Pubmed du 04/02/20

mardi 4 février 2020

1. Barzy M, Filik R, Williams D, Ferguson HJ. Emotional Processing of Ironic Versus Literal Criticism in Autistic and Nonautistic Adults : Evidence From Eye-Tracking. Autism Res. 2020.

Typically developing adults are able to keep track of story characters’ emotional states online while reading. Filik et al. showed that initially, participants expected the victim to be more hurt by ironic comments than literal, but later considered them less hurtful ; ironic comments were regarded as more amusing. We examined these processes in autistic adults, since previous research has demonstrated socio-emotional difficulties among autistic people, which may lead to problems processing irony and its related emotional processes despite an intact ability to integrate language in context. We recorded eye movements from autistic and nonautistic adults while they read narratives in which a character (the victim) was either criticized in an ironic or a literal manner by another character (the protagonist). A target sentence then either described the victim as feeling hurt/amused by the comment, or the protagonist as having intended to hurt/amused the victim by making the comment. Results from the nonautistic adults broadly replicated the key findings from Filik et al., supporting the two-stage account. Importantly, the autistic adults did not show comparable two-stage processing of ironic language ; they did not differentiate between the emotional responses for victims or protagonists following ironic versus literal criticism. These findings suggest that autistic people experience a specific difficulty taking into account other peoples’ communicative intentions (i.e., infer their mental state) to appropriately anticipate emotional responses to an ironic comment. We discuss how these difficulties might link to atypical socio-emotional processing in autism, and the ability to maintain successful real-life social interactions. LAY SUMMARY : In line with research showing that autistic people have difficulties considering others’ mental states, we found autistic adults were impaired at distinguishing the emotions and intentions experienced by story characters who received sarcastic comments (e.g., "That was fantastic parking" in a context where someone’s parking was particularly bad). These findings highlight the difficulties that autistic people experience taking into account other peoples’ intentions during communication to appropriately anticipate their emotional responses. (c) 2020 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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2. Gasparini S, Del Vecchio G, Gioiosa S, Flati T, Castrignano T, Legnini I, Licursi V, Ricceri L, Scattoni ML, Rinaldi A, Presutti C, Mannironi C. Differential Expression of Hippocampal Circular RNAs in the BTBR Mouse Model for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mol Neurobiol. 2020.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental condition with unknown etiology. Recent experimental evidences suggest the contribution of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in the pathophysiology of ASD. In this work, we aimed to investigate the expression profile of the ncRNA class of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in the hippocampus of the BTBR T + tf/J (BTBR) mouse model and age-matched C57BL/6J (B6) mice. Alongside, we analyzed BTBR hippocampal gene expression profile to evaluate possible correlations between the differential abundance of circular and linear gene products. From RNA sequencing data, we identified circRNAs highly modulated in BTBR mice. Thirteen circRNAs and their corresponding linear isoforms were validated by RT-qPCR analysis. The BTBR-regulated circCdh9 was better characterized in terms of molecular structure and expression, highlighting altered levels not only in the hippocampus, but also in the cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala. Finally, gene expression analysis of the BTBR hippocampus pinpointed altered biological and molecular pathways relevant for the ASD phenotype. By comparison of circRNA and gene expression profiles, we identified 6 genes significantly regulated at either circRNA or mRNA gene products, suggesting low overall correlation between circRNA and host gene expression. In conclusion, our results indicate a consistent deregulation of circRNA expression in the hippocampus of BTBR mice. ASD-related circRNAs should be considered in functional studies to identify their contribution to the etiology of the disorder. In addition, as abundant and highly stable molecules, circRNAs represent interesting potential biomarkers for autism.

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3. Miodrag N, Richards DA, Fedoroff JP, Watson SL. Sex and genes, part 2 : A biopsychosocial approach to assess and treat challenging sexual behavior in persons with intellectual disabilities including fragile X syndrome and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Behavioral sciences & the law. 2020.

Individuals with intellectual disabilities (IDs) - and specifically those with genetic disorders - are more prone to medical and psychological challenges that affect their sexual development, experiences, and fertility. In this review paper we first provide an overview of the biopsychosocial (BPS) model and then explain how the model can guide and improve the assessment and treatment of challenging sexual behaviors by persons with IDs. We discuss two genetic conditions - fragile X syndrome and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome - in case studies, showing how the BPS model can be used to assess and treat the sexual problems of individuals with various types of ID. We conclude with BPS-formulated treatment considerations in three key domains : biomedical treatment (e.g., medication side effects ; stopping or changing medications), psychological treatment (e.g., providing psychological therapies), and socio-environmental interventions (e.g., providing socio-sexual education and staff training). Together, these treatment interventions can aid clinicians to prevent and/or treat problematic sexual behaviors of people with IDs.

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4. Ruel A, Chiarella SS, Crivello C, Poulin-Dubois D. Concurrent Validity of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) : Socio-cognitive and Verbal Skills in 18-Month-Old Infants. J Autism Dev Disord. 2020.

The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) is a screening questionnaire for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Previous findings have confirmed the M-CHAT’s sensitivity and specificity across several cultures, yet few studies have considered M-CHAT scores as a distributed trait in a sample of typical infants. The current study examined how the M-CHAT predicts concurrent word learning (experiment 1) as well as socio-emotional understanding (experiment 2) in 18-month-old infants. Results demonstrated that the number of items endorsed on the M-CHAT negatively correlated with the proportion of trials on which infants looked at a toy named by the experimenter as well as performance on the word learning task. In experiment 2, high scores on the M-CHAT correlated with less instrumental helping, less imitation, and a smaller productive vocabulary size.

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5. Wada M, Ide M, Ikeda H, Sano M, Tanaka A, Suzuki M, Agarie H, Kim S, Tajima S, Nishimaki K, Fukatsu R, Nakajima Y, Miyazaki M. Cutaneous and stick rabbit illusions in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Sci Rep. 2020 ; 10(1) : 1665.

Prediction is the process by which future events are anticipated based on past events ; in contrast, postdiction is the retrospective interpretation of past events based on latter, more recent events. The prediction and postdiction are suggested to be similar based on theoretical models. Previous studies suggest that prediction is impaired in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, it is unclear whether postdiction is also impaired in individuals with ASD. In this study, we evaluated postdiction in individuals with ASD using the cutaneous and stick rabbit illusion paradigms in which the perceived location of a touch shifts postdictively in response to a subsequent touch stimulus. We observed significant cutaneous and stick rabbit illusion in both typically developing (TD) and ASD groups ; therefore, postdiction was functional in individuals with ASD. Our present results suggest that postdiction involves a different neuronal process than prediction. We also observed that the ASD group exhibited significantly larger individual difference compared with the TD group in the stick rabbit illusion, which is considered to reflect extension of body schema to external objects. We discuss implications of the individual difference among the ASD participants in the context of sports requiring interactions between the body and external objects.

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