31475781

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: The cognitive capacity to change perspective is referred to as theory of mind (ToM). ToM deficits are detectable in a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Since executive abilities are closely associated with ToM skills, we suspected that due to a common neuropsychological basis, ToM deficits exist in treatment-naïve adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS: Performance of treatment-naïve adults with ADHD (N = 30) in tasks assessing executive functions (Trail Making Test, Stroop color-word test, and Test Battery for Attentional Performance), empathy skills (Cambridge Behaviour Scale), and ToM (Movie for Assessment of Social Cognition) was compared with that of a healthy control group (N = 30) matched according to basic demographic variables. RESULTS: Compared to healthy controls, treatment-naïve adults with ADHD showed deficits in various executive functions and the ability to empathize (all p < .05). However, no performance differences were found with regard to ToM (all n.s.). CONCLUSIONS: Since studies in juveniles with ADHD often show impaired ToM performance, it is conceivable that ToM deficits may become attenuated due to neuronal development in adolescence. Furthermore, our findings imply that ToM impairments, even when present in adult ADHD, appear to be independent of executive deficits and might be explained by comorbid disorders.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Deficit de Atenção com Hiperatividade/fisiopatologia , Transtorno do Deficit de Atenção com Hiperatividade/psicologia , Empatia/fisiologia , Teoria da Mente/fisiologia , Adulto , Atenção , Função Executiva/fisiologia , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Testes Neuropsicológicos , Teste de Sequência Alfanumérica , Adulto Jovem
18.
Autism Res ; 12(12): 1745-1757, 2019 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31507084

RESUMO

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often exhibit altered representations of the external world. Consistently, when localizing touch, children with ASDs were less influenced than their peers by changes of the stimulated limb's location in external space [Wada et al., Scientific Reports 2015, 4(1), 5985]. However, given the protracted development of an external-spatial dominance in tactile processing in typically developing children, this difference might reflect a developmental delay rather than a set suppression of external space in ASDs. Here, adults with ASDs and matched control-participants completed (a) the tactile temporal order judgment (TOJ) task previously used to test external-spatial representation of touch in children with ASDs and (b) a tactile-visual cross-modal congruency (CC) task which assesses benefits of task-irrelevant visual stimuli on tactile localization in external space. In both experiments, participants localized tactile stimuli to the fingers of each hand, while holding their hands either crossed or uncrossed. Performance differences between hand postures reflect the influence of external-spatial codes. In both groups, tactile TOJ-performance markedly decreased when participants crossed their hands and CC-effects were especially large if the visual stimulus was presented at the same side of external space as the task-relevant touch. The absence of group differences was statistically confirmed using Bayesian statistical modeling: adults with ASDs weighted external-spatial codes comparable to typically developed adults during tactile and visual-tactile spatio-temporal tasks. Thus, atypicalities in the spatial coding of touch for children with ASDs appear to reflect a developmental delay rather than a stable characteristic of ASD. Autism Res 2019, 12: 1745-1757. © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: A touched limb's location can be described twofold, with respect to the body (right hand) or the external world (right side). Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) reportedly rely less than their peers on the external world. Here, adults with and without ASDs completed two tactile localization tasks. Both groups relied to the same degree on external world locations. This opens the possibility that the tendency to relate touch to the external world is typical in individuals with ASDs but emerges with a delay.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/fisiopatologia , Estimulação Luminosa/métodos , Propriocepção/fisiologia , Processamento Espacial/fisiologia , Percepção do Tato/fisiologia , Adulto , Teorema de Bayes , Feminino , Humanos , Julgamento/fisiologia , Masculino
19.
Autism Res ; 12(11): 1680-1692, 2019 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31347301

RESUMO

Progression of pupil dilation (PD) in response to visual stimuli may indicate distinct internal processes. No study has been performed on PD progression during a social cognition task. Here, we describe PD progression during the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC) test in n = 23 adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and n = 24 age, IQ and sex-matched neurotypical controls (NTC). The MASC consists of 43 video sequences depicting human social interactions, each followed by a multiple-choice question concerning characters' mental states. PD progression data were extracted by eye tracking and controlled for fixation behavior. Segmenting PD progression during video sequences by principal component analysis, three sequential PD components were unveiled. In ASD compared with NTC, a distinct PD progression was observed with increased constriction amplitude, increased dilation latency, and increased dilation amplitude that correlated with PD progression components. These components predicted social cognition performance. The first and second PD components correlated positively with MASC behavioral performance in ASD but negatively in NTC. These PD components may be interpreted as indicators of sensory-perceptual processing and attention function. In ASD, aberrant sensory-perceptual processing and attention function could contribute to attenuated social cognition performance. This needs to be tested by additional studies combining the respective cognitive tests and the outlined PD progression analysis. Phasic activity of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system is discussed as putatively shared underlying mechanism. Autism Res2019. © 2019 The Authors. Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: In adolescents with autism, we found an altered pupil dilation during watching scenes of human interactions. Early pupil dilation correlated positively with the number of correct answers to questions about the shown human interactions. Our findings suggest that aberrant sensory processing and attention function may contribute to altered social cognition in autism.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/fisiopatologia , Cognição/fisiologia , Pupila/fisiologia , Comportamento Social , Adolescente , Adulto , Atenção/fisiologia , Criança , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Adulto Jovem
20.
J Autism Dev Disord ; 49(9): 3732-3752, 2019 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31161304

RESUMO

Initial studies have presented the Music-based Scale for Autism Diagnostics (MUSAD) as a promising DSM-5-based observational tool to identify autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adults with intellectual disability (ID). The current study is the first to address its clinical utility in a new sample of 124 adults with ID (60.5% diagnosed with ASD). The derived diagnostic algorithm differentiated well between individuals with and without ASD (sensitivity 79%, specificity 74%, area under the curve = 0.81). Inter-rater reliability, assessed by the scorings of four independent experts in 22 consensus cases, was excellent (ICC = 0.92). Substantial correlations with scores from other ASD-specific measures indicated convergent validity. The MUSAD yields accurate and reliable scores, supporting comprehensive ASD diagnostics in adults with ID.


Assuntos
Algoritmos , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/diagnóstico , Deficiência Intelectual/diagnóstico , Música/psicologia , Testes Psicológicos/estatística & dados numéricos , Adulto , Área Sob a Curva , Manual Diagnóstico e Estatístico de Transtornos Mentais , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Sensibilidade e Especificidade
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