Sven Bölte

Sven Bölte
Karolinska Institutet | KI · Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Department of Women's and Children's Health

Professor, PhD

About

491
Publications
249,708
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
17,108
Citations
Introduction
Sven Bölte, Ph.D., is professor of child and adolescent psychiatric science at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet (KI), and senior clinical psychologist at the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, Sweden. He is director of the KI Centre of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (“KIND”) and has published more than 350 original articles, reviews, book chapters [15,000 citations, H-index 53 Google scholars] Twitter: @bolte_sven
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - April 2017
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • Manager

Publications

Publications (491)
Article
Full-text available
In Sweden, young autistic children typically attend community-based preschool programs, which may not be adapted to their needs. In the current study, stakeholders to autistic children receiving Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention were interviewed following a quasi-randomized study (#NCT03634761) aimed at improving the preschool program quality...
Article
Background: In the disability sector globally, and specifically in Australia, assessments of functioning have become key to diagnostic processes, and accessing therapy and funding. Over half of all individuals accessing support through Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme have a neurodevelopmental condition diagnosis. Little is known a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Video recording is a widely used method for documenting infant and child behaviours in research and clinical practice. Video data has rarely been shared due to ethical concerns of confidentiality, although the need of shared large-scaled datasets remains increasing. This demand is even more imperative when data-driven computer-based approaches are...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the association between autism and self-reported eating problems and the influence of gender on the association, in a sample of adolescent and adult twins (N = 192). Autistic traits and autism diagnosis were associated with both total and specific eating problems, including selective eating and sensory sensitivity during mea...
Article
Full-text available
Consensus is often a prerequisite for communities to develop initiatives to improve practice and create a future together. We investigated the consensus around the perceived educational inclusion of autistic and other neurodivergent students, their caregivers, and their teachers. Seventeen triads of informants plus two single students from mainstre...
Article
Full-text available
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex and heterogeneous neurodevelopmental condition for which curative treatments are lacking. Whilst pharmacological treatments are generally effective and safe, there is considerable inter-individual variability among patients regarding treatment response, required dose, and tolerability. Ma...
Article
Background Studying the neural processing of faces can illuminate the mechanisms of compromised social expertise in autism. To resolve a longstanding debate, we examined whether differences in configural face processing in autism are underpinned by quantitative differences in the activation of typical face processing pathways, or the recruitment of...
Article
Lay abstract: Factors related to the interiors of buildings, including the layout of rooms, colours, smells, noises, temperature, ventilation, colour and clutter, among other things, can change the way we interact with our environment and the people around us. Autistic individuals can have differences in processing sensory information and may find...
Article
Objective To examine if the clinical feasibility and effectiveness of a psychoeducational program targeting children’s ADHD differ between parents with varying ADHD symptom severities. Method An open trial analyzed data from 549 parents of children with ADHD aged 3 to 17 years, who participated in psychoeducation at an outpatient habilitation/disa...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Social attention affords learning opportunities across development and may contribute to individual differences in developmental trajectories, such as between male and female individuals, and in neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism. Methods: Using eye-tracking, we measured social attention in a large cohort of autistic (n =...
Article
Full-text available
This study captured the experiences of 35 autistic adolescents and their parents after completing a 16-session variant of social skills group training KONTAKT® (ACTRN12617001117303). Semi-structured interviews explored participants' and relatives' perceptions of KONTAKT® and associated social outcomes. Adolescents were classified as either high (HR...
Article
Full-text available
Small average differences in the left-right asymmetry of cerebral cortical thickness have been reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to typically developing controls, affecting widespread cortical regions. The possible impacts of these regional alterations in terms of structural network effects have not previously bee...
Article
Full-text available
Using a mixed-methods intervention approach this study examined the impact and process of a professional development and whether it induces changes in attitudes and practices related to autism among preschool professionals. We assessed professionals’ understanding of autism and their inclusion skills using questionnaires, audio-recorded seminars, a...
