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      Sensory Processing in Autism: A Review of Neurophysiologic Findings :

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          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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          Most cited references76

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          The attention system of the human brain.

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            Die „Autistischen Psychopathen” im Kindesalter

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              The multifaceted interplay between attention and multisensory integration.

              Multisensory integration has often been characterized as an automatic process. Recent findings indicate that multisensory integration can occur across various stages of stimulus processing that are linked to, and can be modulated by, attention. Stimulus-driven, bottom-up mechanisms induced by crossmodal interactions can automatically capture attention towards multisensory events, particularly when competition to focus elsewhere is relatively low. Conversely, top-down attention can facilitate the integration of multisensory inputs and lead to a spread of attention across sensory modalities. These findings point to a more intimate and multifaceted interplay between attention and multisensory integration than was previously thought. We review developments in the current understanding of the interactions between attention and multisensory processing, and propose a framework that unifies previous, apparently discordant, findings. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pediatric Research
                Pediatric Research
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0031-3998
                2011
                May 2011
                : 69
                : 5 Part 2
                : 48R-54R
                Article
                10.1203/PDR.0b013e3182130c54
                3086654
                21289533
                551af197-e361-4203-977b-22c755930075
                © 2011

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