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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 7/2010

01-07-2010 | Original Paper

Affective Modulation of the Startle Eyeblink and Postauricular Reflexes in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Auteurs: Gabriel S. Dichter, Stephen D. Benning, Tia N. Holtzclaw, James W. Bodfish

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 7/2010

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Abstract

Eyeblink and postauricular reflexes to standardized affective images were examined in individuals without (n = 37) and with (n = 20) autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Affective reflex modulation in control participants replicated previous findings. The ASD group, however, showed anomalous reflex modulation patterns, despite similar self-report ratings of pictures. Specifically, the ASD group demonstrated exaggerated eyeblink responses to pleasant images and exaggerated postauricular responses to unpleasant images. Although ASD is often conceptualized in terms of specific deficits in affective responding in the social domain, the present results suggest a domain-general pattern of deficits in affective processing and that such deficits may arise at an early phase in the stream of information processing.
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1
The term “linear” in this context refers to the first-order polynomial trend test that is commonly used in the startle modulation literature to evaluate the effects of picture valence, which is typically divided into the categories of unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant, on reflex responses. Thus, a “linear” pattern of responses indicates either [unpleasant > neutral > pleasant] or [pleasant > neutral > unpleasant] patterns of responding.
 
2
In-house experimental images depicted common circumscribed interests and images of faces with neutral expressions. The mood states induced by IAPS images are very brief: in nonclinical samples, affective startle modulation is not evident 1.5–2.5 s after image offset (Dichter et al. 2002). Thus, there are likely no effects of the inclusion of other images on startle responses, given the 10 s ITI employed.
 
3
Other researchers have noted highly similar results obtained with both raw and standardized scores (e.g., Grillon and Ameli 2001; Dichter and Tomarken 2008).
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Affective Modulation of the Startle Eyeblink and Postauricular Reflexes in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Auteurs
Gabriel S. Dichter
Stephen D. Benning
Tia N. Holtzclaw
James W. Bodfish
Publicatiedatum
01-07-2010
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 7/2010
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-009-0925-y