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Autistic Disorder: HELP
Articles from University College London
Based on 181 articles published since 2008

These are the 181 published articles about Autistic Disorder that originated from University College London during 2008-2019.
+ Citations + Abstracts
Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8
1 Review Stopping, rationalising or optimising antipsychotic drug treatment in people with intellectual disability and/or autism. 2019

Shankar, Rohit / Wilcock, Mike / Oak, Katy / McGowan, Paula / Sheehan, Rory. ·Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Truro, UK. · University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK. · Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Truro, UK. · Expert by Experience. · University College London, London, UK. ·Drug Ther Bull · Pubmed #30567853.

ABSTRACT: -- No abstract --

2 Review Differences in the Theory of Mind profiles of patients with anorexia nervosa and individuals on the autism spectrum: A meta-analytic review. 2018

Leppanen, Jenni / Sedgewick, Felicity / Treasure, Janet / Tchanturia, Kate. ·Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King's College London, United Kingdom. · Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King's College London, United Kingdom; Illia State University, Department of Psychology, Tbilisi, Georgia. Electronic address: kate.tchanturia@kcl.ac.uk. ·Neurosci Biobehav Rev · Pubmed #29656033.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: This meta-analytic review examines the theory of mind profiles in both patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and autistic individuals. METHODOLOGY: The studies examining theory of mind were divided into the following categories: emotional theory of mind, understanding simple social situations, understanding complex social interactions, and implicit social attribution. All included studies investigated differences between healthy control (HCs) individuals and people with AN or autistic people. Differences in theory of mind profile between people with AN and autistic people were explored by conducting moderator analyses. RESULTS: People with AN and autistic people showed a similar theory of mind profile, but autistic individuals showed greater difficulties, particularly in emotional theory of mind. CONCLUSIONS: Although both people with AN and autistic people have significant difficulties in all aspects of theory of mind relative to the HCs, some differences in the underlying profile may be present. However, due to relative paucity of theory of mind research among people with AN, further research is still needed before firm conclusion can be drawn.

3 Review Can sex ratios at birth be used in the assessment of public health, and in the identification of causes of selected pathologies? 2018

James, William H / Grech, Victor. ·Galton Laboratory, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London WC1E 6HH, UK. · Victor Grech, Academic Department of Paediatrics, University of Malta Medical School, Msida, Malta. Electronic address: victor.e.grech@gov.mt. ·Early Hum Dev · Pubmed #29428574.

ABSTRACT: This paper will consist of two parts. In the first, further support is given to the proposal that offspring sex ratios (proportions male) may usefully be regarded as indicators of public health. In the second, it is shown that sex ratios may help in the identification of the causes and effects of several pathologies that seriously impinge on public health viz. autism, testicular cancer, hepatitis B and toxoplasmosis.

4 Review Differential effects of anxiety and autism on social scene scanning in males with fragile X syndrome. 2017

Crawford, Hayley / Moss, Joanna / Oliver, Chris / Riby, Deborah. ·Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, Coventry University, Coventry, CV1 5FB, UK. hayley.crawford@coventry.ac.uk. · Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, UK. hayley.crawford@coventry.ac.uk. · Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, UK. · Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AR, UK. · Department of Psychology, Durham University, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK. ·J Neurodev Disord · Pubmed #28946865.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Existing literature draws links between social attention and socio-behavioural profiles in neurodevelopmental disorders. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is associated with a known socio-behavioural phenotype of social anxiety and social communication difficulties alongside high social motivation. However, studies investigating social attention in males with FXS are scarce. Using eye tracking, this study investigates social attention and its relationship with both anxiety and autism symptomatology in males with FXS. METHODS: We compared dwell times to the background, body, and face regions of naturalistic social scenes in 11 males with FXS (M RESULTS: Males with FXS did not differ to TD children on overall dwell time to the background, body, or face regions of the naturalistic social scenes. Whilst males with FXS displayed developmentally 'typical' social attention, increased looking at faces was associated with both heightened anxiety and fewer social communication impairments in this group. CONCLUSIONS: These results offer novel insights into the mechanisms associated with social attention in FXS and provide evidence to suggest that anxiety and autism symptomatology, which are both heightened in FXS, have differential effects on social attention.

