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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

Direct recording from autism brains

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Adolphs, Ralph

Description

Description

To understand the neurobiology underlying autism spectrum disorders, more data at the cellular level are needed. This is difficult to obtain from living individuals. However, physiological data can be collected directly from cells in the human brain (i.e., neurons) during neurosurgery for medically refractory epilepsy. Two methods can be used in these cases: depth electrode recording and surface grid monitoring. Ralph Adolphs and his colleagues at the California Institute of Technology are planning a project, involving several hospitals, in which these data can be recorded in people with autism who are having surgery for epilepsy. This would represent the first study that involves direct recording from brain cells in people with autism. The data could then be compared with those obtained through functional magnetic resonance imaging, and perhaps eventually with molecular and genetic data. Adolphs’ team plans to begin the experiments by characterizing the basic electrophysiological properties of neurons, such as interspike intervals, spontaneous firing rates and spike waveforms. Next, they aim to present a standardized series of stimuli to all participants across the hospitals to measure evoked responses to a range of stimuli, including faces, landscapes and objects of special interest. This would serve to survey the overall response profiles of neurons in the brains of people with autism. Finally, the investigators plan to examine in detail the neural responses to faces, which are processed abnormally by people with the disorder.

Funder

Funder

Simons Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

0

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2012-2015

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 recording from autism brains (External web link)

Institution

Institution

California Institute of Technology

State/Country

State/Country

California

Project Number

Project Number

237846

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Direct recording from autism brains | 60074 | 2012 | 237846
Direct recording from autism brains | 60074 | 2014 | 237846
Direct recording from autism brains | 120148 | 2013 | 237846

 
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