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Poster F116

Sensory Dysregulation in ASD: A high density electrophysiological study on the processing of tactile stimuli in ASD Children and Neurotypical Controls

Poster Session F - Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Alia Yamin1, Shlomit Beker1, Emily Isenstein2, Frantzy Acluche, John Butler3, Sophie Molholm1,2, John Foxe1,2; 1Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2University of Rochester, 3Technological University Dublin

To avoid being overwhelmed by the multitude of sensations in our natural environment, the brain pre-attentively and adaptively modulates the extent to which sensory inputs are processed. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience hyper- and hypo-sensitivity to tactile stimuli, implying a potential dysregulation in mechanisms underlying sensory processing and adaptation. In this study, we examined neurophysiological responses to vibrotactile stimuli in typically developing (TD) children (N = 52; 23 females) and children with ASD (N = 40; 3 females) aged 5 to 17 (M = 11.05) using electroencephalography (EEG). A custom vibrotactile stimulator delivered stimuli to the median nerve over the right wrist while participants were presented with streams of vibrotactile stimuli of 50ms (standard; 90%) and 20ms (deviant, 10%) in five blocked interstimulus intervals (ISIs): 150ms, 250ms, 350ms, 550ms, and 1050ms. Sensory adaptation was examined by comparing the amplitude of the somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) to the standard for the different ISI conditions, and sensitivity to duration deviants at different memory loads was examined by comparing the mismatch negativity (MMN) response for the different ISIs. Preliminary analyses suggest that both groups present similar adaptation effects and MMNs across the different ISI conditions, while the base SEP is somewhat altered in ASD. Additional analyses will be focused on establishing the relationship between these electrophysiological responses and measures of sensory sensitivity from the Sensory Profile Caregiver Questionnaire (SPCQ), potentially revealing a neurophysiological biomarker of somatosensory reactivity in ASD.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Other


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April 13–16  |  2024