Functional EEG connectivity in infants associates with later restricted and repetitive behaviours in autism; a replication study

the BASIS TEAM, Rianne Haartsen, Emily J.H. Jones, Elena V. Orekhova, Tony Charman, Mark H. Johnson, S. Baron-Cohen, R. Bedford, A. Blasi, P. Bolton, S. Chandler, C. Cheung, K. Davies, M. Elsabbagh, J. Fernandes, I. Gammer, H. Garwood, T. Gliga, J. Guiraud, K. HudryM. Liew, S. Lloyd-Fox, H. Maris, L. O’Hara, G. Pasco, A. Pickles, H. Ribeiro, E. Salomone, L. Tucker, A. Volein

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Abstract

We conducted a replication study of our prior report that increased alpha EEG connectivity at 14-months associates with later autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis, and dimensional variation in restricted interests/repetitive behaviours. 143 infants at high and low familial risk for ASD watched dynamic videos of spinning toys and women singing nursery rhymes while high-density EEG was recorded. Alpha functional connectivity (7–8 Hz) was calculated using the debiased weighted phase lag index. The final sample with clean data included low-risk infants (N = 20), and high-risk infants who at 36 months showed either typical development (N = 47), atypical development (N = 21), or met criteria for ASD (N = 13). While we did not replicate the finding that global EEG connectivity associated with ASD diagnosis, we did replicate the association between higher functional connectivity at 14 months and greater severity of restricted and repetitive behaviours at 36 months in infants who met criteria for ASD. We further showed that this association is strongest for the circumscribed interests subdomain. We propose that structural and/or functional abnormalities in frontal-striatal circuits underlie the observed association. This is the first replicated infant neural predictor of dimensional variation in later ASD symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number66
Number of pages1
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2019

Cite this

TEAM, T. BASIS., Haartsen, R., Jones, E. J. H., Orekhova, E. V., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H., Baron-Cohen, S., Bedford, R., Blasi, A., Bolton, P., Chandler, S., Cheung, C., Davies, K., Elsabbagh, M., Fernandes, J., Gammer, I., Garwood, H., Gliga, T., Guiraud, J., ... Volein, A. (2019). Functional EEG connectivity in infants associates with later restricted and repetitive behaviours in autism; a replication study. Translational Psychiatry, 9(1), [66]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0380-2