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Poster E118

Unveiling EEG Rhythmic Processing in Autism Using TRF Linear Models

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Shlomit Beker1,2 (, Theo Vanneau1, Elizabeth Akinyemi1, John Foxe1,3, Sophie Molholm1,3; 1The Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA., 2Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, 3The Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, The Ernest J. Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, USA.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by rigidity and atypical communication. We and others showed that neuro-oscillatory entrainment to, and anticipation of rhythmic stimuli are impaired in ASD. To test the barebone of entrainment to regularities, we created a paradigm that uses sequences of visual stimuli with different degrees of periodicity. This includes periodic (Isochronous), semi-periodic (Small and Large Jitter), and non-periodic (Random) conditions. EEG results from 20 high-functioning ASD young adults and 19 age- and IQ matched controls show reduced entrainment at the central frequency of stimulation to the Jitter condition. Temporal Response Function (TRF) models are linear models that quantify the relationship between features of a stimulus and the resulting neuronal response. By modelling the outputs (EEG recordings) as a linear combination of the inputs (sensory stimuli), such models capture how variations in stimuli are linearly reflected in the recorded brain activity. An advantage of this approach in clinical populations is implementing individual models, thus accounting for the high variability in sensory processing that often characterizes them. We implemented forward TRF models using EEG traces. For each participant, models were calculated through nested cross-validation, to find the optimal regularization value, and the average model performance. Then, performance was evaluated as the correlation between predicted EEG and the actual EEG and compared between the groups. TRF results replicated the EEG results: group differences were seen in the modeled EEG of the Jitter, but not in the Isochronous condition. This supports the inflexibility of entrainment in ASD to jittered/uncertain environments.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Development & aging


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April 13–16  |  2024