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

Neurophysiological indices of risk and outcome in autism  

Electrophysiological methods offer a window into the neural signals within the brains of people with autism. Dr. Webb's lab has been using two such methods: event-related potentials (ERPs) to describe cognitive and perceptual processes, and electroencephalography (EEG) to describe neural connectivity. These non-invasive methods are sensitive to the moment-to-moment changes in neural activity, and some of the neural activity patterns obtained may serve as signatures of autism by revealing how the brains in people with autism process social and linguistic signals and integrate sensory stimuli. This project tests whether these methods can reveal risk for autism in infants, with the goal of improving early detection. Dr. Webb's post-doctoral fellow will obtain ERP and EEG measures in 200 infant siblings of children with autism at 6 and 12 months of age. Then they will be followed to 2 years of age, when it will be determined which children developed autism. The ERP and EEG signals will then be compared between those who developed autism and those who did not, to see if there were differences in activity patterns when they were infants. Specifically, infant ERP signals to social stimuli (faces and facial expressions) will be compared between those who developed autism, those who did not, and in non-risk infants. Similar comparisons will be made for EEG signal synchronization, which reflects connectivity across different brain areas. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $51,300.00
Current Award Period 2008-2010
Project Number 2140
Principal Investigator Webb, Sara
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Subcategory Early Signs and Biomarkers
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 1LA. Identify behavioral and biological markers that separately, or in combination, accurately identify, before age 2, one or more subtypes of children at risk for developing ASD, and evaluate whether these risk markers or profiles can improve early identification through heightened developmental monitoring and screening by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $33,300,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of Washington
State/Country Washington
Web Link 1 No URL available.
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Neurophysiological indices of risk and outcome in autism | $0.00 | 2009 | 2140
Neurophysiological indices of risk and outcome in autism | $61,000.00 | 2008 | 1599