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

Evaluating behavioral and neural effects of social skills intervention for school-age children with autism spectrum disorders  

Neuroimaging studies have found that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show abnormally low brain activity in regions important for social processing. However, there is also evidence that activity in key brain regions can be increased significantly by providing high-functioning children with specific instructions to pay attention to important social cues, such as a speaker's facial expression or tone of voice. This suggests that interventions that use a cognitive behavioral approach to teaching social skills may be effective not only in increasing social responsiveness in terms of behavior, but also perhaps in facilitating "rewiring" that results in increased activation of normal brain circuitry. This project is testing the efficacy of a cognitive behavioral social skills intervention in a sample of high-functioning children with ASD. Participants are randomly assigned to the cognitive behavioral training or a social play control group. The investigators will use standardized assessments and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine: 1) behavioral changes in social cognition and responsiveness 2) changes in the neural circuitry supporting social cognition, and 3) the relationship between changes in neural circuitry and social functioning at the behavioral level. Project Status
ONGOING

2009

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $60,000.00
Project Number 2372
Principal Investigator Wang, A.Ting; Soorya, Latha
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Interventions)
Strategic Plan Objective New! Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 4SF. Launch five randomized controlled trials of interventions including biological signatures and other measures to predict response, and monitor quality of life and functional outcomes, in each of the following groups:
  • Five trials in infants and toddlers by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $30,000,000 over 5 years.
  • Three randomized controlled trials of interventions for school-aged children and/or adolescents by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.
  • Three trials for adults by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Mount Sinai School of Medicine
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 Evaluating behavioral and neural effects of social skills intervention for school-age children with autism spectrum disorders (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Evaluating behavioral and neural effects of social skills intervention for school-age children with autism spectrum disorders | $0.00 | 2010 | 2372
Evaluating behavioral and neural effects of social skills intervention for school-age children with autism spectrum disorders | $60,000.00 | 2008 | 2372