• This study introduces an objective neurophysiological marker of language ability, the integral of event-related desynchronization in the 5–20 Hz band during 0.2–1 seconds post auditory stimulation with interleaved word/non-word tokens. This measure correlates with clinical assessment of language function in both ASD and neurotypical pediatric populations. The measure does not appear related to general cognitive ability nor autism symptom severity (beyond degree of language impairment). We suggest that this oscillatory brain activity indexes lexical search and thus increases with increased search in the mental lexicon. While specificity for language impairment in ASD remains to be determined, such an objective index has potential utility in low functioning individuals with ASD and young children during language acquisition.
  • 47,XYY syndrome (XYY) is a male sex chromosome disorder where individuals have an X chromosome and two copies of the Y chromosome. XYY is associated with a physical phenotype and carries increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Latencies of auditory evoked responses measured by magnetoencephalography have shown atypical prolongations in several neuropsychiatric and genetic disorders; specifically, delayed auditory responses have been observed in ASD. In this study, we investigated the associations of genotype and clinical phenotype with auditory processing. Whole cortex magnetoencephalography recorded during a passive auditory paradigm (500 Hz tones) was used to assess the auditory evoked response in three groups of male children: idiopathic ASD, typically developing, and XYY boys. Response waveforms were computed for left and right auditory cortex and latencies of the ∼50 ms (M50) and ∼100 ms (M100) components were determined. M50 latencies were significantly delayed compared with typically developing controls in children with ASD in the right hemisphere only, and in children with XYY in the left hemisphere only, irrespective of whether they met diagnostic criteria for ASD. Findings on the later M100 component trended in the same directions but did not attain significance, due to increased variance. Replicating previous findings, decreased M50 and M100 latencies with age were observed bilaterally. Overall, while XYY shares an electrophysiological phenotype (delayed evoked response latency) with idiopathic ASD, the hemispheric differences warrant further investigation.

  • Chen YH., Saby J., Kuschner E., Gaetz W., Edgar JC., Roberts TPL. Magnetoencephalography and the infant brain. Neuroimage, 2019, 189:445-458. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.01.059. PMID: 30685329
  • Edgar JC., Fisk CL., Chen, Y., Stone-Howell, B., Hunter MA., Huang MX., Bustillo JR., Canive JM., Miller GA. Identifying auditory cortex encoding abnormalities in schizophrenia: The utility of low-frequency versus 40 Hz steady-state measures. Psychophysiology, 2018 Aug; 55(8): e13074. PMID: 29570815.
  • Chen Y., Stone-Howell B., Edgar JC., Huang MX., Kochunov P., Hunter MA., Wootton C., Lu BY., Bustillo J., Sadek JR., Miller GA., Canive JM. Associations and heritability of auditory encoding, gray matter, and attention in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2018 Aug; doi: 10.1093/schbul/sby111. PMID: 30099543.
  • Chen, Y., Saby, J., Kuschner, E.S., Gaetz, W., Edgar, J.C., Roberts., T.: Magnetoencephalography (MEG) of Infant Brain Development. NeuroImage. In press.
  • Maddox, B. B., Cleary, P., Kuschner, E. S., Miller, J., Armour, A. C., Guy, L., Kenworthy, L., Schultz, R.T. Yerys, B. E.: Lagging Skills Contribute to Challenging Behaviors in Children with Autism without Intellectual Disability. Autism. Epub ahead of print, doi:10.1177/1362361317712651.
  • Strang, J. F., Meagher, H., Kenworthy, L., de Vries, A. L. C., Menvielle, E., Leibowitz, S., Janssen, A., Cohen-Kettenis, P., Shumer, D.E., Edwards-Leeper, L., Pleak, R.R., Spack, N., Karasic, D.H., Schreier, H., Balleur, A., Tishelman, A., Ehrensaft, D., Rodnan, L., Kuschner, E.S., Mandel, F., Caretto, A., Lewis, H.C., Anthony, L.G.: Initial Clinical Guidelines for Co-Occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gender Dysphoria or Incongruence in Adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 47(1): 105-115, 2018. PubMed PMID: 27775428
  • Blaskey, L. and Malderelli, J. (2018). Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder. In E. Braaten (Ed) SAGE Encyclopedia of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.