5 Review Inhibitory engrams in perception and memory. 2017

Barron, Helen C / Vogels, Tim P / Behrens, Timothy E / Ramaswami, Mani. ·The Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, United Kingdom; helen.barron@merton.ox.ac.uk tim.vogels@cncb.ox.ac.uk behrens@fmrib.ox.ac.uk mani.ramaswami@tcd.ie. · Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QT, United Kingdom. · Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3SR, United Kingdom; helen.barron@merton.ox.ac.uk tim.vogels@cncb.ox.ac.uk behrens@fmrib.ox.ac.uk mani.ramaswami@tcd.ie. · The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London WC1N 3BG, United Kingdom. · Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, School of Genetics and Microbiology and School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; helen.barron@merton.ox.ac.uk tim.vogels@cncb.ox.ac.uk behrens@fmrib.ox.ac.uk mani.ramaswami@tcd.ie. · National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore 560065, India. ·Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A · Pubmed #28611219.

ABSTRACT: Nervous systems use excitatory cell assemblies to encode and represent sensory percepts. Similarly, synaptically connected cell assemblies or "engrams" are thought to represent memories of past experience. Multiple lines of recent evidence indicate that brain systems create and use inhibitory replicas of excitatory representations for important cognitive functions. Such matched "inhibitory engrams" can form through homeostatic potentiation of inhibition onto postsynaptic cells that show increased levels of excitation. Inhibitory engrams can reduce behavioral responses to familiar stimuli, thereby resulting in behavioral habituation. In addition, by preventing inappropriate activation of excitatory memory engrams, inhibitory engrams can make memories quiescent, stored in a latent form that is available for context-relevant activation. In neural networks with balanced excitatory and inhibitory engrams, the release of innate responses and recall of associative memories can occur through focused disinhibition. Understanding mechanisms that regulate the formation and expression of inhibitory engrams in vivo may help not only to explain key features of cognition but also to provide insight into transdiagnostic traits associated with psychiatric conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

6 Review Language deficits in schizophrenia and autism as related oscillatory connectomopathies: An evolutionary account. 2017

Murphy, Elliot / Benítez-Burraco, Antonio. ·Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: elliot.murphy.13@ucl.ac.uk. · Department of Philology, University of Huelva, Huelva, Spain. ·Neurosci Biobehav Rev · Pubmed #27475632.

ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SZ) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterised by marked language deficits, but it is not clear how these arise from gene mutations associated with the disorders. Our goal is to narrow the gap between SZ and ASD and, ultimately, give support to the view that they represent abnormal (but related) ontogenetic itineraries for the human faculty of language. We will focus on the distinctive oscillatory profiles of the SZ and ASD brains, in turn using these insights to refine our understanding of how the brain implements linguistic computations by exploring a novel model of linguistic feature-set composition. We will argue that brain rhythms constitute the best route to interpreting language deficits in both conditions and mapping them to neural dysfunction and risk alleles of the genes. Importantly, candidate genes for SZ and ASD are overrepresented among the gene sets believed to be important for language evolution. This translational effort may help develop an understanding of the aetiology of SZ and ASD and their high prevalence among modern populations.

7 Review Active interoceptive inference and the emotional brain. 2016

Seth, Anil K / Friston, Karl J. ·Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK a.k.seth@sussex.ac.uk. · Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, UCL, London WC1N 3BG, UK. ·Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci · Pubmed #28080966.

ABSTRACT: We review a recent shift in conceptions of interoception and its relationship to hierarchical inference in the brain. The notion of interoceptive inference means that bodily states are regulated by autonomic reflexes that are enslaved by descending predictions from deep generative models of our internal and external milieu. This re-conceptualization illuminates several issues in cognitive and clinical neuroscience with implications for experiences of selfhood and emotion. We first contextualize interoception in terms of active (Bayesian) inference in the brain, highlighting its enactivist (embodied) aspects. We then consider the key role of uncertainty or precision and how this might translate into neuromodulation. We next examine the implications for understanding the functional anatomy of the emotional brain, surveying recent observations on agranular cortex. Finally, we turn to theoretical issues, namely, the role of interoception in shaping a sense of embodied self and feelings. We will draw links between physiological homoeostasis and allostasis, early cybernetic ideas of predictive control and hierarchical generative models in predictive processing. The explanatory scope of interoceptive inference ranges from explanations for autism and depression, through to consciousness. We offer a brief survey of these exciting developments.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interoception beyond homeostasis: affect, cognition and mental health'.

