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

Social processing, language, and executive functioning in twin pairs: Electrophysiological and behavioral endophenotypes  

Studies of twins have been used to highlight the contribution of genetic and environmental causes of behavior as monozygotic twins (MZ) share 100% of their genes. For autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the rate of concordance for MZ twins has been estimated between 60-90%, suggesting a strong contribution of genetic factors toward the disease. The proposed study aims to explore possible neurocognitive and neurophysiological endophenotypes of three domains that contribute to autism: social processing, language, and executive functioning in MZ twin pairs concordant for autism. In a sample of concordant twin pairs (either with ASD or typical development) behavioral and electrophysiological indices of social processing (face memory, imitation ability, face processing related ERP components and imitation related EEG components); language (phonological processing ability, pragmatics, verbal IQ, phonological processing related ERP mismatch negativity); and executive functioning (inhibition, spatial working memory, set shifting, inhibition related ERP components) will be examined. This project will address the concordant trait components of the autism phenotype and may accelerate the discovery of specific common genetic and neurobiologic causes of autism. Additionally, the proposed project will directly test assumptions that behavioral and electrophysiological measures can be used to assess endophenotypes in autism and how concordance rates may be altered by the behavioral profile found in autism. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $150,000.00
Current Award Period 2010-2013
Project Number 6061
Principal Investigator Webb, Sara
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Subgroups/Biosignatures
Strategic Plan Objective 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 Washington
State/Country Washington
Web Link 1 Social processing, language, and executive functioning in twin pairs: Electrophysiological and behavioral endophenotypes (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Not available at this time. This functionality is experimental.