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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

Behavioral and Neural Variability in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Baum, Sarah

Description

Description

In addition to the classical core features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there is also a high prevalence of deficits in sensory processing. Without a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these deficits, and knowledge of how sensory function maps on to domains of core impairments like communication, treatment strategies that aim to improve sensory processing may ultimately fall short. This project will explore a potential mechanism for sensory processing deficits: increases in neural (and its associated behavioral) variability. In ASD, individual performance across a range of sensory and cognitive tasks is impaired and also is more inconsistent than for “neurotypical” populations. In the context of sensory processing, if the brain’s response to a particular stimulus is highly variable, it will be increasingly difficult to differentiate stimulus-evoked patterns of neural activity, leading to difficulty in processing sensory cues. This project seeks to better characterize the basic mechanisms of sensory processing deficits in children with ASD from the perspective of sensory variability (Aim 1), and then to use this information in an effort to reduce variability and thus increase sensory acuity with a perceptual training paradigm (Aim 2). Because of the strong links between sensory processing and communication skills, the ultimate goal of this research is to provide a simple and effective tool for improving these abilities in children with ASD.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

56000

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2015-2018

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives

Project Link

Project Link

Behavioral and Neural Variability in Autism Spectrum Disorder (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Vanderbilt University

State/Country

State/Country

Tennessee

Project Number

Project Number

9717

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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