8 Review How can clinicians detect and treat autism early? Methodological trends of technology use in research. 2016

Bölte, S / Bartl-Pokorny, K D / Jonsson, U / Berggren, S / Zhang, D / Kostrzewa, E / Falck-Ytter, T / Einspieler, C / Pokorny, F B / Jones, E J H / Roeyers, H / Charman, T / Marschik, P B. ·Department of Women's and Children's Health, Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. · Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden. · Institute of Physiology, Research Unit iDN (interdisciplinary Developmental Neuroscience), Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria. · Department of Psychology, Uppsala Child and Babylab, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. · Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Technical University, Munich, Munich, Germany. · Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, UK. · Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. · Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK. ·Acta Paediatr · Pubmed #26479859.

ABSTRACT: CONCLUSION: The use of quantifiable technology to detect early ASD has increased in recent decades, but has had limited impact on early detection and treatment. Further scientific developments are anticipated, and we hope that they will increasingly be used in clinical practice for early ASD screening, diagnosis and intervention.

9 Review Annual research review: Infant development, autism, and ADHD--early pathways to emerging disorders. 2015

Johnson, Mark H / Gliga, Teodora / Jones, Emily / Charman, Tony. ·Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, UK. ·J Child Psychol Psychiatry · Pubmed #25266278.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, with a high degree of co-occurrence. METHODS: Prospective longitudinal studies of infants who later meet criteria for ASD or ADHD offer the opportunity to determine whether the two disorders share developmental pathways. RESULTS: Prospective studies of younger siblings of children with autism have revealed a range of infant behavioral and neural markers associated with later diagnosis of ASD. Research on infants with later ADHD is less developed, but emerging evidence reveals a number of relations between infant measures and later symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. CONCLUSIONS: We review this literature, highlighting points of convergence and divergence in the early pathways to ASD and ADHD.

10 Review Autism: the management and support of children and young people on the autism spectrum (NICE Clinical Guideline 170). 2015

Crowe, Belinda H A / Salt, Alison T. ·The Wolfson Neurodisability Service, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. · The Wolfson Neurodisability Service, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK. ·Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed · Pubmed #24810156.

ABSTRACT: -- No abstract --

11 Review Autism, oxytocin and interoception. 2014

Quattrocki, E / Friston, Karl. ·The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK. Electronic address: e.quatrocki@ucl.ac.uk. · The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK. Electronic address: k.friston@ucl.ac.uk. ·Neurosci Biobehav Rev · Pubmed #25277283.

ABSTRACT: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by profound social and verbal communication deficits, stereotypical motor behaviors, restricted interests, and cognitive abnormalities. Autism affects approximately 1% of children in developing countries. Given this prevalence, identifying risk factors and therapeutic interventions are pressing objectives—objectives that rest on neurobiologically grounded and psychologically informed theories about the underlying pathophysiology. In this article, we review the evidence that autism could result from a dysfunctional oxytocin system early in life. As a mediator of successful procreation, not only in the reproductive system, but also in the brain, oxytocin plays a crucial role in sculpting socio-sexual behavior. Formulated within a (Bayesian) predictive coding framework, we propose that oxytocin encodes the saliency or precision of interoceptive signals and enables the neuronal plasticity necessary for acquiring a generative model of the emotional and social 'self.' An aberrant oxytocin system in infancy could therefore help explain the marked deficits in language and social communication—as well as the sensory, autonomic, motor, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities—seen in autism.

12 Review The cultural evolution of mind reading. 2014

Heyes, Cecilia M / Frith, Chris D. ·All Souls College and Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 4AL, UK. cecilia.heyes@all-souls.ox.ac.uk. · Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London WC1N 3BG, UK. ·Science · Pubmed #24948740.