Article
Full-text available
Although highly heritable, environment also contributes to the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with several specific environmental factors previously suggested. A registry-linked population-based twin cohort of 15,701 pairs (586 individuals with an ASD diagnosis), was established within the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden. Par...
Article
Full-text available
Background A significant proportion of variation in likelihood of neurodevelopmental conditions (NDCs) has been attributed to nonshared environmental (NSE) factors, although it remains unclear which NSE factors pose specific risks for certain NDCs. Methods A monozygotic co-twin design was applied in a sample of 224 twins (mean age = 17.70 years, S...
Article
Full-text available
Strength-based programs that incorporate technology have gained increasing popularity as an approach to improve outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite this, the core elements of strength-based technology programs remain poorly described. This study aimed to identify the core elements of strength-based technology progr...
Article
Background Altered resting state (RS) functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) is characteristic of both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Standard analytical pipelines for RS functional connectivity focus on linear correlations in activation time courses between neural networks or...
Article
Full-text available
Including students with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDDs) in regular classrooms has become a law-enforced common practice in many high- and middle-income countries. Still, without appropriate actions supporting the implementation of inclusive pedagogical practice, students with NDDs remain at increased risk for absenteeism, bullying and undera...
Preprint
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition diagnosed in approximately 2% of children. Reliance on the emergence of clinically observable behavioral patterns only delays mean age of diagnosis to approximately 4 years. However, neural pathways critical to language and social functions develop during infancy and current diagnosti...
Article
Full-text available
While the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, early outcome studies indicate severe and pervasive global effects of the pandemic and associated measures to prevent the spread of the virus. General population studies, as well as insight into the outcomes for particular groups, will be necessary in order to mitigate potentially long-term effects as well as...
Article
Visual search guides goal-directed action in humans and many other species, and it has been studied extensively in the past. Yet, no study has investigated the relative contributions of genes and environments to individual differences in visual search performance, or to which extent etiologies are shared with broader cognitive phenotypes. To addres...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To evaluate the effects of neurocognitive training methods on targeted cognitive functions in children and adolescent with ADHD. Method A pragmatic four-arm randomized controlled trial compared two types of neurofeedback (Slow Cortical Potential and Live Z-score) and Working-memory training (WMT) with treatment as usual. N = 202 particip...
Article
Full-text available
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly impairing condition with varying clinical presentations. Psychological treatments for ADHD are often similar, irrespective of predominant symptomatology. However, because inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are associated with different challenges in daily life more presentation-spec...
Article
Full-text available
Exome sequencing has been proposed as the first-tier genetic testing in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we performed exome sequencing in autistic individuals with average to high intellectual abilities (N = 207) to identify molecular diagnoses and genetic modifiers of intervention outcomes of social skills group training (SSGT) or standard ca...
Preprint
Background The excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) imbalance hypothesis posits that an imbalance between excitatory (glutamatergic) and inhibitory (GABAergic) mechanisms underlies the behavioral characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (autism). However, how E/I imbalance arises and how it may differ across autism symptomatology and brain regions is not...
Article
Full-text available
Lay abstract: During the first year of life, infants start to align their attention with that of other people. This ability is called joint attention and facilitates social learning and language development. Although children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are known to engage less in joint attention compared to other children, several experim...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Meta-analyses suggest an association between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obesity, but the factors underlying this association remain unclear. This study investigated the association between ASD and obesity stratified on intellectual disability (ID). In addition, in order to gain insight into possible shared etiological factors,...
Article
Introduction Mental health problems are common among tertiary education students, with concerning levels of suicide ideation frequently observed in this population. There is a need for evidence-based mental health education and suicide prevention programs designed to meet the specific needs of these students. The “Talk-to-Me” Mass Open Online Cours...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Previous studies on brain connectivity in clinical and dimensional autism have largely focused on selective connections and yielded inconsistent results. This study aimed to overcome these limitations. Global fiber tracking allowed a more unbiased assessment of white matter connectivity and utilizing a within-twin pair design introduced...
