Largely Typical Electrophysiological Affective Responses to Special Interest Stimuli in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Sep;48(9):3133-3143. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3587-9.


Circumscribed interests are a symptom of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that may be related to exaggerated affective neural responses. However, the use of generic ASD-interest image stimuli has left an open question as to whether affective responses towards individual interests are greater in ASD compared to typically developing (TD) controls. We compared amplitudes of the late positive potential (LPP), an affective electroencephalographic response, between adolescents with ASD (N = 19) and TD adolescents (N = 20), using images tailored to individual likes and dislikes. We found an LPP response for liked and disliked images, relative to neutral, with no difference in amplitude between groups. This suggests that the LPP is not atypical in adolescents with ASD towards images of individual interests.

Keywords: Affective; Autism spectrum disorder; Circumscribed interests; EEG; LPP.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / physiopathology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Young Adult