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Although it has been suggested that social deficits of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are related to reward circuitry dysfunction, very little is known about the neural reward mechanisms in ASD. In the current functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated brain activations in response to both social and monetary reward in a group of(More)
BACKGROUND Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two distinct neurodevelopmental diseases, they share behavioural, neuropsychological and neurobiological characteristics. For the identification of endophenotypes across diagnostic categories, further investigations of phenotypic overlap between ADHD(More)
A deficit in empathy has been repeatedly described in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and also, albeit less markedly, in their unaffected relatives. Here, we aimed to investigate the neural mechanisms of empathy in ASD, and to explore familial contributions to empathy correlates. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, 15 boys with ASD,(More)
The present study aimed at identifying dysfunctions in brain networks that may underlie disturbed empathic behavior in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). During functional magnetic resonance imaging, subjects were asked to identify the emotional state observed in a facial stimulus (other-task) or to evaluate their own emotional response (self-task).(More)
Previous studies found normal or even superior performance of autistic patients on visuospatial tasks requiring local search, like the Embedded Figures Task (EFT). A well-known interpretation of this is "weak central coherence", i.e. autistic patients may show a reduced general ability to process information in its context and may therefore have a tendency(More)
An increasing number of animal studies advert to a substantial role of the neuropeptide oxytocin in the regulation of social attachment and affiliation. Furthermore, animal studies showed anxiety and stress-reduced effects of oxytocin. First human studies confirm these findings in animal studies and implicate a crucial role of oxytocin in human social(More)
The dimensional structure of higher functioning autism phenotype was investigated by factor analysis. The goal of this study was to identify the degree to which early symptoms of autism (measured using the ADI-R) could be predictive of the current symptoms of autism as identified using the ADOS, the adaptive behavior scales, IQ scores and theory of mind(More)
Social motivation deficit theories suggest that children with autism do not properly anticipate and appreciate the pleasure of social stimuli. In this study, we investigated event-related brain potentials evoked by cues that triggered social versus monetary reward anticipation in children with autism. Children with autism showed attenuated P3 activity in(More)
The current study investigated if deficits in processing emotional expression affect facial identity processing and vice versa in children with autism spectrum disorder. Children with autism and IQ and age matched typically developing children classified faces either by emotional expression, thereby ignoring facial identity or by facial identity(More)
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often fail to attach context to their memories and are specifically impaired in processing social aspects of contextual information. The aim of the present study was to investigate the modulatory influence of social vs. non-social context on neural mechanisms during encoding in ASD. Using event-related fMRI,(More)