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Acoustic Hyper-Reactivity and Negatively Skewed Locomotor Activity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Exploratory Study
National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.
University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.
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2018 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychiatry, ISSN 1664-0640, E-ISSN 1664-0640, Vol. 9, article id 355Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Investigation of objective and quantitative behavioral phenotypes along with neurobiological endophenotypes might lead to increased knowledge of the mechanisms that underlie autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Here, we investigated the association between locomotor dynamics and characteristics of the acoustic startle response (ASR) and its modulation in ASD (n = 14) and typically developing (TD, n = 13) children. The ASR was recorded in response to acoustic stimuli in increments of 10 dB (65-105 dB SPL). We calculated the average ASR magnitude for each stimulus intensity and peak-ASR latency. Locomotor activity was continuously measured with a watch-type actigraph. We examined statistics of locomotor activity, such as mean activity levels and the skewness of activity. Children with ASD had a significantly greater ASR magnitude in response to a weak acoustic stimulus, which reflects acoustic hyper-reactivity. The skewness of all-day activity was significantly more negative in children with ASD than those with TD. Skewness of daytime activity was also more negative, although only of borderline statistical significance. For all children, the higher mean and more negatively skewed daytime activity, reflecting hyperactivity that was associated with sporadic large daytime "troughs," was significantly correlated with acoustic hyper-reactivity. The more negatively skewed locomotor activity occurring in the daytime was also associated with impaired sensorimotor gating, examined as prepulse inhibition at a prepulse intensity of 70 dB. This comprehensive investigation of locomotor dynamics and the ASR extends our understanding of the neurophysiology that underlies ASD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 9, article id 355
Keywords [en]
acoustic hyper-reactivity, acoustic startle reflex, autism spectrum disorders, endophenotypes, locomotor activity, prepulse inhibition, sensorimotor gating
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-36135DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00355ISI: 000440798400002PubMedID: 30127755Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85054930338OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-36135DiVA, id: diva2:1242225
Available from: 2018-08-27 Created: 2018-08-27 Last updated: 2019-11-06Bibliographically approved

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