Marian D Sigman

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To examine mirror neuron abnormalities in autism, high-functioning children with autism and matched controls underwent fMRI while imitating and observing emotional expressions. Although both groups performed the tasks equally well, children with autism showed no mirror neuron activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis). Notably, activity in(More)
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) represent a group of childhood neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by deficits in verbal communication, impairment of social interaction, and restricted and repetitive patterns of interests and behaviour. To identify common genetic risk factors underlying ASDs, here we present the results of(More)
Theories of anxiety development suggest that parental acceptance, control, and modeling of anxious behaviors are associated with children's manifestations of anxiety. This paper reviews research published in the past decade on the relation between parenting and childhood anxiety. Observed parental control during parent-child interactions was consistently(More)
OBJECTIVE The recurrence risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is estimated to be between 3% and 10%, but previous research was limited by small sample sizes and biases related to ascertainment, reporting, and stoppage factors. This study used prospective methods to obtain an updated estimate of sibling recurrence risk for ASD. METHODS A prospective(More)
AIMS To compare siblings of children with autism (SIBS-A) and siblings of children with typical development (SIBS-TD) at 4 and 14 months of age. METHODS At 4 months, mother-infant interactional synchrony during free play, infant gaze and affect during the still-face paradigm, and infant responsiveness to a name-calling paradigm were examined (n = 21 in(More)
The genetics underlying the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is complex and remains poorly understood. Previous work has demonstrated an important role for structural variation in a subset of cases, but has lacked the resolution necessary to move beyond detection of large regions of potential interest to identification of individual genes. To pinpoint genes(More)
Young autistic children were compared to normal and control samples on measures of non-verbal communication skills and object play skills. Deficits in non-verbal indicating behaviors best discriminated the children diagnosed as autistic from the other groups. Although the autistic children also exhibited deficits in object play behavior, these deficits did(More)
While individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are typically impaired in interpreting the communicative intent of others, little is known about the neural bases of higher-level pragmatic impairments. Here, we used functional MRI (fMRI) to examine the neural circuitry underlying deficits in understanding irony in high-functioning children with ASD.(More)
OBJECTIVE To examine the neural basis of impairments in interpreting facial emotions in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). METHOD Twelve children and adolescents with ASD and 12 typically developing (TD) controls matched faces by emotion and assigned a label to facial expressions while undergoing functional magnetic resonance(More)
This study was designed to examine the degree to which individual differences in gestural joint attention skills predicted language development among autistic children. A group of 15 autistic children (mean CA = 45 months) were matched with one group of mentally retarded (MR) children on mental age and another group of MR children on language age. These(More)