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EEG correlates of tactile perception abnormalities in children with autism spectrum disorder

Portnova, GV, McGlone, FP, Tankina, OA, Skorokhodov, IV, Shpitsberg, IL and Varlamov, AA (2019) EEG correlates of tactile perception abnormalities in children with autism spectrum disorder. Sovremennye Tehnologii v Medicine, 11 (1). pp. 169-174. ISSN 2076-4243

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The aim of the investigation was to study the changes in EEG power and behavioral responses to C-tactile stimulation in typically developing (TD) children and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Materials and Methods. EEG to manually delivered tactile stimuli was recorded for 79 children (ASD=39, TD=40) aged 5 to 10 years. CARS scores were obtained for each participant immediately before the recording session. The study involved recording resting EEG in eyes open condition within 1–2 min and collecting EEG response to tactile stimuli delivered pseudo-randomly for 3 experimental conditions (stroking with a soft brush, stroking with a harsh brush, and stimulation with a spiked roller delivered to the outer side of right forearm, stroking velocity was within 2–5 cm/s). Behavioral responses obtained by video recording during the experiment were assessed and coded. Behavioral responses were classified into 5 patterns: 1) signs of relaxation (facial gesture and body posture); 2) signs of resistance, attempts to withdraw the hand; 3) negative emotions, crying, shouting; 4) positive emotions, smile, laughter; 5) looking at the hand being stimulated. EEG power in 18 narrow frequency bands with a bandwidth of 1 Hz in a range of 2–20 Hz was analyzed. Results. The study revealed two types of response to tactile stimulation. The first type was not specific for particular tactile stimulation type, was accompanied by an increase in beta power (16–20 Hz) mainly in the left hemisphere and was more common in children with ASD. The second type of response was accompanied by an increase in frontal theta power (4–6 Hz) due to C-tactile system stimulation with a soft brush and was observed only in the TD children. The first type of response was accompanied by negative emotions and attempts to withdraw the hand, while the second type was characterized by relaxation. Conclusion. The response of children with ASD to all types of tactile stimulation accompanied by an increase in beta power can be associated with both hypersensitivity and stress reaction of these children to the experimental situation. Selective response to C-tactile stimulation accompanied by an increase in frontal theta power has been found in the control group (TD) only. The results of this study can be useful for better understanding of hypersensitivity in children with ASD and gaining insight into the mechanisms of the disease.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is published in Modern Technologies in Medicine and can be found at: https://doi.org/10.17691/stm2019.11.1.20
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Journal Sovremennye Tehnologii v Medicine
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2022 09:31
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2022 09:31
DOI or ID number: 10.17691/stm2019.11.1.20
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17729
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