ABSTRACT: It is not just a manner of speaking: "Mind reading," or working out what others are thinking and feeling, is markedly similar to print reading. Both of these distinctly human skills recover meaning from signs, depend on dedicated cortical areas, are subject to genetically heritable disorders, show cultural variation around a universal core, and regulate how people behave. But when it comes to development, the evidence is conflicting. Some studies show that, like learning to read print, learning to read minds is a long, hard process that depends on tuition. Others indicate that even very young, nonliterate infants are already capable of mind reading. Here, we propose a resolution to this conflict. We suggest that infants are equipped with neurocognitive mechanisms that yield accurate expectations about behavior ("automatic" or "implicit" mind reading), whereas "explicit" mind reading, like literacy, is a culturally inherited skill; it is passed from one generation to the next by verbal instruction.

13 Review I was born following ART: how will I get on at school? 2014

Abdel-Mannan, Omar / Sutcliffe, Alastair. ·General and Adolescent Paediatric Unit, Institute of Child Health, London, UK. Electronic address: o.abdel-mannan@ucl.ac.uk. · General and Adolescent Paediatric Unit, Institute of Child Health, London, UK. ·Semin Fetal Neonatal Med · Pubmed #24935910.

ABSTRACT: With an ever-expanding population of children born after in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), the widespread use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) has placed a great emphasis on the need to study their long-term outcomes. Indeed, there has been concern that mechanisms used in ART may have a detrimental effect on the neurocognitive development of these children. Reassuringly, most neurocognitive and motor development studies using various assessment scales have generally found no differences between intracytoplasmic sperm injection, IVF and naturally conceived children. Only a few studies have reported concerns. In terms of predictors of intelligence in children, ART appears to have a minimal effect in comparison to birth weight, gestational age, socio-economic status, and parental educational levels. Nevertheless, further research of higher methodological quality in children beyond pre-school age and on newer ART procedures is needed.

14 Review Developmental pathways to autism: a review of prospective studies of infants at risk. 2014

Jones, Emily J H / Gliga, Teodora / Bedford, Rachael / Charman, Tony / Johnson, Mark H. ·Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK. Electronic address: e.jones@bbk.ac.uk. · Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK. · King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Biostatistics, UK. · King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychology, UK. ·Neurosci Biobehav Rev · Pubmed #24361967.

ABSTRACT: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, and the presence of restrictive and repetitive behaviors. Symptoms of ASD likely emerge from a complex interaction between pre-existing neurodevelopmental vulnerabilities and the child's environment, modified by compensatory skills and protective factors. Prospective studies of infants at high familial risk for ASD (who have an older sibling with a diagnosis) are beginning to characterize these developmental pathways to the emergence of clinical symptoms. Here, we review the range of behavioral and neurocognitive markers for later ASD that have been identified in high-risk infants in the first years of life. We discuss theoretical implications of emerging patterns, and identify key directions for future work, including potential resolutions to several methodological challenges for the field. Mapping how ASD unfolds from birth is critical to our understanding of the developmental mechanisms underlying this disorder. A more nuanced understanding of developmental pathways to ASD will help us not only to identify children who need early intervention, but also to improve the range of interventions available to them.

15 Review Diagnosing autistic spectrum disorder in the age of austerity. 2014

Karim, K / Cook, L / O'Reilly, M. ·Department of Psychology, The Greenwood Institute of Child Health, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. ·Child Care Health Dev · Pubmed #22712808.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Diagnosing autistic spectrum disorder is a challenge, typically involving myriad professionals. In the current climate we explore how diagnosis is managed in the real world by professionals. METHODS: Using semi-structured interviews we thematically analyse data from psychiatrists, paediatricians and educational psychologists. RESULTS: While there is some consistency across and within these groups there are also a number of variances, and several important issues are highlighted. These include the problem of time and resources, the issue of location for diagnosis, the value of diagnostic tools and schedules, the need for supporting information, the difficulty of multi-agency working, the relevance of a physical examination and the eventual diagnostic label. CONCLUSIONS: In the current economic climate and considering changes in guidelines there is a need to evaluate current service provision and enhance services. However, attention needs to be paid to the practical and realistic application of the suggested guidance.

16 Review Studies of human sex ratios at birth may lead to the understanding of several forms of pathology. 2013

James, William H. ·The Galton Laboratory, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT UK. ·Hum Biol · Pubmed #25078960.

