Variability in Responding to Joint Attention Cues in the First Year is Associated With Autism Outcome

IBIS Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: With development, infants become increasingly responsive to the many attention-sharing cues of adults; however, little work has examined how this ability emerges in typical development or in the context of early autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study characterized variation in the type of cue needed to elicit a response to joint attention (RJA) using the Dimensional Joint Attention Assessment (DJAA) during naturalistic play. Method: We measured the average redundancy of cue type required for infants to follow RJA bids from an experimenter, as well as their response consistency, in 268 infants at high (HR, n = 68) and low (LR, N = 200) familial risk for ASD. Infants were assessed between 8 and 18 months of age and followed up with developmental and clinical assessments at 24 or 36 months. Our sample consisted of LR infants, as well as HR infants who did (HR-ASD) and did not (HR-neg) develop ASD at 24 months. Results: We found that HR and LR infants developed abilities to respond to less redundant (more sophisticated) RJA cues at different rates, and that HR-ASD infants displayed delayed abilities, identifiable as early as 9 months, compared to both HR-neg and LR infants. Interestingly, results suggest that HR-neg infants may exhibit a propensity to respond to less redundant (more sophisticated) RJA cues relative to both HR-ASD and LR infants. Conclusions: Using an approach to characterize variable performance of RJA cue-reading abilities, findings from this study enhance our understanding of both typical and ASD-related proficiencies and deficits in RJA development.

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is partially based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF - GRF) to I. Stallworthy (00074041). This study was made possible by a Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (R01 MH104324) to J. Elison; a National Institutes of Health Autism Center for Excellence (NIH - ACE) Network grant (R01 HD055741) to J. Piven; grants from Autism Speaks (#6020) and the Simons Foundation (#140209) to J. Piven; as well as U54 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers HD079124 to the University of North Carolina (J. Piven); HD087011 to Washington University (J. Constantino); HD86984 to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (R. Schultz); and HD083091 to the University of Washington (M. Guralnick).Disclosure: Drs. Berry, Wolff, Pruett, Jr., Botteron, Dager, Estes, Hazlett, Schultz, Zwaigenbaum, and Piven have received funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Drs. Wolff, Pruett, Jr., Marrus, Swanson, Botteron, Dager, Estes, Hazlett, Schultz, Zwaigenbaum, and Piven have received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Dager has received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Hazlett has received funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience, and the Simons Foundation. Dr. Piven has received grant or research support from the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the National Institutes of Health, NINDS, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Simons Foundation. He has served on the John Merck Fund Scientific Advisory Board. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. He is co-inventor of UNC file 16-0185, patent application PCT/US2017/040032, ?Methods, Systems, and Computer Readable Media for Utilizing Functional Connectivity Brain Imaging for Diagnosis of a Neurobehavioral Disorder.? Dr. Elison has received grant or research support from NIMH, NICHD, the Simons Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bezos Family Foundation, and Nestle Inc. Ms. Lasch has received funding from NSF. Ms. Stallworthy has reported no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest. Author Contributions Conceptualization: Piven, Elison Data curation: Elison Formal analysis: Stallworthy, Berry Funding acquisition: Piven, Elison Investigation: Elison Methodology: Berry, Elison Project administration: Elison Resources: Piven, Elison Supervision: Berry, Elison Validation: Elison Visualization: Stallworthy Writing ? original draft: Stallworthy Writing ? review and editing: Stallworthy, Lasch, Berry, Wolff, Pruett, Jr., Marrus, Swanson, Botteron, Dager, Estes, Hazlett, Schultz, Zwaigenbaum, Elison The Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Network is an NIH-funded Autism Center of Excellence project and consists of a consortium of 8 universities in the US and Canada. Clinical Sites: University of North Carolina: J. Piven (IBIS Network PI), H.C. Hazlett, C. Chappell; University of Washington: S. Dager, A. Estes, D. Shaw; Washington University: K. Botteron, R. McKinstry, J. Constantino, J. Pruett; Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: R. Schultz, J. Pandey; University of Alberta: L. Zwaigenbaum; University of Minnesota: J. Elison, J. Wolff; Data Coordinating Center: Montreal Neurological Institute: A.C. Evans, D.L. Collins, G.B. Pike, V. Fonov, S. Das, L. MacIntyre; Image Processing Core: University of Utah: G. Gerig; University of North Carolina: M. Styner; Statistical Analysis Core: University of North Carolina: H. Gu.

Funding Information:
This material is partially based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF - GRF) to I. Stallworthy (00074041). This study was made possible by a Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (R01 MH104324) to J. Elison; a National Institutes of Health Autism Center for Excellence (NIH - ACE) Network grant (R01 HD055741) to J. Piven; grants from Autism Speaks (#6020) and the Simons Foundation (#140209) to J. Piven; as well as U54 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers HD079124 to the University of North Carolina (J. Piven); HD087011 to Washington University (J. Constantino); HD86984 to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (R. Schultz); and HD083091 to the University of Washington (M. Guralnick).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • infant siblings
  • joint attention
  • non-verbal communication
  • response to joint attention

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Variability in Responding to Joint Attention Cues in the First Year is Associated With Autism Outcome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this