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Autistic Disorder: A disorder beginning in childhood. It is marked by the presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interest. Manifestations of the disorder vary greatly depending on the developmental level and chronological age of the individual. (Dsm-iv)

Executive Function in Autism Spectrum Disorder

JoVE 10268

Source: Laboratories of Jonas T. Kaplan and Sarah I. Gimbel—University of Southern California

Attention, working-memory, planning, impulse control, inhibition, and mental flexibility are important components of human cognition that are often referred to as executive functions. Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impairments in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. It is a disorder that lasts a lifetime, and is thought to affect 0.6% of the population. The symptoms of autism suggest a deficit in executive function, which may be assessed by specialized neuropsychological tests. By employing several tests that each emphasize different aspects of executive function, we can gain a more complete picture of the cognitive profile of the disorder. One such task, known as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), is a cognitively complex task used widely in research and clinical studies as a highly sensitive measure of deficits in executive function. It tests a person's ability to shift attention and tests their flexibility with changing rules and reinforcement.1 In the WCST, a participant is presented with four stimulus cards, incorporating three stimulus parameters: color, shape, and number. The participant is asked to sort


 Neuropsychology

Rapid Detection of Neurodevelopmental Phenotypes in Human Neural Precursor Cells (NPCs)

1Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 3The Child Health Institute of NJ, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Services, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 4The Child Health Institute of NJ, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 5Department of Genetics, Rutgers University

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JoVE 56628


 JoVE In-Press

Recording Mouse Ultrasonic Vocalizations to Evaluate Social Communication

1Human Genetics and Cognitive Functions, University Paris Diderot, CNRS UMR 3571, Institut Pasteur, 2Neurophysiology and Behavior, University Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, CNRS UMR 7102, 3Bio Image Analysis, CNRS URA 2582, Institut Pasteur

JoVE 53871


 Behavior

A Familiarization Protocol Facilitates the Participation of Children with ASD in Electrophysiological Research

1Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Southern Connecticut State University, 2Haskins Laboratories, 3Department of Psychology, Southern Connecticut State University, 4Department of Social Work, Southern Connecticut State University, 5Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut

JoVE 55941


 Neuroscience

Conscious and Non-conscious Representations of Emotional Faces in Asperger's Syndrome

1Institute of Statistical Science, Academia Sinica, 2Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 3Department of Psychology, Fo Guang University, 4Department of Electrical Engineering, Fu Jen Catholic University, 5State Research Institute of Physiology and Basic Medicine, 6Novosibirsk State University, 7Imaging Research Center, Taipei Medical University

JoVE 53962


 Behavior

A Novel Experimental and Analytical Approach to the Multimodal Neural Decoding of Intent During Social Interaction in Freely-behaving Human Infants

1Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, 3Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston

JoVE 53406


 Behavior

Characterizing Multiscale Mechanical Properties of Brain Tissue Using Atomic Force Microscopy, Impact Indentation, and Rheometry

1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 4Department of Neurology, The F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

JoVE 54201


 Neuroscience

Executive Function and the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task

JoVE 10085

Source: Laboratories of Nicholaus Noles and Judith Danovitch—University of Louisville

Infants are born with amazing cognitive resources at their disposal, but they don’t know how to use them effectively. In order to harness the power of their brains, humans must develop high-level cognitive processes that manage basic brain functions. These processes make up what psychologists refer to as executive function. Executive function is a key factor in many self-regulatory behaviors, including forming plans to solve problems, negotiating between desires and actions, and directing attention. For example, a child must use several executive processes to stop playing with toys and start cleaning their room. These processes include inhibition (to stop what they’re doing), planning (to determine what actions need to be performed to clean the room), and attentional control (to stay on task until the cleaning is done). A breakdown of executive function during any of these steps would lead to the room remaining dirty. Developing executive function is one of the key challenges faced by children as they mature. Some elements of executive function can only be mastered with practice, and brain areas linked to executive function, specifically the prefrontal cortex, develop slowly throughout


 Developmental Psychology

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