Pubmed du 12/02/09

mercredi 11 février 2009

1. Bowler DM, Limoges E, Mottron L. Different Verbal Learning Strategies in Autism Spectrum Disorder : Evidence from the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. J Autism Dev Disord ;2009 (Feb 10)

The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, which requires the free recall of the same list of 15 unrelated words over 5 trials, was administered to 21 high-functioning adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 21 matched typical individuals. The groups showed similar overall levels of free recall, rates of learning over trials and subjective organisation of their recall. However, the primacy portion of the serial position curve of the ASD participants showed slower growth over trials than that of the typical participants. The implications of this finding for our understanding of memory in ASD are discussed.

2. Green D, Charman T, Pickles A, Chandler S, Loucas T, Simonoff E, Baird G. Impairment in movement skills of children with autistic spectrum disorders. Dev Med Child Neurol ;2009 (Jan 29)

Aim We undertook this study to explore the degree of impairment in movement skills in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and a wide IQ range. Method Movement skills were measured using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC) in a large, well defined, population-derived group of children (n=101 : 89 males,12 females ; mean age 11y 4mo, SD 10mo ; range 10y-14y 3mo) with childhood autism and broader ASD and a wide range of IQ scores. Additionally, we tested whether a parent-completed questionnaire, the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCDQ), was useful in identifying children who met criteria for movement impairments after assessment (n=97 with complete M-ABCs and DCDQs). Results Of the children with ASD, 79% had definite movement impairments on the M-ABC ; a further 10% had borderline problems. Children with childhood autism were more impaired than children with broader ASD, and children with an IQ less than 70 were more impaired than those with IQ more than 70. This is consistent with the view that movement impairments may arise from a more severe neurological impairment that also contributes to intellectual disability and more severe autism. Movement impairment was not associated with everyday adaptive behaviour once the effect of IQ was controlled for. The DCDQ performed moderately well as a screen for possible motor difficulties. Interpretation Movement impairments are common in children with ASD. Systematic assessment of movement abilities should be considered a routine investigation.

3. Grossman RB, Schneps MH, Tager-Flusberg H. Slipped lips : onset asynchrony detection of auditory-visual language in autism. J Child Psychol Psychiatry ;2008 (Dec 17)

Background : It has frequently been suggested that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have deficits in auditory-visual (AV) sensory integration. Studies of language integration have mostly used non-word syllables presented in congruent and incongruent AV combinations and demonstrated reduced influence of visual speech in individuals with ASD. The aim of our study was to test whether adolescents with high-functioning autism are able to integrate AV information of meaningful, phrase-length language in a task of onset asynchrony detection. Methods : Participants were 25 adolescents with ASD and 25 typically developing (TD) controls. The stimuli were video clips of complete phrases using simple, commonly occurring words. The clips were digitally manipulated to have the video precede the corresponding audio by 0, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 video frames, a range of 0-500ms. Participants were shown the video clips in random order and asked to indicate whether each clip was in-synch or not. Results : There were no differences between adolescents with ASD and their TD peers in accuracy of onset asynchrony detection at any slip rate. Conclusion : These data indicate that adolescents with ASD are able to integrate auditory and visual components in a task of onset asynchrony detection using natural, phrase-length language stimuli. We propose that the meaningful nature of the language stimuli in combination with presentation in a non-distracting environment allowed adolescents with autism spectrum disorder to demonstrate preserved accuracy for bi-modal AV integration.

4. Koren-Karie N, Oppenheim D, Dolev S, Yirmiya N. Mothers of securely attached children with autism spectrum disorder are more sensitive than mothers of insecurely attached children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry ;2009 (Jan 12)

In the current study we examined the links between maternal sensitivity and children’s secure attachment in a sample of 45 preschool-age boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We hypothesized that mothers of securely attached children would be more sensitive to their children than mothers of insecurely attached children. Children’s attachment was assessed using Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Procedure (SSP ; Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). Mothers’ sensitivity and children’s responsiveness to their mothers were assessed using the Emotional Availability Scales (Biringen, Robinson, & Emde, 1993). The findings supported our hypothesis : mothers of securely attached children were more sensitive to their children even when controlling for the severity of children’s diagnosis (Autism Disorder vs. Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)), children’s level of functioning (high vs. low), and children’s levels of responsiveness. The significance of sensitivity for security of attachment in ASD and the implications of these findings for the validity of the SSP in children with ASD are discussed.

