Frontal evoked γ activity modulates behavioural performance in Autism Spectrum Disorders in a perceptual simultaneity task

Neurosci Lett. 2018 Feb 5;665:86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.11.045. Epub 2017 Nov 27.


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are associated with anomalies in time perception. In a perceptual simultaneity task, individuals with ASD demonstrate superior performance compared to typically developing (TD) controls. γ-activity, a robust marker of visual processing, is reportedly altered in ASD in response to a wide variety of tasks and these differences may be related to superior performance in perceptual simultaneity. Using time-frequency analysis, we assessed evoked γ-band phase-locking in magnetoencephalographic recordings of 16 ASD individuals and 17 age-matched TD controls. Individuals judged whether presented visual stimuli were simultaneous or asynchronous. We identified left frontal γ-activity in ASD, which was associated with a reduced perception of simultaneity. Where feature binding was observed at a neurophysiological level in parieto-occipital cortices in ASD in apparent simultaneity (asynchronous stimuli with short delay between them), this did not predict the correct behavioural outcome. These findings suggest distinct γ profiles in ASD associated with the perception of simultaneity.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Evoked phase-locked γ-oscillations; Magnetoencephalography; Perceptual simultaneity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / physiopathology*
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography / psychology*
  • Male
  • Occipital Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Time Perception / physiology
  • Young Adult