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Authors
J. Christopher Edgar, imageMatthew R. Lanza, Aleksandra B. Daina, Justin F. Monroe, imageSarah Y. Khan, Lisa Blaskey, Katelyn M. Cannon, Julian Jenkins III, Saba Qasmieh, Susan E. Levy and Timothy P. L. Roberts

Eye gaze following is an autism endophenotype for males but not females

publication date
06 June 2014
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Abstract/Introduction

Background: The development of left and right superior temporal gyrus (STG) 50 ms (M50) and 100 ms (M100) auditory responses in typically developing (TD) children and in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was examined. Reflecting differential development of primary/secondary auditory areas and supporting previous studies, it was hypothesized that whereas left and right M50 STG responses would be observed equally often in younger and older children, left and right M100 STG responses would more often be absent in younger than older children. In ASD, delayed neurodevelopment would be indicated via the observation of a greater proportion of ASD than TD subjects showing missing M100 but not M50 responses in both age groups. Missing M100 responses would be observed primarily in children with ASD with language impairment (ASD + LI) (and perhaps concomitantly lower general cognitive abilities).

Methods: Thirty-five TD controls, 63 ASD without language impairment (ASD − LI), and 38 ASD + LI were recruited. Binaural tones were presented. The presence or absence of a STG M50 and M100 was scored. Subjects were grouped into younger (6–10 years old) and older groups (11–15 years old).


Conclusion/Results

Results: Although M50 responses were observed equally often in older and younger subjects and equally often in TD and ASD, left and right M50 responses were delayed in ASD − LI and ASD + LI. Group comparisons showed that in younger subjects M100 responses were observed more often in TD than ASD + LI (90 versus 66%, p = 0.04), with no differences between TD and ASD − LI (90 versus 76%, p = 0.14) or between ASD − LI and ASD + LI (76 versus 66%, p = 0.53). In older subjects, whereas no differences were observed between TD and ASD + LI, responses were observed more often in ASD − LI than ASD + LI. Findings were similar when splitting the ASD group into lower- and higher-cognitive functioning groups.

Conclusion: Although present in all groups, M50 responses were delayed in ASD. Examining the TD data, findings indicated that by 11 years, a right M100 should be observed in 100% of subjects and a left M100 in 80% of subjects. Thus, by 11 years, lack of a left and especially right M100 offers neurobiological insight into sensory processing that may underlie language or cognitive impairment.


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I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


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Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


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