Article
Full-text available
In typical development, infants form predictions about future events based on incoming sensory information, which is essential for perception and goal-directed action. It has been suggested that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make predictions differently compared to neurotypical individuals. We investigated how infants who later re...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research indicates elevated levels of clinically significant traits and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children with chronic pain, but associations with functioning and depression are yet unclear. The current study examined the relationships of autistic traits and ADHD symptoms w...
Article
Full-text available
Background Children on the autism spectrum may receive Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI) in Sweden to support development by providing learning opportunities. However, research suggests a need to improve the quality of their learning environment. Aim This pre-registered study (#NCT03634761) aimed to evaluate the Swedish Autism Progra...
Article
Full-text available
There is mixed evidence on the association between headache and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as headache and ADHD medications. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the co-occurrence of headache in children with ADHD, and the effects of ADHD medications on headache. Embase, Medline and PsycInfo were searc...
Article
Synesthesia occurs more commonly in individuals fulfilling criteria for an autism spectrum diagnosis than in the general population. It is associated with autistic traits and autism-related perceptual processing characteristics, including a more detail-focused attentional style and altered sensory sensitivity. In addition, these characteristics cor...
Article
Full-text available
Twin studies can help us understand the relative contributions of genes and environment to phenotypic trait variation, including attentional and brain activation measures. In terms of applying methodologies such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye tracking, which are key methods in developmental neuroscience, infant twin studies are almost none...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Studies of infants with an elevated likelihood of autism spectrum disorder can identify basic developmental processes that are associated with subsequently emerging clinical symptoms. Atypical responsiveness to sounds in infancy is such a potential early marker of autism. Here, we used pupillometry to quantify reactivity to social and...
Article
Objective: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is accompanied by highly individualized neuroanatomical deviations that potentially map onto distinct genotypes and clinical phenotypes. This study aimed to link differences in brain anatomy to specific biological pathways to pave the way toward targeted therapeutic interventions. Methods: The authors ex...
Article
Full-text available
Neurofeedback (NF) as a treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been evaluated in several trials, but the specificity and generalizability of effects remain unclear. This four-arm randomized controlled trial evaluated the efficacy of Slow Cortical Potential (SCP; standard NF protocol) and Live Z-score (LZS; non-standard NF...
Article
Full-text available
Suicide among students enrolled in post-secondary education, including university or college, is a major public health concern. Previous research has examined the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs for this population. However, the effective elements of these interventions remain unknown. This study reviewed the literature on suicide prev...
Article
Full-text available
Lay abstract: Young children who have developmental delay, autism, or other neurodevelopmental conditions can have difficulties doing things in different areas of their life. What they can and cannot do is called their level of functioning. There are lots of assessment measures that aim to assess functioning. But, we are not sure if these measures...
Article
Lay abstract: Individuals diagnosed with autism tend to process sensory information differently than individuals without autism, resulting for instance in increased sensitivity to sounds or smells. This leads to challenges in everyday life and may restrict the individual's daily functioning. How direct this link is, however, is currently unclear....
Article
Methods to enhance the quality of delivered Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have received surprisingly little attention in previous research. In a pragmatic randomized controlled pilot study, we studied the feasibility and effects of enriched supervision (using detailed video feedback)...
Article
Full-text available
Theory of mind (ToM), or the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others, is a core element of social cognition (SC). Even though its importance for social functioning in general, and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), in particular, is well established, the links between ToM and other cognitive functions are not. Especially the fami...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in young people living in Australia, accounting for 7.3% of all deaths among individuals aged 15–19 years. Historically, high levels of suicide have been recorded in Australian university students. This project aims to develop and test a massive online course-program (MOOC) for university students,...
