Electrophysiological response during auditory gap detection: Biomarker for sensory and communication alterations in autism spectrum disorder?

Sensory symptoms, including auditory processing deficits, are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Processing of temporal aspects of auditory input is understudied; yet, deficits in this domain could contribute to language-related impairments. In children with ASD and well-matched controls, this study examined electrophysiological response to silent gaps in auditory stimuli. Results revealed attenuated amplitude of the P2 event-related potential (ERP) component in ASD. The P2 amplitude reduction was also associated with sensory, language, and diagnostic features. These results suggest that neural response during auditory gap detection is a promising ASD biomarker that could be useful for stratifying subgroups and evaluating treatment response.