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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

Neural Basis of Response to Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training in Adults with ASD

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Yang, Daniel

Description

Description

Virtual Reality-Social Cognition Training (VR-SCT) is a behavioral training program designed to improve social communication skills in young adults with ASD and has been empirically validated to be effective with behavioral evidence. In this project, neuroimaging-based discoveries will be applied to promote the development of VR-SCT into a more effective intervention method. Specific Aims: (1) To demonstrate clinical efficacy of a VR-SCT training program versus active control in a randomized, controlled trial; (2) To identify pretreatment brain characteristics that are associated with greater behavioral response to VR-SCT, relative to active control; (3) To validate neuroimaging-based measures as sensitive outcome measures of treatment response to VR-SCT. Methods: A 5-week randomized controlled trial of VR-SCT is proposed to actively treat social communication deficits versus an active control condition, in 48 cognitively-able (IQ ? 80) young adults (18-35 years of age) with ASD and will perform behavioral, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Electroencephalography (EEG) testing before and after the intervention. The active control group will be offered a similar kind of VR-based computer game with online interactions (“Minecraft”) for matched sessions. Expected results: (1) adults with ASD in the active treatment (vs. control) group will show greater behavioral gains in social skills from baseline to treatment endpoint; (2) The pretreatment neural level of activation, pattern of activation, or functional connectivity of brain regions implicated in theory of mind and facial affect processing, or cortical thickness of key social brain regions, or white-matter fiber tract integrity, will be positively associated with the rate of response to VR-SCT relative to the active control; (3) adults with ASD in the VR-SCT relative to the active control group will exhibit enhanced neural activity in the brain networks implicated in theory of mind or facial affect processing from baseline to treatment endpoint.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

59900

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2014-2016

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 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: o Five trials in infants and toddlers by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $30,000,000 over 5 years. o Three trials in school-aged children and/or adolescents by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years. o Three trials in adults by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Neural Basis of Response to Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training in Adults with ASD (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Yale University

State/Country

State/Country

Connecticut

Project Number

Project Number

9284

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Neural Basis of Response to Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training in Adults with ASD | 57900 | 2014 | 9284

 
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