Reduced auditory cortical adaptation in autism spectrum disorder

Rachel Millin, Tamar Kolodny, Anastasia V. Flevaris, Alexander M. Kale, Michael Paul Schallmo, Jennifer Gerdts, Raphael A. Bernier, Scott Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Adaptation is a fundamental property of cortical neurons and has been suggested to be altered in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used fMRI to measure adaptation induced by repeated audio-visual stimulation in early sensory cortical areas in individuals with ASD and neurotypical (NT) controls. The initial transient responses were equivalent between groups in both visual and auditory cortices and when stimulation occurred with fixed-interval and randomized-interval timing. However, in auditory but not visual cortex, the post-transient sustained response was greater in individuals with ASD than NT controls in the fixed-interval timing condition, reflecting reduced adaptation. Further, individual differences in the sustained response in auditory cortex correlated with ASD symptom severity. These findings are consistent with hypotheses that ASD is associated with increased neural responsiveness but that responsiveness differences only manifest after repeated stimulation, are specific to the temporal pattern of stimulation, and are confined to specific cortical regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere36493
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

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