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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

Decoding Affective Prosody and Communication Circuits in Autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Menon, Vinod

Description

Description

Understanding the emotional state of a person one is communicating with stands at the center of meaningful and successful human interaction, and speech serves as a conduit for conveying critical emotional information in everyday communication. Social communication deficits constitute a core characteristic of children with autism. Research has identified a specific impairment in interpreting the emotional content of speech, known as affective prosody, in individuals with autism. Little is known about the biological basis for affective prosody difficulties in children with autism. Vinod Menon, Daniel Abrams and their colleagues at Stanford University in California aim to explore the neural bases of affective prosody perception in children with autism. They plan to use functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, techniques that provide high-resolution spatial information about the brain. Menon and Abrams’ recent work showed that individuals with autism have weak brain connections between areas of the cortex that selectively respond to human vocal sounds and the ventral striatum and amygdala, brain regions that are important for reward and emotional processing, respectively1. The proposed studies aim to test the hypothesis that the integrity of these particular brain circuits affects the impaired perception of affective prosody in individuals with autism. Menon’s team plans to study brain function in school-aged children (9 to 12 years old) with autism as well as controls while they listen to ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ spoken sentences. The researchers hope to examine relationships between brain activity and connectivity in response to these sentences, and behavioral measures of social communication and speech and language function. References: 1. Abrams D.A. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, 12060-12065 (2013) PubMed

Funder

Funder

Simons Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

138829

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2014-2017

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 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

Decoding Affective Prosody and Communication Circuits in Autism (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Stanford University

State/Country

State/Country

California

Project Number

Project Number

308939

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Decoding Affective Prosody and Communication Circuits in Autism | 281028 | 2015 | 308939

 
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