5. Kuusikko S, Haapsamo H, Jansson-Verkasalo E, Hurtig T, Mattila ML, Ebeling H, Jussila K, Bolte S, Moilanen I. Emotion Recognition in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord ;2009 (Feb 10)

We examined upper facial basic emotion recognition in 57 subjects with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (M = 13.5 years) and 33 typically developing controls (M = 14.3 years) by using a standardized computer-aided measure (The Frankfurt Test and Training of Facial Affect Recognition, FEFA). The ASD group scored lower than controls on the total scores of FEFA and perceived ambiguous stimuli more often as a negative emotion. The older ASD group (>/=12 years) performed better than the younger ASD group (<12 years) on the blended emotions of FEFA. The results support the findings that individuals with ASD have difficulties in emotion recognition. However, older subjects with ASD seem to have better skills than younger subjects with ASD.

6. Lind SE, Bowler DM. Language and Theory of Mind in Autism Spectrum Disorder : The Relationship Between Complement Syntax and False Belief Task Performance. J Autism Dev Disord ;2009 (Feb 10)

This study aimed to test the hypothesis that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use their knowledge of complement syntax as a means of "hacking out" solutions to false belief tasks, despite lacking a representational theory of mind (ToM). Participants completed a "memory for complements" task, a measure of receptive vocabulary, and traditional location change and unexpected contents false belief tasks. Consistent with predictions, the correlation between complement syntax score and location change task performance was significantly stronger within the ASD group than within the comparison group. However, contrary to predictions, complement syntax score was not significantly correlated with unexpected contents task performance within either group. Possible explanations for this pattern of results are considered.

7. Oosterling IJ, Swinkels SH, van der Gaag RJ, Visser JC, Dietz C, Buitelaar JK. Comparative Analysis of Three Screening Instruments for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Toddlers at High Risk. J Autism Dev Disord ;2009 (Feb 10)

Several instruments have been developed to screen for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in high-risk populations. However, few studies compare different instruments in one sample. Data were gathered from the Early Screening of Autistic Traits Questionnaire, Social Communication Questionnaire, Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales-Developmental Profile, Infant-Toddler Checklist and key items of the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers in 238 children (mean age = 29.6 months, SD = 6.4) at risk for ASD. Discriminative properties are compared in the whole sample and in two age groups separately (8-24 months and 25-44 months). No instrument or individual item shows satisfying power in discriminating ASD from non-ASD, but pros and cons of instruments and items are discussed and directions for future research are proposed.

8. Snow AV, Lecavalier L, Houts C. The structure of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised : diagnostic and phenotypic implications. J Child Psychol Psychiatry ;2008 (Dec 9)

Background : Multivariate statistics can assist in refining the nosology and diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and also contribute important information for genetic studies. The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is one of the most widely used assessment instruments in the field of PDD. The current study investigated its factor structure and convergence with measures of adaptive, language, and intellectual functioning. Methods : Analyses were conducted on 1,861 individuals with PDD between the ages of 4 and 18 years (mean = 8.3, SD = 3.2). ADI-R scores were submitted to confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Analyses were conducted according to verbal status (n = 1,329 verbal, n = 532 nonverbal) and separately for algorithm items only and for all items. ADI-R scores were correlated with scores on measures of adaptive, language, and intellectual functioning. Results : Several factor solutions were examined and compared. CFAs suggested that two- and three-factor solutions were similar, and slightly superior to a one-factor solution. EFAs and measures of internal consistency provided some support for a two-factor solution consisting of social and communication behaviors and restricted and repetitive behaviors. Measures of functioning were not associated with ADI-R domain scores in nonverbal children, but negatively correlated in verbal children. Conclusions : Overall, data suggested that autism symptomatology can be explained statistically with a two-domain model. It also pointed to different symptoms susceptible to be helpful in linkage analyses. Implications of a two-factor model are discussed.

9. Tropea D, Giacometti E, Wilson NR, Beard C, McCurry C, Fu DD, Flannery R, Jaenisch R, Sur M. Partial reversal of Rett Syndrome-like symptoms in MeCP2 mutant mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ;2009 (Feb 10) ;106(6):2029-2034.

10. Williams DM, Happe F. What Did I Say ? Versus What Did I Think ? Attributing False Beliefs to Self Amongst Children With and Without Autism. J Autism Dev Disord ;2009 (Feb 10)

The task used most widely to assess recognition of false belief in self and others is the ’Smarties’ unexpected contents task. Amongst individuals with and without autism, the Self and Other-person test questions of this task are of an equivalent level of difficulty. However, a potential confound with this task may allow the Self test question to be passed without false belief competence. Three groups of participants (with autism, developmental disability and typical development) undertook a new unexpected contents task which did not suffer from this confound. The main finding was that participants with autism performed significantly less well on the Self test question than the Other-person test question on this new task. Individuals with autism may have greater difficulty representing their own beliefs than the beliefs of other people.


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