Early and late stage processing abnormalities in autism spectrum disorders: An ERP study
by Shanshan Wang, Chunjuan Yang, Yijun Liu, Zhi Shao, Todd JacksonThis research assessed event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited during the processing of different kinds of visual stimuli among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (n = 15) and typically developing (TD) children (n = 19). Within a simple visual oddball paradigm, participating children passively viewed fruit and vegetable images that were used as standard stimuli in addition to images of these foods with their usual colors modified to create novel stimuli and cartoon depictions of these images (i.e., “deviant” stimuli). Analyses revealed significant main effect differences between the groups for P100, N100 and P300 components; ASD group children showing longer P100 latencies, weaker N100 amplitudes and larger P300 amplitudes than did the TD group. A Group x Hemisphere interaction also emerged for N400 amplitudes but differences were not significant in simple-effects analyses. Together these results suggested children with ASD may be characterized by lower attention resource allocation and engagement during early stages of processing visual stimuli. However, ERPs in later processing stages suggested children with ASD and TD children have similar neural responses in attending to visual images as stimulus presentations continue.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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