ABSTRACT: This article deals with the problem of the causes of the variation of sex ratio (proportion male) at birth. This problem is common to a number of areas in biology and medicine, for example, obstetrics, neurology/psychiatry, parasitology, virology, oncology, and teratology. It is established that there are signifi cantly biased, but unexplained, sex ratios in each of these fields. Yet workers in them (with the possible exception of virology) have regarded the problem as a minor loose end, irrelevant to the field's major problems. However, as far as I know, no one has previously noted that unexplained biased sex ratios occur, and thus pose (perhaps similar) problems, in all these fields. Here it is suggested that similar sorts of solutions apply in each. Further research is proposed for testing each solution. If the argument here is substantially correct across this range of topics, it may lead to an improved understanding not only of sex ratio but also of some of the pathologies in these specialties.

17 Review Why we need cognitive explanations of autism. 2012

Frith, Uta. ·UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, London, UK. u.frith@ucl.ac.uk ·Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) · Pubmed #22906000.

ABSTRACT: In the 70 years since autism was described and named there have been huge changes in the conceptualization of this enigmatic condition. This review takes a personal perspective on the history of autism research. The origins of the first cognitive theories of autism, theory of mind and weak central coherence, are discussed and updated to inform future developments. Selected experimental findings are interpreted in the historical context of changes that have been brought about by advances in methodology. A three-level framework graphically illustrates a causal chain between brain, mind, and behaviour to facilitate the identification of phenotypes in neurodevelopmental disorders. Cognition is placed at the centre of the diagram to reveal that it can link together brain and behaviour, when there are complex multiple mappings between the different levels.

18 Review Recognition, referral, diagnosis, and management of adults with autism: summary of NICE guidance. 2012

Pilling, Stephen / Baron-Cohen, Simon / Megnin-Viggars, Odette / Lee, Rachael / Taylor, Clare / Anonymous2160730. ·National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness, University College London, London WC1E 7HB, UK. s.pilling@ucl.ac.uk ·BMJ · Pubmed #22740567.

ABSTRACT: -- No abstract --

19 Review A potential explanation of some established major risk factors for autism. 2012

James, William H. ·Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College, London, UK. whjames@waitrose.com ·Dev Med Child Neurol · Pubmed #22369368.

ABSTRACT: Baron-Cohen hypothesized that a cause of autism in infants is exposure to high concentrations of intrauterine testosterone concentrations. Some of the subsequent research on this hypothesis has focused on the possibility that the source of this testosterone is the fetus; however, this review shows that if the source is taken to be the mother, then many of the established risk factors for autism could be explained. If that were correct, it would follow that high maternally derived intrauterine androgen concentrations may be a major environmental cause of autism.

20 Review Genetic influences on social cognition. 2011

Skuse, David H / Gallagher, Louise. ·Department of Behavioural and Brain Sciences, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London WC1N 1EH, United Kingdom. dskuse@ich.ucl.ac.uk ·Pediatr Res · Pubmed #21289535.

ABSTRACT: Human social behavior develops under the influence of genetic, environmental, and cultural factors. Social cognition comprises our ability to understand and respond appropriately to other people's social approaches or responses. The concept embraces self-knowledge and theory of mind, or the ability to think about emotions and behavior from the perspective of another person. The neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are now known to play an important role, affecting individual differences in parenting behavior, social recognition, and affiliative behaviors. The processes of social cognition are also supported by reward circuitry, underpinned by the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system. Reward processes build social relationships, in parenting and pair-bonding, and influence social interactions that require trust, or display altruism. The impact of emotional regulation upon social behavior, including mood and anxiety, is also mediated through the serotonergic system. Variation in activity of serotonergic networks in the brain influences emotional responsivity, including subjective feelings, physiological responses, emotional expressions, and the tendency to become engaged in action as a consequence of a feeling state. Genetic variation in the receptors associated with OT, AVP, dopamine, and serotonin has been intensively studied in humans and animal models. Recent findings are building an increasingly coherent picture of regulatory mechanisms.

21 Review "With concord of sweet sounds...": new perspectives on the diversity of musical experience in autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. 2009

Heaton, Pamela / Allen, Rory. ·Goldsmiths College, University of London-Psychology, London, United Kingdom. P.Heaton@gold.ac.uk ·Ann N Y Acad Sci · Pubmed #19673800.

