Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 8 (9)

Visually Evoked Response Differences to Contrast and Motion in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Affiliations

Visually Evoked Response Differences to Contrast and Motion in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lauren C Shuffrey et al. Brain Sci.

Abstract

High-density electroencephalography (EEG) was used to examine the utility of the P1 event-related potential (ERP) as a marker of visual motion sensitivity to luminance defined low-spatial frequency drifting gratings in 16 children with autism and 16 neurotypical children. Children with autism displayed enhanced sensitivity to large, high-contrast low-spatial frequency stimuli as indexed by significantly shorter P1 response latencies to large vs. small gratings. The current study also found that children with autism had larger amplitude responses to large gratings irrespective of contrast. A linear regression established that P1 adaptive mean amplitude for large, high-contrast sinusoidal gratings significantly predicted hyperresponsiveness item mean scores on the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire for children with autism, but not for neurotypical children. We conclude that children with autism have differences in the mechanisms that underlie low-level visual processing potentially related to altered visual spatial suppression or contrast gain control.

Keywords: P1 event-related potential; autism; electroencephalography; visual contrast; visual motion.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Schematic of the P1 event-related potential task.
Figure 2
Figure 2
P1 montage of occipital electrodes.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Abbreviated IQ Distribution: Histograms depicting the distribution of abbreviated IQ in neurotypical children (left) and children with autism spectrum disorder (right).
Figure 4
Figure 4
Sensory Experiences Questionnaire Distribution: Histograms depicting the distribution of sensory experiences questionnaire total mean scores, hyperresponsiveness mean scores, and hyporesponsiveness mean scores in children with ASD.
Figure 5
Figure 5
High-Contrast Experiment: (Panel A) Autism Spectrum Disorder Grand Average ERP Plot and (Panel B) Neurotypical Grand Average ERP Plot, where the solid lines represent the grand averaged waveform to small, high-contrast drifting low-frequency sinusoidal gratings (purple) and large, high-contrast drifting low-frequency sinusoidal gratings (red) and the shaded lines represent the standard error of the mean amplitude at each time point.
Figure 6
Figure 6
High-Contrast Experiment: (Panel A) Autism Spectrum Disorder vs. Neurotypical Grand Average ERP Plot where the solid lines represent the grand averaged waveform to large, high-contrast drifting low-frequency sinusoidal gratings in children with autism (blue) and neurotypical children (green). The shaded lines represent the standard error of the mean amplitude at each time point. (Panel B) Autism Spectrum Disorder vs. Neurotypical Grand Average ERP Plot where the solid lines represent the grand averaged waveform to small, high-contrast drifting low-frequency sinusoidal gratings in children with autism (blue) and neurotypical children (green). The shaded lines represent the standard error of the mean amplitude at each time point.
Figure 7
Figure 7
Large, High-Contrast P1 Adaptive Mean Amplitude and Hyperresponsiveness in Children with Autism: Scatterplot depicting mean hyperresponsiveness scores on the x-axis and P1 adaptive mean amplitude to large, high-contrast drifting low-frequency sinusoidal gratings on the y-axis.
Figure 8
Figure 8
Low-Contrast Experiment: (Panel A) Autism Spectrum Disorder Grand Average ERP Plot and (Panel B) Neurotypical Grand Average ERP Plot, where the solid lines represent the grand averaged waveform to small, low-contrast gratings (in purple) and large, low-contrast gratings (in red) and the shaded lines represent the standard error of the mean amplitude at each time point.
Figure 9
Figure 9
Low-Contrast Experiment: (Panel A) Autism Spectrum Disorder vs. Neurotypical Grand Average ERP Plot where the solid lines represent the grand averaged waveform to large, high-contrast gratings in children with autism (blue) and neurotypical children (green). The shaded lines represent the standard error of the mean amplitude at each time point. (Panel B) Autism Spectrum Disorder vs. Neurotypical Grand Average ERP Plot where the solid lines represent the grand averaged waveform to small, high-contrast gratings in children with autism (blue) and neurotypical children (green). The shaded lines represent the standard error of the mean amplitude at each time point.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles

References

    1. Association A.P. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. American Psychiatric Publishing; Arlington, VA, USA: 2013.
    1. Weitlauf A.S., Sathe N., McPheeters M.L., Warren Z.E. Interventions targeting sensory challenges in autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. Pediatrics. 2017;139:e20170347. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-0347. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Klin A., Shultz S., Jones W. Social visual engagement in infants and toddlers with autism: Early developmental transitions and a model of pathogenesis. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 2015;50:189–203. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.10.006. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Simon D.M., Wallace M.T. Dysfunction of sensory oscillations in autism spectrum disorder. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 2016;68:848–861. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.07.016. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Sacrey L.A., Armstrong V.L., Bryson S.E., Zwaigenbaum L. Impairments to visual disengagement in autism spectrum disorder: A review of experimental studies from infancy to adulthood. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 2014;47:559–577. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.10.011. - DOI - PubMed
Feedback