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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

The mirror neuron system in children with autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Bernier, Raphael

Description

Description

Dr. Bernier will explore a potential link between mirror neuron dysfunction and autism. Bernier's study is based on an early intervention designed to increase cognitive and social skills in children with autism. The study will include three groups of children who completed the trial — those with autism who received the intervention, those who didn't, and typically developing controls. Bernier plans to use electroencephalography to detect electrical activity associated with activated mirror neurons in the children while they observe and attempt to imitate a task. Comparing activation patterns among the three groups may indicate whether the intervention can help normalize mirror neuron function. Bernier hypothesizes that the dysfunction of mirror neurons in individuals with autism is caused by a lack of experience with social interaction. The social experience provided by the trial intervention might therefore help improve mirror neuron function in children with autism. Bernier plans to perform similar comparisons of mirror neuron activity between children from the three groups while they watch an adult perform hand and facial movements. He also plans to test the effect of non-biological stimuli, such as the movement of a toy, which children with autism tend to prefer over social interaction.

Funder

Funder

Simons Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

118156

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

na

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 4SF. Launch five randomized controlled trials of interventions including biological signatures and other measures to predict response, and monitor quality of life and functional outcomes, in each of the following groups:
  • Five trials in infants and toddlers by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $30,000,000 over 5 years.
  • Three randomized controlled trials of interventions for school-aged children and/or adolescents by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.
  • Three trials for adults by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

The mirror neuron system in children with autism (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of Washington

State/Country

State/Country

Washington

Project Number

Project Number

89368

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

The mirror neuron system in children with autism | 59078 | 2010 | 89368
The mirror neuron system in children with autism | 118156 | 2008 | Project number unavailable
The mirror neuron system in children with autism | 29539 | 2011 | 89368

 
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