Auditory sensory processing in autism: A magnetoencephalographic study

Franca Tecchio, Francesca Benassi, Filippo Zappasodi, Leonardo Emberti Gialloreti, Mark Palermo, Stefano Seri, Paolo Maria Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Patients with autism show clinical features suggestive of abnormal processing of auditory and other sensory information. We hypothesized that low-functioning autistic subjects present abnormalities in discriminating simple auditory stimuli at sensory system preconscious stages of cortical processing. Methods: To verify our hypothesis, we used magnetoencephalographic measurements of mismatch field (MMF), which reflects the detection of a change in the physical characteristics of a repetitive sound. Fourteen patients (aged 8-32 years) who met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder participated in an auditory oddball experiment. Ten healthy participants matched for age and gender acted as control subjects. Results: Significant differences in cerebral responses between patients and control subjects were recorded. Whereas control subjects showed a clearly identifiable MMF, with distinct generators in the M100 brain wave with regard to latency, position, and strength, no identifiable MMF was present in the autistic group. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that low-functioning autistic subjects present a dysfunction at preconscious stages of cortical auditory discrimination, playing a role in the abnormal processing of auditory sensory afferences. The attention independence of the MMF allows for exclusion of an effect related to impaired attention or task-related responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-654
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume54
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2003

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Keywords

  • Autism
  • Automatic neural mismatch
  • Cortical discrimination ability
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Mismatch field
  • Sensory impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Tecchio, F., Benassi, F., Zappasodi, F., Gialloreti, L. E., Palermo, M., Seri, S., & Rossini, P. M. (2003). Auditory sensory processing in autism: A magnetoencephalographic study. Biological Psychiatry, 54(6), 647-654. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3223(03)00295-6

Auditory sensory processing in autism : A magnetoencephalographic study. / Tecchio, Franca; Benassi, Francesca; Zappasodi, Filippo; Gialloreti, Leonardo Emberti; Palermo, Mark; Seri, Stefano; Rossini, Paolo Maria.

In: Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 54, No. 6, 15.09.2003, p. 647-654.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tecchio, F, Benassi, F, Zappasodi, F, Gialloreti, LE, Palermo, M, Seri, S & Rossini, PM 2003, 'Auditory sensory processing in autism: A magnetoencephalographic study', Biological Psychiatry, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 647-654. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3223(03)00295-6
Tecchio F, Benassi F, Zappasodi F, Gialloreti LE, Palermo M, Seri S et al. Auditory sensory processing in autism: A magnetoencephalographic study. Biological Psychiatry. 2003 Sep 15;54(6):647-654. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3223(03)00295-6
Tecchio, Franca ; Benassi, Francesca ; Zappasodi, Filippo ; Gialloreti, Leonardo Emberti ; Palermo, Mark ; Seri, Stefano ; Rossini, Paolo Maria. / Auditory sensory processing in autism : A magnetoencephalographic study. In: Biological Psychiatry. 2003 ; Vol. 54, No. 6. pp. 647-654.
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