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Brain Sci. 2018 Aug 24;8(9). pii: E160. doi: 10.3390/brainsci8090160.

Visually Evoked Response Differences to Contrast and Motion in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University 525 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA. lcg2129@cumc.columbia.edu.
2
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032, USA. lcg2129@cumc.columbia.edu.
3
Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, 21 Bloomingdale Road, White Plains, NY 10605, USA. lcg2129@cumc.columbia.edu.
4
Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University 525 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA. lml2155@tc.columbia.edu.
5
Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University 525 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA. ab4211@tc.columbia.edu.
6
Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University 525 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA. grey.pak@gmail.com.
7
Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University 525 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA. damoya@uc.cl.
8
Department of Education, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Villarrica, La Araucanía Region 4930000, Chile. damoya@uc.cl.
9
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032, USA. alicia.k.montgomery@gmail.com.
10
Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, 21 Bloomingdale Road, White Plains, NY 10605, USA. alicia.k.montgomery@gmail.com.
11
Sydney Children's Hospital, Community Health Center, High Street, Randwick NSW 2031, Australia. alicia.k.montgomery@gmail.com.
12
Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University 525 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA. greenhl@email.chop.edu.
13
Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3401 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. greenhl@email.chop.edu.
14
Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University 525 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA. kfroud@tc.columbia.edu.

Abstract

High-density electroencephalography (EEG) was used to examine the utility of the P1 event-related potential (ERP) as a marker of visual motion sensitivity to luminance defined low-spatial frequency drifting gratings in 16 children with autism and 16 neurotypical children. Children with autism displayed enhanced sensitivity to large, high-contrast low-spatial frequency stimuli as indexed by significantly shorter P1 response latencies to large vs. small gratings. The current study also found that children with autism had larger amplitude responses to large gratings irrespective of contrast. A linear regression established that P1 adaptive mean amplitude for large, high-contrast sinusoidal gratings significantly predicted hyperresponsiveness item mean scores on the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire for children with autism, but not for neurotypical children. We conclude that children with autism have differences in the mechanisms that underlie low-level visual processing potentially related to altered visual spatial suppression or contrast gain control.

KEYWORDS:

P1 event-related potential; autism; electroencephalography; visual contrast; visual motion

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