AbbreviationsANSAutonomic nervous systemASDAutism Spectrum DisorderCN IICranial nerve II–optic nerveCNIIICranial nerve III–oculomotor nerveEDAElectrodermal activityfMRIFunctional magnetic resonance imagingHRVHeart rate variabilityLCLocus coeruleusMRIMagnetic resonance imagingNENorepinephrinePLRPupillary light reflexPRTPupil reflex testRSARespiratory sinus arrhythmiaTDTypically developingIntroductionSince early descriptions of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) documented by Leo Kanner , associated behaviors have included behavioral dysregulation and hyper‐ or hypo‐arousal to environmental stimuli [Ben‐Sasson, Cermak, Orsmond, Tager‐Flusberg, Kadlec, & Carter, 2008; Gomot et al., ]. These behaviors frequently interfere with engagement with caregivers, resulting in a negative impact on learning and language acquisition. Therefore, behavioral intervention is aimed at reducing behavioral dysregulation and promoting pre‐linguistic behaviors necessary for positive social interactions [National Autism Center, ; Vismara & Rogers, ; Dawson, ; Koegel & Kern Koegel, ; Strain & Schwartz, ]. Hyperarousal in the absence of conditioned stimuli suggests dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) contributes to observable behaviors characteristic of ASD symptomology. Hypervigilant responding has been documented in ASD in response to visual stimuli depicting images of faces and body postures representing “social threat cues” [deGelder, ], and to images of facial expressions [Tottenham et al., ; Dawson, Webb, Carver, Panagiotides, & McPartland, ]. Neural circuits mediated by the thalamic‐amygdala pathway influencing hypervigilant responding have been implicated in
Autism Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
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