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Interhemispheric transfer in high-functioning children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: a controlled pilot study.

Journal article
Authors Agneta Nydén
Maria L. Carlsson
Arvid Carlsson
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Developmental medicine and child neurology
Volume 46
Issue 7
Pages 448-54
ISSN 0012-1622
Publication year 2004
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Dept of Pharmacology
Pages 448-54
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Autistic Disorder, physiopathology, Brain, physiopathology, Child, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Female, Functional Laterality, physiology, Humans, Male, Motor Skills Disorders, epidemiology, physiopathology, Perceptual Disorders, epidemiology, Pilot Projects, Reaction Time, physiology, Space Perception, physiology, Transfer (Psychology), physiology, Visual Fields, physiology, Visual Pathways, physiopathology, Visual Perception, physiology
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with strong genetic influences. Clinical experience and limited empirical evidence support the view that autism may be associated with aberrant interhemispheric information transfer. This empirical controlled study examined whether, at neuropsychological testing, children with autism showed problems with interhemispheric information transfer. The study included auditory, visual, and motor measures covering information transfer within, as well as across, modalities. Thirty children (24 males, 6 females; mean age 12 years 8 months, SD 2 years 8 months; range 9 years 5 months to 17 years 5 months) without learning disability but with autism spectrum disorders were compared with 30 children from a mainstream school matched for age, sex, and IQ>75. Children with autism spectrum disorder performed significantly worse than the comparison group on most of the tests (p=0.02 for auditory perception and attention, p=0.005 for visual perception, p=0.0001 for motor control, p=0.04 for tactile perception). Results support the notion that aberrant interhemispheric transfer may be involved in the pathogenesis or clinical course of autism. The findings were not accounted for by lower IQ in the group with autism.

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