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Psychophysiology. 2002 Sep;39(5):577-84.

Hypersensitivity to acoustic change in children with autism: electrophysiological evidence of left frontal cortex dysfunctioning.

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INSERM U316, Child Psychiatry Unit, CHU Bretonneau, Tours, France.


Exaggerated reactions to even small changes in the environment and abnormal behaviors in response to auditory stimuli are frequently observed in children with autism (CWA). Brain mechanisms involved in the automatic detection of auditory frequency change were studied using scalp potential and scalp current density (SCD) mapping of mismatch negativity (MMN) in 15 CWA matched with 15 healthy children. Compared with the response in controls, MMN recorded at the Fz site in CWA showed significantly shorter latency and was followed by a P3a wave. Mapping of potentials indicated significant intergroup differences. Moreover, SCD mapping demonstrated the dynamics of the different MMN generators: Although temporal component was evidenced bilaterally in both groups, it occurred earlier on the left hemisphere in CWA, preceded by an abnormal early left frontal component. The electrophysiological pattern reported here emphasized a left frontal cortex dysfunctioning that might also be implicated in cognitive and behavioral impairment characteristic, of this complex neurodevelopmental disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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