Atypical sensory functioning in autism spectrum conditions

There have been studies of hypersensitivity to sensory responses in different sensory modalities, particularly vision and touch. The ARC was among the first to show superior visual search ability in people with autism or Asperger Syndrome and among their first degree relatives. We are testing if such sensory hypersensitivity is found irrespective of modality, using established methods from psychophysics. These include the measurement of sensory thresholds for detection of a stimulus, sensory discrimination between two stimuli, acuity, and adaptation. We are also relating sensory hypersensitivity to brain activity, using fMRI, and to genetic variation, testing for association with SNPs in candidate genes. Finally, we are interested to understand the relationship between the 'low-level' atypical sensory functioning in autism and the 'higher-level' cognitive differences (e.g., in empathy or systemizing).


Selected References

716: J Freyberg, C Robertson, S Baron-Cohen (2016)
Typical magnitude and spatial extent of crowding in autism
Journal of Vision 16(5):17

675: J. Freyberg, C. Robertson, S Baron-Cohen (2015)
Reduced perceptual exclusivity during object and grating rivalry in autism
Journal of Vision 15(13):11

581: T Tavassoli, L J Miller, S A Schoen, D M Nielsen, S Baron-Cohen (2014)
Sensory over-responsivity in adults with autism spectrum conditions
Autism 18(4):428-432

583: C Robertson, D Kravitz, J Freyberg, S Baron-Cohen, C Baker (2013)
Slower Rate of Binocular Rivalry in Autism
The Journal of Neuroscience 33(43):16983-16991

580: X Sun, C Allison, B Auyeung, F Matthews, S Baron-Cohen, C Brayne (2013)
Service provision for autism in mainland China: Preliminary mapping of service pathways
Social Science & Medicine 98:87-94

549: A Catarino, A Andrade, O Churches, A P Wagner, S Baron-Cohen Howard Ring (2013)
Task-related functional connectivity in autism spectrum conditions: an EEG study using wavelet transform coherence
Molecular Autism 4:1

546: K Latham, S T L Chung, P M Allen, T Tavassoli, S Baron-Cohen (2013)
Spatial localisation in autism: evidence for differences in early cortical visual processing
Molecular Autism 4:4

544: E. Sucksmith, C.Allison, S.Baron-Cohen, B.Chakrabarti, R.A.Hoekstra (2013)
Empathy and emotion recognition in people with autism, first-degree relatives, and controls
Neuropsychologia 51:98-105

552: C. E. Robertson, A. Martin, C. I. Baker, S Baron-Cohen (2012)
Atypical Integration of Motion Signals in Autism Spectrum Conditions
PLoS ONE 7(11):e48173

540: M Spencer, R J Holt, L R Chura, A J Calder, J Suckling, E T Bullmore, S Baron-Cohen (2012)
Atypical activation during the Embedded Figures Task as a functional magnetic resonance imaging endophenotype of autism
Brain 135:3469-3480

535: T Tavassoli, B Auyeung, L C Murphy, S Baron-Cohen B Chakrabarti (2012)
Variation in the autism candidate gene GABRB3 modulates tactile sensitivity in typically developing children
Molecular Autism 3:6

521: T. Tavassoli, S. Baron-Cohen (2012)
Taste Identification in Adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 42:1419-1424

519: A. Catarino, O. Churches, S. Baron-Cohen, A. Andrade, H. Ring (2011)
Atypical EEG complexity in autism spectrum conditions: A multiscale entropy analysis
Clinical Neurophysiology 122:2375-2383

384: S. J. Blakemore, T. Tavassoli, S. Calo, R. M. Thomas, C. Catmur, U. Frith and P. Haggard (2006)
Tactile sensitivity in Asperger syndrome
Brain and Cognition 61:5-13

341: M. Gomot, F. A. Bernard, M. H. Davis, M. K. Belmonte, C. Ashwin, E. T. Bullmore and S. Baron- Cohen (2006)
Change detection in children with autism: an auditory event-related fMRI study
NeuroImage 29:475-484

356: M. Gomot, M. Giardi, J. Adrien, C. Barthelemy and N. Bruneau (2002)
Hypersensitivity to acoustic change in children with autism: Electrophysiological evidence of left frontal cortex dysfunctioning
Psychophysiology 39:577-584

109: K. Plaisted, M. O'Riordan and S. Baron-Cohen (1998)
Enhanced Visual Search for a Conjunctive Target in Autism: A Research Note
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 39(5):777-783

108: K. Plaisted, M. O'Riordan and S. Baron-Cohen (1998)
Enhanced Discrimination of Novel, Highly Similar Stimuli by Adults with Autism During a Perceptual Learning Task
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 39(5):765-775

88: T. Jolliffe and S. Baron-Cohen (1997)
Are People with Autism or Asperger Syndrome Faster Than Normal on the Embedded Figures Task?
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 38(5):527-534

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