Exploring the relation between brain response to speech at 6-months and language outcomes at 24-months in infants at high and low risk for autism spectrum disorder: a preliminary functional near-infrared spectroscopy study
Perdue, Katherine L.
Nelson, Charles A.
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Citation (published version)Meredith Pecukonis, Katherine L Perdue, Jillian Wong, Helen Tager-Flusberg, Charles A Nelson. 2021. "Exploring the relation between brain response to speech at 6-months and language outcomes at 24-months in infants at high and low risk for autism spectrum disorder: A preliminary functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.." Dev Cogn Neurosci, Volume 47, 100897. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100897
Infants at high familial risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at increased risk for language impairments. Studies have demonstrated that atypical brain response to speech is related to language impairments in this population, but few have examined this relation longitudinally. We used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to investigate the neural correlates of speech processing in 6-month-old infants at high (HRA) and low risk (LRA) for autism. We also assessed the relation between brain response to speech at 6-months and verbal developmental quotient (VDQ) scores at 24-months. LRA infants exhibited greater brain response to speech in bilateral anterior regions of interest (ROIs) compared to posterior ROIs, while HRA infants exhibited similar brain response across all ROIs. Compared to LRA infants, HRA+ infants who were later diagnosed with ASD had reduced brain response in bilateral anterior ROIs, while HRA- infants who were not later diagnosed with ASD had increased brain response in right posterior ROI. Greater brain response in left anterior ROI predicted VDQ scores for LRA infants only. Findings highlight the importance of studying HRA+ and HRA- infants separately, and implicate a different, more distributed neural system for speech processing in HRA infants that is not related to language functioning.
Rights© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND