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

Project Title

Project Title

Direct Recordings from the Brain in Autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Adolphs, Ralph

Description

Description

To understand the neurobiology behind autism, we need data at the cellular level. This is difficult to come by in humans, as the data are typically limited to analyses of postmortem tissue, or data from animal models. However, there is an opportunity to obtain physiological data directly from neurons in the human brain in a clinical setting — through depth electrode and surface grid monitoring in neurosurgical patients for the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy. This project involves several hospitals where such data can be recorded. The significance of recording from the brain in people with autism is high, because this would be the first opportunity to investigate data at the neuronal level. What are the basic electrophysiological response properties in autism? What are evoked responses to stimuli such as faces, which are known to be processed abnormally in autism? Such data can be compared with data obtained from fMRI studies as well. Furthermore, the neuronal data could eventually be linked to synaptic, molecular and genetic data that underlie abnormal physiology. Ralph Adolphs and his colleagues at the California Institute of Technology aim to begin with a characterization of the basic electrical properties of neurons: Do their firing rates and waveforms appear normal? Next, the researchers hope to present a standardized series of stimuli at all the participating hospitals in order to measure evoked responses to a range of stimuli, including faces, landscapes and objects of special interest. This portion of the project is intended to survey the overall response profiles of neurons. Finally, the investigators plan to examine, in detail, the responses to faces. Taken together, the studies aim to provide the first direct measures of neuronal responses from the brain in individuals with autism. Related: Direct recording from autism brains

Funder

Funder

Simons Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

60000

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2014-2015

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. 2SE. Launch three studies that target the underlying biological mechanisms of co-occurring conditions with autism, including seizures/epilepsy, sleep disorders, wandering/elopement behavior, and familial autoimmune disorders, by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Direct Recordings from the Brain in Autism (External web link)

Institution

Institution

California Institute of Technology

State/Country

State/Country

California

Project Number

Project Number

346839

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Direct Recordings from the Brain in Autism | 60000 | 2015 | 346839

 
Back to Top