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

Neural correlates of serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms and social impairment in ASDĀ 

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Monk, Christopher

Description

Description

A core symptom of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is social impairment. A genetic variation has been identified, which is associated with the symptom of social impairment, called the S allele of the serotonin transporter-linked promoter region. People who have one or two copies of the S allele in their genome tend to have increased social impairment compared to those who have other genotypes. Neurologically, social deficits are thought to be related to overactivity of neurons in specific brain regions, the amygdala and the ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC). In this study, Dr. Monk and colleagues will examine the connection between the S allele and neural activity in the amygdala and vPFC and how these factors contribute to social impairment. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a method of visualizing neural activity in specific brain regions, they will examine the amygdala and pVFC in subjects while they perform a social task, such as recognizing emotions in facial expressions. The subjects will be chosen from four groups: autistics with two copies of the S allele or no copies of the S allele and typical, non-autistic individuals with two copies of the S allele or no copies of the S allele. This experiment will allow the researchers to determine whether this genetic variant is associated with overactivity in the amygdala and pVFC and how this relates to the severity of social impairment in both autistics and non-autistics.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

127500

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2008-2011

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. 2SG. Support five studies that associate specific genotypes with functional or structural phenotypes, including behavioral and medical phenotypes (e.g., nonverbal individuals with ASD and those with cognitive impairments) by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $22,600,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Neural correlates of serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms and social impairment in ASDĀ  (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of Michigan

State/Country

State/Country

Michigan

Project Number

Project Number

2573

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

N/A

 
Back to Top