Article
Full-text available
While there is a large body of evidence drawn from randomised controlled trials supporting the efficacy of SSGT in autistic adolescents, the control arms of these studies are almost exclusively treated either as usual or waitlist. Addressing this limitation, 90 verbal autistic adolescents (70% male) aged 12–17 years (M = 13.77, SD = 1.6) with IQ >...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Exome sequencing has been proposed as the first-tier genetic testing in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we performed exome sequencing in autistic individuals with average to high intellectual abilities (N = 207) to identify a molecular diagnosis of ASD and genetic modulators of intervention outcomes following social skills group tr...
Article
Full-text available
Social-communication (SC) and restricted repetitive behaviors (RRB) are autism diagnostic symptom domains. SC and RRB severity can markedly differ within and between individuals and may be underpinned by different neural circuitry and genetic mechanisms. Modeling SC-RRB balance could help identify how neural circuitry and genetic mechanisms map ont...
Article
Full-text available
The well-being of children has received increasing attention in recent years. Nevertheless, we lack adequate brief self-report tools that enable us to consider young children’s well-being in policy evaluations and educational research. This study describes the adaptation and first validation of the Swedish version of How I Feel About My School (HIF...
Article
Full-text available
The past decade has evinced a boom of computer-based approaches to aid movement assessment in early infancy. Increasing interests have been dedicated to develop AI driven approaches to complement the classic Prechtl general movements assessment (GMA). This study proposes a novel machine learning algorithm to detect an age-specific movement pattern,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Small average differences in the left-right asymmetry of cerebral cortical thickness have been reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to typically developing controls. Although these alterations affect multiple and widespread cortical regional asymmetries, the extent to which specific structural networks might be affec...
Article
Full-text available
Impairments in social interaction and communication, in combination with restricted, repetitive behaviors and interests, define the neurodevelopmental diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The biological underpinnings of ASD are not well known, but the hypothesis of serotonin (5-HT) involvement in the neurodevelopment of ASD is one of the lo...
Article
Visual attention plays a key role in infants’ interaction with the environment, and shapes their behavioral and brain development. As such, early problems with flexibly switching gaze from one stimulus to another (visual disengagement) have been hypothesized to lead to developmental difficulties (e.g. joint attention and social skills) over time. T...
Article
Full-text available
Non‐shared environment (NSE) effects account for around one‐third of the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the knowledge of mechanisms and phenotypic profiles associated with NSE in ASD is scarce. A systematic search was conducted using Embase, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO for studies published in English between 1990 and August 2020 us...
Preprint
Full-text available
Twin studies can help us understand the relative contributions of genes and environment to phenotypic trait variation including attentional and brain activation measures. In terms of applying methodologies like electroencephalography (EEG) and eye tracking, which are key methods in developmental neuroscience, infant twin studies are almost non-exis...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying structural measures that capture early brain development and are sensitive to individual differences in behavior is a priority in developmental neuroscience, with potential implications for our understanding of both typical and atypical populations. T1-weighted/T2-weighted (T1w/T2w) ratio mapping, which previously has been linked to mye...
Article
Purpose: This study aimed to define the active ingredients of a participation-focused physical activity intervention for children and youth with disabilities. Materials and methods: An ethnographic approach was employed, triangulating participant observation, interviews and focus groups. Participant recruitment occurred through purposive samplin...
Article
Full-text available
The study aims to develop and pilot a telehealth social emotional program, MindChip™ delivered with a computer based interventions (CBI) (Mind Reading©) for autistic adults. MindChip™ combined four theoretical perspectives and community feedback underpinning the essential mechanisms for targeting the social emotional understanding of autistic adult...
Article
Full-text available
Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), such as autism and ADHD, are behaviorally defined adaptive functioning difficulties arising from variations, alterations and atypical maturation of the brain. While it is widely agreed that NDDs are complex conditions with their presentation and functional impact underpinned by diverse genetic and environmental...
Article
Introduction Synesthesia is a non-pathological condition where sensory stimuli (e.g. letters or sounds) lead to additional sensations (e.g. color). It occurs more commonly in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and is associated with increased autistic traits and autism-related perceptual processing characteristics, including...