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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

Developing fNIRS as a brain function indicator in at-risk infants

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Johnson, Mark

Description

Description

The younger siblings of children diagnosed with autism are at an increased risk for autism themselves. By studying these at-risk babies, we can better understand the development of the condition and this, in turn, may lead to more effective early treatments. It remains challenging, however, to study brain function in a safe and effective way in young babies. Mark Johnson and his colleagues at the University of London have been developing a new method of brain imaging called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), which involves weak beams of light that are absorbed differently in active vs. inactive parts of the brain. Johnson plans to bring together a group of internationally recognized experts to determine how effective this new method is, by directly comparing it to existing methods that are more difficult to use with awake babies (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI) or that have inferior spatial resolution (e.g., electroencephalography, or EEG). The researchers aim to assess the reliability and accuracy of the new method in a practical laboratory context by testing and then retesting the same babies one week later. Finally, they plan to gather fNIRS measurements from at-risk siblings and low-risk controls at 6 months of age, and then again about 30 months later. The researchers hope their methods can be used to look for differences in brain function between at-risk and low-risk babies during infancy, which could be related to later-emerging symptoms of autism.

Funder

Funder

Simons Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

290707

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2012-2014

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned?

Strategic Plan Objective

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.

Project Link

Project Link

Developing fNIRS as a brain function indicator in at-risk infants (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Birkbeck College

State/Country

State/Country

United Kingdom

Project Number

Project Number

201287

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Developing fNIRS as a brain function indicator in at-risk infants | 205199 | 2012 | 201287
Developing fNIRS as a brain function indicator in at-risk infants | 223738 | 2013 | 201287

 
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