Prefrontal Responses to Odors in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Functional NIRS Measurement Combined With a Fragrance Pulse Ejection System

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are impaired not only in social competencies but also in sensory perception, particularly olfaction. The olfactory ability of individuals with ASD has been examined in several psychophysical studies, but the results have been highly variable, which might be primarily due to methodological difficulties in the control of odor stimuli (e.g., the problem of lingering scents). In addition, the neural correlates of olfactory specificities in individuals with ASD remain largely unknown. To date, only one study has investigated this issue using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The present study utilized a sophisticated method−a pulse ejection system−to present well-controlled odor stimuli to participants with ASD using an ASD-friendly application. With this advantageous system, we examined their odor detection, identification, and evaluation abilities and measured their brain activity evoked by odors using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). As the odor detection threshold (DT) of participants with ASD was highly variable, these participants were divided into two groups according to their DT: an ASD-Low DT group and an ASD-High DT group. Behavioral results showed that the ASD-High DT group had a significantly higher DT than the typically developing (control) group and the ASD-Low DT group, indicating their insensitivity to the tested odors. In addition, while there was no significant difference in th...
Source: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research

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The resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) reflects functional activity of brain regions by blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signals. Up to now, many computer-aided diagnosis methods based on rs-fMRI have been developed for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These methods are mostly the binary classification approaches to determine whether a subject is an ASD patient or not. However, the disease often consists of several sub-categories, which are complex and thus still confusing to many automatic classification methods. Besides, existing methods usually focus on the functional connectivity (FC) featu...
Source: IEE Transactions on Medical Imaging - Category: Biomedical Engineering Source Type: research
Authors: Li X, Dvornek NC, Zhuang J, Ventola P, Duncan JS Abstract Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. Finding the biomarkers associated with ASD is extremely helpful to understand the underlying roots of the disorder and can lead to earlier diagnosis and more targeted treatment. Although Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) have been applied in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify ASD, understanding the data driven computational decision making procedure has not been previously explored. Therefore, in this work, we address the problem of interpreting reliable biomark...
Source: MICCAI International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention - Category: Radiology Tags: Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv Source Type: research
Authors: Li X, Dvornek NC, Zhou Y, Zhuang J, Ventola P, Duncan JS Abstract Discovering imaging biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is critical to help explain ASD and predict or monitor treatment outcomes. Toward this end, deep learning classifiers have recently been used for identifying ASD from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with higher accuracy than traditional learning strategies. However, a key challenge with deep learning models is understanding just what image features the network is using, which can in turn be used to define the biomarkers. Current methods extract biomarkers, i.e., i...
Source: Inf Process Med Imaging - Category: Radiology Tags: Inf Process Med Imaging Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS.—: Because the death of autistic individuals is often because of an accident, drowning, suicide, or sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, they often are seen in a Medical Examiner's or Coroner's office. Yet, autism is rarely considered when evaluating the cause of death. Advances in our understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy have occurred because medical examiners and neuropathologists questioned whether a pathologic change might exist in individuals who played contact sports and later developed severe behavioral problems. This article highlights the potential for equally significant breakthroug...
Source: Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine - Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Tags: Arch Pathol Lab Med Source Type: research
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition associated with atypicalities in social interaction. Although psychological and neuroimaging studies have revealed divergent impairments in psychological processes (e.g., emotion and perception) and neural activity (e.g., amygdala, superior temporal sulcus, and inferior frontal gyrus) related to the processing of social stimuli, it remains difficult to integrate these findings. In an effort to resolve this issue, we review our psychological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) findings and present a hypothetical neurocognitive model. Our psycholog...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
Authors: Miura I, Overton ETN, Nakai N, Kawamata T, Sato M, Takumi T Abstract Social behavior includes a variety of behaviors that are expressed between two or more individuals. In humans, impairment of social function (i.e., social behavior and social cognition) is seen in neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and stroke, respectively. In basic neuroscience research, fluorescence monitoring of neural activity, such as immediate early gene (IEG)-mediated whole-brain mapping, fiber photometry, and calcium imaging using a miniaturized head-mounted microscope or a two...
Source: Neurologia Medico-Chirurgica - Category: Neurosurgery Tags: Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo) Source Type: research
AbstractAutism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disease which involves functional and structural defects in selective central nervous system (CNS) regions that harm function and individual ability to process and respond to external stimuli. Individuals with ASD spend less time engaging in social interaction compared to non ‐affected subjects. Studies employing structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging reported morphological and functional abnormalities in the connectivity of the mesocorticolimbic reward pathway between the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in r...
Source: Journal of Neurochemistry - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: REVIEW Source Type: research
Neuroimaging: Many Analysts, Differing Results (Dana Foundation): For decades, both the research and medical communities have relied on neuroimaging tools like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to give them a window into the living human brain. Such scans have provided unprecedented insights into the brain’s structure and function – and the field, as a whole, has used this technique to better understand how the brain gives rise to thoughts, emotions, and actions. But as neuroimaging technology has advanced, so have the different analysis tools and the number of ways one can evaluate the resulting dat...
Source: SharpBrains - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Cognitive Neuroscience Health & Wellness Technology brain scans Brain-Imaging cognitive-neuroscientist flexibility fMRI functional magnetic resonance imaging Imaging Techniques NARPS neuroimaging scientific method Source Type: blogs
Abstract Individuals with autism-like traits (ALT) belong to a subclinical group with similar social deficits as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Their main social deficits include atypical eye contact and difficulty in understanding facial expressions, both of which are associated with an abnormality of the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (rpSTS). It is still undetermined whether it is possible to improve the social function of ALT individuals through noninvasive neural modulation. To this end, we randomly assigned ALT individuals into the real (n = 16) and sham (n = 16) stimulation groups. All subjects ...
Source: Neural Plasticity - Category: Neurology Authors: Tags: Neural Plast Source Type: research
AbstractObjectiveTuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic neurocutaneous syndrome with variable and unpredictable neurological comorbidity that includes epilepsy, intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder, and neurobehavioral abnormalities. The degree of white matter involvement is believed to be associated with the severity of neurological impairment. The goal of the present study was to evaluate diffusion characteristics of tubers, white matter lesions, and brain structural network alterations in TSC patients using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), graph theoretical analysis (GTA), and network-based stati...
Source: Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine - Category: Materials Science Source Type: research
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