Promise and Limitations of Multi-Modal Measurement of Sensory Processing in Autism

Sensory symptoms are increasingly recognized as an essential target of research and intervention to improve quality of life and decrease functional impairment for those with autism. However, the lack of rigorous, consistent, and specific measures of sensory processing atypicalities is a major barrier to studying and relating behavioral and biological measures of sensory responsivity. Sensory responsiveness in autism is often measured with parent-report questionnaires that are subjective, capture broad categories of sensory responsiveness, and may have poor psychometric properties in autism (Williams et al., 2018). This panel looks critically at recent advances in multi-modal measurement of sensory processing in autism. Our first speaker will discuss a behavioral assessment of auditory and tactile over-responsivity and establishment of cut-off scores. The second will discuss the pros and cons of psychophysical measurements of sensory discrimination within the framework of the sensation-perception-attention-evaluation-reaction stream. Our final two speakers address how multiple imaging measurements can improve interpretation of results: the first combines neural habituation to sensory stimuli and functional connectivity to show how sensory habituation in autism is dependent on sustained regulation; The second combines spectroscopy and transcranial magnetic stimulation to relate different sensory subtypes to different GABAergic abnormalities and associated perceptual dysfunctions.
Thursday, May 2, 2019: 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Room: 518 (Palais des congres de Montreal)
Panel Chair:
S. A. Green
E. J. Marco
10:30 AM
How Can We Reliably Measure Sensory Reactivity?
T. Tavassoli E. J. Marco M. R. Gerdes A. Brandes-Aitken L. J. Miller S. Schoen
10:55 AM
Lessons from Psychophysical Studies of Somatic Sensation in Autism
C. J. Cascio L. K. Bryant T. Woynaroski M. T. Wallace Z. J. Williams S. L. Davis M. B. Gerdes C. D. Okitondo
11:20 AM
Neural Habituation to Sensory Stimuli and Sustained Regulation across Time in Youth with Autism, with and without Sensory over-Responsivity
S. A. Green L. M. Hernandez K. E. Lawrence J. Liu T. Tsang J. E. Yeargin K. K. Cummings M. Dapretto S. Y. Bookheimer
11:45 AM
Relating Abnormal Tactile Processing and Cortical Dysfunction in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
N. A. Puts E. L. Wodka G. Oeltzschner M. Tommerdahl R. A. Edden S. H. Mostofsky