Cortical Variability in the Sensory-Evoked Response in Autism

Sarah M. Haigh, David J. Heeger, Ilan Dinstein, Nancy Minshew, Marlene Behrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Previous findings have shown that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) evince greater intra-individual variability (IIV) in their sensory-evoked fMRI responses compared to typical control participants. We explore the robustness of this finding with a new sample of high-functioning adults with autism. Participants were presented with visual, somatosensory and auditory stimuli in the scanner whilst they completed a one-back task. While ASD and control participants were statistically indistinguishable with respect to behavioral responses, the new ASD group exhibited greater IIV relative to controls. We also show that the IIV was equivalent across hemispheres and remained stable over the duration of the experiment. This suggests that greater cortical IIV may be a replicable characteristic of sensory systems in autism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1176-1190
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


  • Autism
  • Sensory-evoked
  • Variability
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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