Sensory processing in autism: a review of neurophysiologic findings.

Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.
Pediatric Research (Impact Factor: 2.84). 02/2011; 69(5 Pt 2):48R-54R. DOI: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3182130c54
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Atypical sensory-based behaviors are a ubiquitous feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). In this article, we review the neural underpinnings of sensory processing in autism by reviewing the literature on neurophysiological responses to auditory, tactile, and visual stimuli in autistic individuals. We review studies of unimodal sensory processing and multisensory integration that use a variety of neuroimaging techniques, including electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and functional MRI. We then explore the impact of covert and overt attention on sensory processing. With additional characterization, neurophysiologic profiles of sensory processing in ASD may serve as valuable biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring of therapeutic interventions for autism and reveal potential strategies and target brain regions for therapeutic interventions.

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