By Kevin A. Pelphrey
Defining Autism Spectrum Disorder
Defining the Social Brain
Current Understanding of Social Perception in ASD
Exploring Diversity in ASD
Atypical Brain Development Before the Emergence of Atypical Behavior
Hope for Improved Outcomes
- Web: American Psychiatric Association’s website for the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
- Web: Autism Science Foundation - organization supporting autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.
- Web: Autism Speaks - Autism science and advocacy organization
- A characteristic that reflects a genetic liability for disease and a more basic component of a complex clinical presentation. Endophenotypes are less developmentally malleable than overt behavior.
- Event-related potentials (ERP)
- Measures the firing of groups of neurons in the cortex. As a person views or listens to specific types of information, neuronal activity creates small electrical currents that can be recorded from non-invasive sensors placed on the scalp. ERP provides excellent information about the timing of processing, clarifying brain activity at the millisecond pace at which it unfolds.
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
- Entails the use of powerful magnets to measure the levels of oxygen within the brain that vary with changes in neural activity. That is, as the neurons in specific brain regions “work harder” when performing a specific task, they require more oxygen. By having people listen to or view social percepts in an MRI scanner, fMRI specifies the brain regions that evidence a relative increase in blood flow. In this way, fMRI provides excellent spatial information, pinpointing with millimeter accuracy, the brain regions most critical for different social processes.
- Social brain
- The set of neuroanatomical structures that allows us to understand the actions and intentions of other people.