Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

fMRI evidence of genetic influence on rigidity in ASD  

A hallmark symptom of autism is rigidity, or difficulty in adapting to changing environments. This adaptive ability is also known as cognitive flexibility. The present study will examine the association between cognitive flexibility, pathways of neural activity, and a particular autism-linked gene, 5-HTTLPR, which is involved in signaling by the neurotransmitter serotonin. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the predoctoral fellow will test the hypothesis that variation in the 5-HTTLPR gene is related to rigidity symptoms. She will use fMRI to look at the patterns of neural activity while ASD individuals perform a task measuring cognitive flexibility. The subjects will include people with multiple different alleles of the 5-HTTPLPR gene. This will determine whether different 5-HTTLPR genotypes are associated with abnormal brain activation patterns during cognitive flexibility tasks or with the severity of rigidity symptoms. This research may identify genetically influenced neural and cognitive abnormalities affecting cognitive flexibility that could potentially be targeted by therapies to alleviate symptoms of rigidity. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $28,000.00
Project Number 4773
Principal Investigator Lee, Jillian
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Strategic Plan Objective New! Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SG. Support five studies that associate specific genotypes with functional or structural phenotypes, including behavioral and medical phenotypes (e.g., nonverbal individuals with ASD and those with cognitive impairments) by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $22,600,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of Michigan
State/Country Michigan
Web Link 1 fMRI evidence of genetic influence on rigidity in ASD (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects FMRI evidence of genetic influence on rigidity in ASD | $28,000.00 | 2008 | 4773
fMRI evidence of genetic influence on rigidity in ASD | $0.00 | 2010 | 4773
fMRI evidence of genetic influence on rigidity in ASD | $0.00 | 2011 | 4773