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

Neurogenetic model of social behavior heterogeneity in autism spectrum disorders  

One of the hallmark features of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is dysfunction in social perception, attention, and interaction. Nonetheless, significant individual variation in these features frustrates diagnosis and challenges the development of effective treatments. To address this gap, this research will develop a model for studying the genetic, contextual, and neurobiological contributions to social behavior phenotype in rhesus macaques. The research will first characterize variability in social reward, social attention, and social aggression in a natural population of rhesus macaques, then assay key genes thought to contribute to social behavior and its dysfunction in humans (including in ASD), and finally test the impact of potential therapeutic interventions in the laboratory in macaques of known genotype. Integrating these methods will lead to development of a biologically predictive model of heterogeneity in primate social behavior that will inform understanding of the basic genetic, developmental, and neurobiological causes of phenotypic heterogeneity in autism. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $795,188.00
Current Award Period 2009-2011
Project Number 5R01MH089484-02
Principal Investigator Platt, Michael
Received ARRA Funding? Yes
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Model Systems/Therapeutic Targets
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SB. Standardize and validate at least 20 model systems (e.g., cellular and/or animal) that replicate features of ASD and will allow identification of specific molecular targets or neural circuits amenable to existing or new interventions by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $75,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Duke University
State/Country North Carolina
Web Link 1 Neurogenetic model of social behavior heterogeneity in autism spectrum disorders (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Neurogenetic model of social behavior heterogeneity in autism spectrum disorders | $821,227.00 | 2009 | 1R01MH089484-01