[Neurocognitive features of the frontal lobe in parents of autistic children]

Turk Psikiyatri Derg. 2008 Fall;19(3):225-34.
[Article in Turkish]


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the neurocognitive functions of the frontal lobe in parents of autistic children.

Method: The study group included 64 parents of children (aged 4-18 years) diagnosed with autism, according to DSM-IV criteria, that were followed-up at the child and adolescent psychiatry outpatient clinic. Parents of children with Down syndrome (n = 60) were selected as the control group. We administered the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Stroop Test, and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test (WAIS) to both groups in order to evaluate executive functions, attention, inhibition, and intelligence.

Results: Mothers of children with autism performed better than the control group mothers on the executive function measures of WCST. There were no group differences in Stroop Test measures of attention and inhibition, or in the verbal and performance intelligence subtests of WAIS. Fathers of children with severe autistic symptoms performed better on some WAIS subtests compared to other; however, there were no significant differences in IQ between the parents in both groups.

Conclusion: The results suggest that parents of autistic children could display different cognitive styles, but we did not observe any distinctive cognitive profile pertaining to frontal lobe functions. The cognitive ability of parents of autistic children and its neurobiological basis should be further investigated.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Autistic Disorder / etiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Problem Solving / physiology