ABSTRACT: Questions about music's evolution and functions have long excited interest among scholars. More recent theoretical accounts have stressed the importance of music's social origins and functions. Autism and Williams syndrome, neurodevelopmental disorders supposedly characterized by contrasting social and musical phenotypes, have been invoked as evidence for these. However, empirical data on social skills and deficits in autism and Williams syndrome do not support the notion of contrasting social phenotypes: research findings suggest that the social deficits characteristic of both disorders may increase rather than reduce the importance of music. Current data do not allow for a direct comparison of musical phenotypes in autism and Williams syndrome, although it is noted that deficits in music cognition have been observed in Williams syndrome, but not in autism. In considering broader questions about musical understanding in neurodevelopmental disorders, we conclude that intellectual impairment is likely to result in qualitative differences between handicapped and typical listeners, but this does not appear to limit the extent to which individuals can derive benefits from the experience of listening to music.

22 Review Is autism really a coherent syndrome in boys, or girls? 2009

Skuse, David H. ·Behavioural and Brain Sciences Unit, Institute of Child Health, London, UK. dskuse@ich.ucl.ac.uk ·Br J Psychol · Pubmed #19019279.

ABSTRACT: This article is a commentary on 'Fetal testosterone and autistic traits' (Auyeung et al., 2009).

23 Review Language in autism and specific language impairment: where are the links? 2008

Williams, David / Botting, Nicola / Boucher, Jill. ·Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom. d.williams@ich.ucl.ac.uk ·Psychol Bull · Pubmed #18954162.

ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that language impairment in autism is behaviorally, neurobiologically, and etiologically related to specific language impairment (SLI). In this article, the authors review evidence at each level and argue that the vast majority of data does not support the view that language impairment in autism can be explained in terms of comorbid SLI. The authors make recommendations for how this debate might be resolved and suggest a shift in research focus. They recommend that researchers concentrate on those aspects of language impairment that predominate in each disorder rather than on those comparatively small areas of potential overlap.

24 Review Research review: What is the association between the social-communication element of autism and repetitive interests, behaviours and activities? 2008

Mandy, William P L / Skuse, David H. ·Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University College London, London, UK. w.mandy@ucl.ac.uk ·J Child Psychol Psychiatry · Pubmed #18564070.

ABSTRACT: Autism is currently conceptualised as a unitary disorder, in which social-communication impairments are found alongside repetitive interests, behaviours and activities (RIBAs). This relies upon the validity of the assumption that social-communication impairments and RIBAs co-occur at an above chance level as a result of sharing underlying causes. In the current review it is argued that the evidence for this assumption is scarce: the very great majority of RIBA research has not been intended for or suited to its examination. In fact only three studies are fit to address directly the question of the relationship between social-communication impairment and RIBAs, and these contradict each other. In consequence, further relevant evidence was sought in the behavioural and genetic literature. This approach suggested that the correlation between social-communication impairments and RIBAs has been exaggerated in the current consensus about the autism syndrome, and that these aspects of autism may well share largely independent underlying causes. Some clinical and research implications are discussed.

25 Review Further evidence that some male-based neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with high intrauterine testosterone concentrations. 2008

James, William H. ·The Galton Laboratory, University College London, Wolfson House, London, UK. whjames@waitrose.com ·Dev Med Child Neurol · Pubmed #18173623.

ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that reading disability (RD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) share a measure of genetic overlap. They also share some epidemiological features, and have all been suspected of multifactorial (genetic and environmental) threshold origins. It has also been hypothesized that ASD, pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified, and ADHD are partially caused by high maternal intrauterine testosterone levels. Here I offer a new method of testing this latter hypothesis on some of these disorders (RD, ADHD, and ASD). All these disorders occur more commonly in males. If the intrauterine testosterone hypothesis was correct, then probands should have a statistically significant excess of brothers among their siblings. Data are adduced here to test this. When treated as individual disorders, the data are significant only in the case of RD. However, the data are highly significant when pooled as RD + ADHD or RD + ADHD + ASD. Taken alone, the data on ASD are not significant. These results suggest that: (1) taxonomically, RD and ADHD are moresimilar to one another than either is to ASD; and (2) probands in the pooled samples have a very highly significant excess of brothers. This result stands in need of explanation. Provisionally, the data may be interpreted as suggesting that RD may be caused by high intrauterine testosterone levels, and confirming the hypothesis that ADHD is partially caused by high intrauterine testosterone.