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

Functional imaging of flexibility in autism: Informed by SLC6A4  

This is a mentored Research Career Development Award to support the career development of clinical investigators in patient-oriented research. The research project uses well established neuroscience methods (functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and genotyping) to investigate brain regions and genes involved in restricted, repetitive behavior and interest symptoms in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Repetitive behaviors and rigid, inflexible thinking are cardinal symptoms of the disorder and prevent many otherwise high functioning people from being productive members of mainstream society. Children with and without ASD will be genotyped for a serotonin transporter gene implicated in both ASD and cognitive flexibility (the ability to switch behavioral response according to the context of the situation) and will participate in fMRI and psychological batteries that assess cognitive flexibility and ASD symptoms. Children with ASD and the risk allele for the serotonin transporter gene are predicted to make more errors on flexibility tasks and show greater deviance in the structure and function of brain regions activated. This work will help define neural and genetic contributors to restricted, repetitive behaviors in autism to help elucidate the causes of, and target interventions to treat, these core autism deficits. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $128,971.00
Current Award Period 2010-2013
Project Number 1K23MH086111-01A2
Principal Investigator Yerys, Benjamin
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? Federal
Institution Children's Research Institute
State/Country District of Columbia
Web Link 1 Functional imaging of flexibility in autism: Informed by SLC6A4 (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects N/A