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"Social communication"

Lian Zhang, Zachary Warren, Amy Swanson, Amy Weitlauf, Nilanjan Sarkar
Collaborative virtual environments (CVEs), which allow naturalistic communication between two or more individuals in a shared virtual environment, hold promise as a tool for measuring and promoting social communication between peers. In this work, a CVE platform and a set of CVE-based collaborative games are designed for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two groups (7 ASD/TD pairs; 7 TD/TD pairs) participated in a pilot study to establish system feasibility and tolerability. We also designed a methodology for capturing meaningful metrics of social communication...
March 20, 2018: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Heather M O'Leary, Walter E Kaufmann, Katherine V Barnes, Kshitiz Rakesh, Kush Kapur, Daniel C Tarquinio, Nicole G Cantwell, Katherine J Roche, Suzanne A Rose, Alexandra C Walco, Natalie M Bruck, Grace A Bazin, Ingrid A Holm, Mark E Alexander, Lindsay C Swanson, Lauren M Baczewski, Juan M Mayor Torres, Charles A Nelson, Mustafa Sahin
Objective: To measure the efficacy of mecasermin (recombinant human insulin-like growth factor 1, rhIGF-1), for treating symptoms of Rett syndrome (RTT) in a pediatric population using a double-blind crossover study design. Methods: Thirty girls with classic RTT in postregression stage were randomly assigned to placebo or rhIGF-1 in treatment period 1 and crossed over to the opposite assignment for period 2 (both 20 weeks), separated by a 28-week washout period...
March 2018: Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Amy L Donaldson, Mariella Nolfo, Marissa Montejano
Children with autism may perceive friendship in a qualitatively different manner than their neurotypical peers. Yet, these friendships have been reported as satisfying to the child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Although many studies have identified lower quality of friendship in ASD, reduced reciprocity, and increased loneliness and depression, perhaps it is time to take a closer look at the perspective of autistic individuals and to identify how the broader community influences development of relationships and friendship...
April 2018: Seminars in Speech and Language
Dorit Kliemann, Hilary Richardson, Stefano Anzellotti, Dima Ayyash, Amanda J Haskins, John D E Gabrieli, Rebecca R Saxe
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) report difficulties extracting meaningful information from dynamic and complex social cues, like facial expressions. The nature and mechanisms of these difficulties remain unclear. Here we tested whether that difficulty can be traced to the pattern of activity in "social brain" regions, when viewing dynamic facial expressions. In two studies, adult participants (male and female) watched brief videos of a range of positive and negative facial expressions, while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (Study 1: ASD n = 16, control n = 21; Study 2: ASD n = 22, control n = 30)...
February 21, 2018: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Boram Lee, Jihong Lee, Jin-Hong Cheon, Hyun-Kyung Sung, Seung-Hun Cho, Gyu Tae Chang
Objectives. We aimed to summarize and critically evaluate the available evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods. We searched 13 databases for studies published up to December 2016. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture for children with ASD were included. Outcome measures were the overall scores on scales evaluating the core symptoms of ASD and the scores for each symptom, such as social communication ability and skills, stereotypies, language ability, and cognitive function...
2018: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ECAM
Evangelia-Chrysanthi Kouklari, Stella Tsermentseli, Bonnie Auyeung
BACKGROUND: The association between Executive Function (EF) and Theory of Mind (ToM) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been mainly investigated using false belief tasks, whilst less is known about the EF effect on other ToM facets. Furthermore, the role EF plays in social communication in ASD is mainly assessed using parent-report EF ratings rather than direct assessment. AIMS: The aim of this study was to shed more light on the effect of performance-based EF measures on ToM and social communication in middle childhood in ASD relative to neurotypical controls...
March 13, 2018: Research in Developmental Disabilities
Zoë W Hawks, Natasha Marrus, Anne L Glowinski, John N Constantino
Previous research has suggested that behavioral comorbidity is the rule rather than the exception in autism. The present study aimed to trace the respective origins of autistic and general psychopathologic traits-and their association-to infancy. Measurements of autistic traits and early liability for general psychopathology were assessed in 314 twins at 18 months, ascertained from the general population using birth records. 222 twins were re-evaluated at 36 months. Standardized ratings of variation in social communication at 18 months were highly heritable and strongly predicted autistic trait scores at 36 months...
March 16, 2018: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Christy L Kollath-Cattano, Emily S Mann, Estephania Moreno Zegbe, James F Thrasher
While the literature on sexual scripts is substantive, with some scholarship examining the role of popular media in the production of dominant and divergent sexual practices and interactions, limited attention has been paid to the contemporary Mexican context. In this article, we share findings from a quantitative content analysis of popular Mexican films in order to explore how sexual behavior is portrayed and more specifically how relationship characteristics, condom use, and substance use interact with representations of sexual behavior...
March 2018: Sexuality & Culture
Yu-Chien Chang, Chih-Hsuan Chen, Pai-Chuan Huang, Ling-Yi Lin
BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability characterized by deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts. Existing literature on social relationships and well-being among adolescents with ASD in Asian countries is scant. AIMS: This study compared the perceptions of adolescents with ASD with those of their neurotypical peers toward their friendship quality, activity participation, and emotional well-being, and examined the relationships between friendship quality, activity participation, and emotional well-being...
March 13, 2018: Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Jessica Overweg, Catharina A Hartman, Petra Hendriks
Pronoun reversals, saying you when meaning I, in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are generally viewed as manifesting in early development and speech production only. This study investigates pronoun reversals in later development (age 6-12) in interpretation in 48 Dutch-speaking children with ASD and 43 typically developing (TD) peers. We contrasted children's interpretation of I and you in indirect and direct speech reports, with the latter type requiring an additional perspective shift. To examine which cognitive processes are involved in pronoun interpretation, additional tasks were administered to measure Theory of Mind (ToM) understanding, cognitive inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory...
February 2018: Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Hirokazu Doi, Takashi X Fujisawa, Ryoichiro Iwanaga, Junko Matsuzaki, Chisato Kawasaki, Mamoru Tochigi, Tsukasa Sasaki, Nobumasa Kato, Kazuyuki Shinohara
BACKGROUND: Previous studies on etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have shown strong contribution of hereditary factors. On the basis the heterogeneity in ASD symptoms, it is highly possible that each independent domain of ASD symptom is linked to a different set of genetic risk factors. However, few empirical investigations have been carried out to examine this hypothesis. AIMS: The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in estrogen receptor genes, which several previous studies have identified as potential risk factors of ASD, and the severity of each independent aspect of ASD symptom within an Asian clinical sample...
March 8, 2018: Research in Developmental Disabilities
Adeline A Lau, Sarah J Tamang, Kim M Hemsley
Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) type IIIA is an inherited, neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder resulting from mutations in the SGSH gene. Consequently, N-sulphoglucosamine sulphohydrolase enzyme activity is reduced resulting in impaired catabolism of heparan sulphate. After an asymptomatic period, patients typically show a progressive loss of cognitive and motor skills, with death often during the second decade of life. The diagnostic criteria of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) include impaired communication and social interactions, as well as displays of repetitive behaviours and fixed interests...
March 8, 2018: Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
Wayne I Doyle, Julian P Meeks
Steroids play vital roles in animal physiology across species, and the production of specific steroids is associated with particular internal biological functions. The internal functions of steroids are, in most cases, quite clear. However, an important feature of many steroids -- their chemical stability -- allows these molecules to play secondary, external roles as chemical messengers after their excretion via urine, feces, or other shed substances. The presence of steroids in animal excretions has long been appreciated, but their capacity to serve as chemosignals has not received as much attention...
March 8, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
A Hervas, I Rueda
INTRODUCTION: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social communication and present stereotypic behaviours. Comorbidity associated to conduct disorders is frequent, starts in infancy and, in general, continues into adulthood. It is sometimes associated with aggressiveness, negativism, self-harm and breaking social norms. It causes a high degree of dysfunctionality in persons with ASD, their family, professionals and those around them, and is the main cause of pharmacological treatment, hospitalisation and special education...
March 1, 2018: Revista de Neurologia
V L Ruggieri, C L Arberas
INTRODUCTION: Autism spectrum disorders are neurodevelopmental dysfunctions that are characterised by deficits in social integration and communication, associated with restricted interests and stereotypic behaviour. A high percentage are related to language disorders, sensory dysfunctions, attention deficit disorder, bipolarity, intellectual disability or epilepsy, among other comorbidities. It is estimated that around 30% of children with autism, with typical early development, may present regression in the first years of life, which was already reported by Kanner in one of his original cases...
March 1, 2018: Revista de Neurologia
A Klin, W Jones
The future of neurodevelopmental medicine has the potential of situating child neurology at the forefront of a broad-based public health effort to optimize neurodevelopmental outcomes of children born with high-prevalence and diverse genetic, pre- and peri-natal, and environmental burdens compromising early brain development and leading to lifetime disabilities. Building on advancements in developmental social neuroscience and in implementation science, this shift is already occurring in the case of emblematic neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism...
March 1, 2018: Revista de Neurologia
A Özge Sungur, Lea Stemmler, Markus Wöhr, Marco B Rust
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia (SCZ) and intellectual disability (ID) show a remarkable overlap in symptoms, including impairments in cognition, social behavior and communication. Human genetic studies revealed an enrichment of mutations in actin-related genes for these disorders, and some of the strongest candidate genes control actin dynamics. These findings led to the hypotheses: (i) that ASD, SCZ and ID share common disease mechanisms; and (ii) that, at least in a subgroup of affected individuals, defects in the actin cytoskeleton cause or contribute to their pathologies...
2018: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Erin C Dunn, Katherine M Crawford, Thomas W Soare, Katherine S Button, Miriam R Raffeld, Andrew D A C Smith, Ian S Penton-Voak, Marcus R Munafò
BACKGROUND: Emotion recognition skills are essential for social communication. Deficits in these skills have been implicated in mental disorders. Prior studies of clinical and high-risk samples have consistently shown that children exposed to adversity are more likely than their unexposed peers to have emotion recognition skills deficits. However, only one population-based study has examined this association. METHODS: We analyzed data from children participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective birth cohort (n = 6,506)...
March 7, 2018: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
Karen V Chenausky, Gottfried Schlaug
Autism affects ∼1.5% of children under age 8; its core symptoms include impairment in social-communicative functioning and repetitive behaviors/restricted interests. Music-based interventions have been considered one modality through which to treat autism. This report discusses considerations to take into account when developing a music-based intervention for a core symptom of autism. Treatment modality must be matched to symptom both clinically and theoretically, the behavior to be treated must be carefully defined and assessed, and outcome measures must be capable of showing improvement in that behavior over the course of the study...
March 6, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Yuji Nihei, Tetsuto Minami, Shigeki Nakauchi
Faces represent important information for social communication, because social information, such as face-color, expression, and gender, is obtained from faces. Therefore, individuals' tend to find faces unconsciously, even in objects. Why is face-likeness perceived in non-face objects? Previous event-related potential (ERP) studies showed that the P1 component (early visual processing), the N170 component (face detection), and the N250 component (personal detection) reflect the neural processing of faces. Inverted faces were reported to enhance the amplitude and delay the latency of P1 and N170...
2018: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
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