Postersession 3
Poster #: 33
Topic: Development (infancy, childhood, adolescence, and aging)
Friday, Sep 11, 2015
1st floor

Psychophysiological correlates of developmental changes in healthy and autistic boys

Benjamin Weismüller, Renate Thienel, Anne-Marie Youlden, Ross Fulham, Michael Koch, & Ulrich Schall1

1PRC Translational Neuroscience & Mental Health Research, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia

This study investigated neurodevelopmental changes in sound processing by recording Mismatch Negativity (MMN) in response to various degrees of sound complexity in 18 mildly to moderately autistic versus 15 healthy boys aged between 6 to 15 years. Autistic boys presented with lower IQ and poor performance on a range of executive and social function measures when compared to their healthy counterparts. We found that MMN in response to duration deviants was less lateralized in the clinical group whereas larger amplitudes correlated with advanced age, thus capturing neurodevelopmental changes. Larger MMN in response to speech-like sound deviants was associated with better verbal fluency and executive function performance, respectively, but did not reliably discriminate the two groups. Our findings suggest that MMN amplitudes do not differ between healthy and autistic boys and equally capture brain maturation and associated cognitive ability in both groups.