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

Eyeblink in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: A pilot study  

The cerebellum and inferior olive are two brain areas consistently shown to be abnormal in neurobiological and post-mortem anatomical studies in autism. The inferior olive (IO), part of the brainstem-cerebellar system, integrates sensory and motor activity before relaying it to the cerebellum. Of particular interest in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fact that the IO is a pacemaker system that may play a global role in brain timing that is important for language functioning. Eyeblink conditioning is an associative learning task that requires normal functioning of the IO and the cerebellum and is a sensitive, non-invasive measure of brain timing. This study will test the general hypothesis that children with ASD are impaired in rapid temporal processing and will show deficits in eyeblink conditioning. The study will involve 40 patients with ASD (aged 6 to 18 years) and 40 matched controls. Data obtained from this study will be used to devise larger and more definitive studies in ASD and as a tool to guide mechanistic studies in animals. Eyeblink conditioning could have a number of uses, including as a measure for early detection of ASD, as a tool for translational research, and as an outcome measure for treatment studies. Project Status
NEW

2009

Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $229,500.00
Project Number 1R21MH084219-01A1
Principal Investigator Malone, Richard
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Strategic Plan Objective 1O. Not specific to Question 1 objectives
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Drexel University
State/Country Pennsylvania
Web Link 1 Eyeblink in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: A pilot study (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Eyeblink in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: A pilot study | $192,500.00 | 2010 | 5R21MH084219-02