Reduced auditory cortical adaptation in autism spectrum disorder

5 figures, 1 table and 1 additional file


Task and ROI selection.

(A) The stimulus consisted of a checkerboard presented for 200 ms accompanied for the duration by auditory white noise. Subjects were asked to respond with a button press following the stimulus. Stimuli were presented with fixed or randomized inter-stimulus intervals in 20 s blocks. Stimulus blocks alternated with 20 s of fixation. (B) Reaction times were shorter for ASD compared to NT participants from the second trial and on. (*)=p < 0.05. (C) ROIs in left and right visual and left and right auditory areas were selected based on activation to stimulus versus fixation blocks over the three experimental runs. Probability maps/heat maps showing auditory and visual ROI locations for NT (top) and ASD (bottom) participants. Percent overlap across subjects calculated in Talairach space and displayed on an individual subject’s anatomical image.
Figure 1—source data 1

Button press reaction times.
(A) Mean fMRI response timecourses in the fixed-interval timing blocks for NT (blue) and ASD (red) groups in the auditory (left, N(NT)=22, N(ASD)=18, and visual (right, N(NT)=24, N(ASD)=20) ROIs.

(B) Same as (A), but for the randomized-interval condition. (C) Mean response averaged over the sustained period. Error bars indicate the standard error of the mean.
Figure 2—source data 1

FMRI timecourses and averaged sustained responses in auditory and visual cortex.
Individual differences (ASD participants) in the sustained fMRI response in the auditory cortex fixed-interval condition plotted against total ADOS scores.
Figure 3—source data 1

Sustained auditory fMRI response and ADOS scores in the ASD group.
Subgroups were formed that were equated for the post-stimulus response.

Differences in the sustained response remained in the fixed-interval condition (top).
Figure 4—source data 1

FMRI timecourses in auditory cortex after matching for post-stimulus response.
Model neural responses that reflected different degrees of adaptation (left = ASD, less adaptation; middle = NT, more adaptation) were convolved with a canonical hrf to produce expected fMRI timecourses for each group (right).


Table 1
Subject enrollment numbers and exlucsions.
Total enrolled2429
Pre-analysis exclusions
(sleep, large head motions, etc.)
Data cleaning exclusion10
ROI definition exclusion2000
Power spectrum exclusion1153
Total Usable Data18202224

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  1. Rachel Millin
  2. Tamar Kolodny
  3. Anastasia V Flevaris
  4. Alexander M Kale
  5. Michael-Paul Schallmo
  6. Jennifer Gerdts
  7. Raphael A Bernier
  8. Scott Murray
Reduced auditory cortical adaptation in autism spectrum disorder
eLife 7:e36493.