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31-07-2021 | Brief Report Open Access

Brief Report: Specificity of Interpersonal Synchrony Deficits to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Its Potential for Digitally Assisted Diagnostics

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Jana Christina Koehler, Alexandra Livia Georgescu, Johanna Weiske, Moritz Spangemacher, Lana Burghof, Peter Falkai, Nikolaos Koutsouleris, Wolfgang Tschacher, Kai Vogeley, Christine M. Falter-Wagner
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Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-021-05194-3.
Jana Christina Koehler and Alexandra Livia Georgescu have contributed equally to this work.

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Reliably diagnosing autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in adulthood poses a challenge to clinicians due to the absence of specific diagnostic markers. This study investigated the potential of interpersonal synchrony (IPS), which has been found to be reduced in ASD, to augment the diagnostic process. IPS was objectively assessed in videos of diagnostic interviews in a representative referral population from two specialized autism outpatient clinics. In contrast to the current screening tools that could not reliably differentiate, we found a significant reduction of IPS in interactions with individuals later diagnosed with ASD (n = 16) as opposed to those not receiving a diagnosis (n = 23). While these findings need to be validated in larger samples, they nevertheless underline the potential of digitally-enhanced diagnostic processes for ASD.

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