Research by Topic: Cognition

Group Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and Anxiety: A Randomized Trial

Published April 8, 2015 in J Child Psychol Psychiatry

Fifty children with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and anxiety were randomized to group Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) or treatment-as-usual (TAU) for 12 weeks.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22435114

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Genetic Discovery Links Autism and Schizophrenia

Published August 4, 2013 in Nature Neuroscience

Nelson Freimer and colleagues at UCLA studied a population in an isolated area of Finland where Schizophrenia is more common than in the average Finnish population. In this small group, it was discovered that the presence of a deletion on part of chromosome 22 was much more prevalent than in the rest of the population. This deleted region normally contains an enzyme, TOP3B. This lack of TOP3B is also linked to disruptions that can lead to Fragile X Syndrome, showing there may be a biological link between Fragile X and Schizophrenia. An article about this study can be found here:http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23995-genetic-discovery-links-autism-and-schizophrenia.html#.UgJvzZJJNf2

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.3484.html

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Study Finds Hyperconnectivity in Certain Brain Regions in Individuals with Autism.

Published June 26, 2013 in JAMA Psychiatry

During a brain study, researchers found that individuals with autism have specific areas of hyperconnectivity in the brain. This supports the theory that unique autistic behaviors stem from differences in brain wiring.

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1699377

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Voices May Not Trigger Brain’s Reward Centers in Children with ASD

Published June 17, 2013 in PNAS

This Stanford study identifies an underconnectivity between the voice-selective cortex and the reward centers in the brain. This could suggest why children with autism have trouble grasping the social and emotional aspects of human speech.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/06/12/1302982110

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Two Studies Isolate Specific Brain Circuits That Underlie Compulsive Behaviors Seen in Individuals with OCD and Autism

Published June 7, 2013 in Science

Two studies successfully attempted to shut down and trigger compulsive behaviors in mice by using light to target certain brain circuits. These studies helped isolate the obsessive brain circuits believed to underlie compulsive behaviors in individuals with OCD and autism. 1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/237449502) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23744948

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2013/researchers-reveal-obsession-circuits-in-the-brain#refs

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Brief Report: Is Cognitive Rehabilitation Needed in Verbal Adults with Autism? Insights from Initial Enrollment in a Trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy

Published February 5, 2013 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Early results from this pilot trial of cognitive enhancement therapy (CET) indicate that despite above-average intelligence, verbal adults with ASD can have significantly impaired neurocognition and social cognition. The authors suggest CET, which is designed to remediate both social and non-social deficits through computer-based neurocognitive training, could be useful for cognitive rehabilitation in this population.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23381484

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Synaptic Dysfunction in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Associated with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities.

Published March 1, 2012 in Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol

The human studies unveiled the sensitivity of cognitive function to precise levels of different proteins.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22258914

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