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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Electrophysiologic biomarkers of language function in autism spectrum disorders

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

McEvoy, Kevin

Description

Description

The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) relies on three core features: impairments in language, impairments in social skills, and the presence of stereotyped or restricted interests. Of these three features, an individual's language ability distinguishes itself as one of the key factors predicting their long-term outcome. However, there exists a large range of language outcomes, with estimates of up to 50% of children with ASD having little to no language. Standardized clinical examinations have been successful at characterizing these children, but they are unable to explain the development of, or the underlying biological causes of, language dysfunction. The application of a more brain-based indicator, also known as a biomarker, holds great promise to characterize the various types of language function and to educate scientists on the different pathways through which language progresses. Electroencephalography (EEG) represents a promising biomarker, as it records the electrical activity within the brain and provides exquisite information about brain processing in real-time both at rest and while a child is engaged in a task. This study will couple behavioral testing with EEG to identify biomarkers of language function in children with ASD. The researchers will apply two measures that should provide insight into language ability. The first measurement, called event related potentials, estimates the brain's electrical activity while an individual learns an artificial language through pattern recognition. The second analysis measures patterns of the brain's activity while a child is at rest (watching bubbles). Each measure has been shown to predict language function in typical developing children, but neither has been studied in children with ASD. These biomarkers of language function will facilitate our characterization of subtypes within the autism spectrum and, ultimately, will allow for the design and implementation of targeted therapies that are specific to these subtypes.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

28600

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2012-2014

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2LB. Launch at least three studies which evaluate the applicability of ASD phenotype and/or biological signature findings for performing diagnosis, risk assessment, or clinical intervention by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $7,200,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Electrophysiologic biomarkers of language function in autism spectrum disorders (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of California, Los Angeles

State/Country

State/Country

California

Project Number

Project Number

7845

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Electrophysiologic biomarkers of language function in autism spectrum disorders | 28600 | 2012 | 7845
Electrophysiologic biomarkers of language function in autism spectrum disorders | 0 | 2014 | 7845

 
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