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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

Biomarkers of Emotion Regulation, Social Response & Social Attention in ASD

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Sheinkopf, Stephen

Description

Description

Very early interventions for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have the potential to improve long-term outcomes by targeting emotion regulation, social learning and social communication. However, treatment studies currently rely upon long-term measures that are often far removed from the underlying targets of treatment and that are rather insensitive to short-term treatment effects. Measuring short-term outcomes would improve treatment research by speeding discovery and validation of early interventions, but such an approach is currently limited by diagnostic tools that are insensitive to small changes in behavior. Stephen Sheinkopf and his colleagues at Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and Brown University are using measures of physiological responses and visual attention that may be sensitive to short-term changes in response to treatment. These potential biomarkers are measures of the way that individuals perceive, respond to and pay attention to the environment. Thus, improved functioning in these basic areas should support adaptation and learning, and can be expected to precede long-term behavioral outcomes. Sheinkopf and his team plan to test the reliability and validity of a battery of these potential biomarkers in relation to the level of severity of autism symptoms in 2- to 6-year-old children with ASD. They will observe the children’s physiological responses to social events, including heart rate and electrodermal reactivity (ie., activity of the sweat glands that is related to stress and ‘fight-or-flight’ responses of individuals). They also plan to study visual attention to people and social scenes using computer-based eye-tracking measures. The result will be a potential battery of biomarkers that will measure emotion regulation, social responsiveness and social attention. The long-term goal of this work is to identify a set of measures that will be sensitive to early responses to treatments, and that can in turn support more rapid and efficient treatment trials for young children with ASD.

Funder

Funder

Simons Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

124827

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2015-2017

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 1LC. Identify and develop measures to assess at least three "continuous dimensions" (e.g., social reciprocity, communication disorders, and repetitive/restrictive behaviors) of ASD symptoms and severity that can be used by practitioners and/or families to assess response to intervention for people with ASD across the lifespan by 2016. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,500,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Biomarkers of Emotion Regulation, Social Response & Social Attention in ASD (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Women & Infants Hospital

State/Country

State/Country

Rhode Island

Project Number

Project Number

383663

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

N/A

 
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