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Alexithymia and Emotion Recognition in People with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review

Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder involving social-communication deficits, and rigid and repetitive behaviours. Individuals with ASD also demonstrate emotion-processing deficits, such as difficulties recognizing their own or others’ emotions. There is evidence to suggest that co-occurring alexithymia, or difficulties recognizing emotions within oneself, and not ASD may account for these difficulties. This paper reviews the literature about alexithymia to better understand emotion recognition skills in ASD. Implications are discussed in terms of possible therapeutic interventions involving alexithymia, which may improve emotional and social outcomes among those with ASD. Written by Ruby Jamil, M.A., and  Anne-Marie DePape, Ph.D. This PDF article is available for download only.   Jamil and DePape – Alexithymia and Emotion Recognition in People with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review, 2017 PDF

Alzheimer’s Disease

This infographic explains the effects and management of Alzheimer’s. It was created by Brooke Degraaf and Maryanne Piacente from Mental Health and Disability Management. Please be sure to listen to the audio attached for a brief presentation of the content. Alzheimer’s Disease Description, Effects, and Management: Infographic. Please be sure to listen to the attached audio clip. Alzheimer’s Disease Infographic Download https://knowledgetranslation.mohawkcollege.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Alzheimers-Disease-Audio.mp3

Alzheimer’s Disease

This infographic explains how Alzheimer’s Disease is managed. It was created by Sarah Vanderham and Kyra Bowman from Mental Health and Disability Management. Please be sure to listen to the audio attached for a brief presentation of the content.  Alzheimer’s Disease Infographic Download  https://knowledgetranslation.mohawkcollege.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Infographic.m4a

Alzheimer’s Disease

This infographic explains how Alzheimer’s Disease is managed. It was created by Palaash Pavdighada and Amanda Tran from Mental Health and Disability Management. Please be sure to listen to the audio attached for a brief presentation of the content.   https://knowledgetranslation.mohawkcollege.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Infographic-Audio_Amanda-and-Palaash-MHDM.m4a    

Alzheimer’s Disease

This infographic explains how Alzheimer’s Disease is managed. It was created by Lejla Krsic and Priya Odedra from Mental Health and Disability Management. Please be sure to listen to the audio attached for a brief presentation of the content.  https://knowledgetranslation.mohawkcollege.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Infographic_Recording.mp3

Amygdala Engagement in Response to Subthreshold Presentations of Anxious Face Stimuli in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Preliminary Insights

Article: Amygdala Engagement in Response to Subthreshold Presentations of Anxious Face Stimuli in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Preliminary Insights.  This paper was published in 2010 by Geoffrey Hall and colleagues, included Krissy Doyle-Thomas in the journal PLoS One. This PDF article is available for download only. Abstract: Current theoretical models of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have proposed that impairments in the processing of social/emotional information may be linked to amygdala dysfunction. However, the extent to which amygdala functions are compromised in ASD has become a topic of debate in recent years. In a jittered functional magnetic resonance imaging study, sub-threshold presentations of anxious faces permitted an examination of amygdala recruitment in 12 high functioning adult males with ASD and 12 matched controls. We found heightened neural activation of the amygdala in both high functioning adults with ASD and matched controls. Neither the intensity nor the time-course of amygdala activation differed between the groups. However, the adults with ASD showed significantly lower levels of fusiform activation during the trials compared to controls. Our findings suggest that in ASD, the transmission of socially salient information along sub-cortical pathways is intact: and yet the signaling of this information to structures downstream may be impoverished, and the pathways that facilitate subsequent processing deficient.  Hall et al – Amygdala Engagement in Response to Subthreshold Presentations of Anxious Face Stimuli in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders Preliminary Insights 2010 PDF

Analyzing Code Red: Ten Years Later

This research briefing paper reviews the series of articles published in the Hamilton Spectator as part of the Code Red series and was written by Sydney Haagsma, Kimberly Huynh and Laura Shulist from Brain Disorders Management. This PDF article is available for download only.  Abstract:    The original Code Red series published in the Hamilton Spectator in 2010 started an important conversation about the health disparities in Hamilton, with a specific focus on social determinants of health. This series sparked interest in the general public and the Hamilton community by bringing forth issues in an accessible and impactful way. Despite its initial impact, the follow-up series called “Code Red: Ten Years Later” highlighted the progress made, or lack thereof, that was seen in the community in the ten years following the publication of the original series. Using a qualitative approach, this research briefing paper identified four themes from the Code Red series: 1) Complex and Cyclical Problems, 2) Hope and Resiliency of the Community, 3) Stigmatization in a Failing System, and 4) The Importance of Prevention. This research helps to evaluate both the positive and the negative changes that occurred in this ten-year time period and how these changes were perceived in the community.     Sydney Haagsma, Kimberly Huynh and Laura Shulist – Analyzing Code Red: Ten Years Later PDF  

Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder

This infographic explains how Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder is managed. It was created by Sanskruti Awasthi and Hailey Zimmer from Brain Disorders Management. Please be sure to listen to the audio attached for a brief presentation of the content.  https://knowledgetranslation.mohawkcollege.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/ADHD-infographic-FINAL_Hailey-and-Sanskruti.m4a

Atypical Functional Brain Connectivity during Rest in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Article: Atypical Functional Brain Connectivity during Rest in Autism Spectrum Disorders. This paper was published in 2015 by Krissy Doyle-Thomas and colleagues in the journal Annals of Neurology. This PDF article is available for download only.  Abstract: Objective Connectivity atypicalities in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been extensively proposed. The default mode network (DMN) is critical in this study, given the insight it provides for long‐distance connectivity, and the importance of regions in this network for introspection and social emotion processing, areas affected in ASD. However, study of this network has largely been limited to adults; research earlier in development is lacking. The objective of this study was to examine DMN connectivity in children/adolescents with ASD.   Methods A total of 115 children/adolescents, aged 6 to 17 years (71 males with ASD and 44 group age‐matched TD males) were included in these analyses. We examined group differences in (1) functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex and regions across the brain, (2) connectivity within the DMN as a function of age and intelligence quotient (IQ), and (3) the association between DMN connectivity and empathic accuracy.  Results Individuals with ASD, relative to controls, showed either stronger or weaker connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and DMN regions, depending on the region, but also showed stronger connectivity with non‐DMN regions. A significant group‐by‐age interaction was observed in functional connectivity between the PCC and medial prefrontal cortex; connectivity increased with age in controls, but decreased in individuals with ASD. No effects of IQ were found. There was a significant group difference in the relation between DMN [...]

Auditory Pitch Perception in Autism Spectrum Disorder Is Associated With Nonverbal Abilities

Article: Auditory Pitch Perception in Autism Spectrum Disorder Is Associated With Nonverbal Abilities. This paper was published in 2017 by Rakhee Chowdhury and colleagues, included Krissy Doyle-Thomas in the journal Perception.  Abstract: Atypical sensory perception and heterogeneous cognitive profiles are common features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, previous findings on auditory sensory processing in ASD are mixed. Accordingly, auditory perception and its relation to cognitive abilities in ASD remain poorly understood. Here, children with ASD, and age- and intelligence quotient (IQ)-matched typically developing children, were tested on a low- and a higher level pitch processing task. Verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities were measured using the Wechsler’s Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. There were no group differences in performance on either auditory task or IQ measure. However, there was significant variability in performance on the auditory tasks in both groups that was predicted by nonverbal, not verbal skills. These results suggest that auditory perception is related to nonverbal reasoning rather than verbal abilities in ASD and typically developing children. In addition, these findings provide evidence for preserved pitch processing in school-age children with ASD with average IQ, supporting the idea that there may be a subgroup of individuals with ASD that do not present perceptual or cognitive difficulties. Future directions involve examining whether similar perceptual-cognitive relationships might be observed in a broader sample of individuals with ASD, such as those with language impairment or lower IQ.  Link: Auditory Pitch Perception in Autism Spectrum Disorder Is Associated With Nonverbal Abilities   Reference Information: Chowdhury R, Sharda M, Foster NEV, et al. Auditory [...]

Auditory Processing in High-Functioning Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder including abnormalities in perceptual processing. We measure perception in a battery of tests across speech (filtering, phoneme categorization, multisensory integration) and music (pitch memory, meter categorization, harmonic priming). We found that compared to controls, the ASD group showed poorer filtering, less audio-visual integration, less specialization for native phonemic and metrical categories, and a higher instance of absolute pitch. No group differences were found in harmonic priming. Our results are discussed in a developmental framework where culture-specific knowledge acquired early compared to late in development is most impaired, perhaps because of early-accelerated brain growth in ASD. These results suggest that early auditory remediation is needed for good communication and social functioning. This PDF article is available for download only.   DePape et al – Auditory Processing in High-Functioning Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2012 (b) PDF

Auditory-Motor Rhythm Synchronization in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Article: Auditory-Motor Rhythm Synchronization in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This paper was published in 2017 by Ana Tryfon and colleagues, included Krissy Doyle-Thomas in the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Abstract: Background Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by difficulties in social and communication skills as well as atypical sensory perception and motor skills. Sensorimotor abilities such as auditory-motor integration are essential for social interaction and communication. The goal of this research was to investigate the development of auditory-motor rhythm synchronization for the first time in ASD versus typically-developing (TD) children. Methods Participants were 31 boys with ASD and 23 TD boys that were matched in age and IQ. Participants were tested on an auditory-motor rhythm synchronization task in which they tapped in synchrony with rhythms of varying metrical complexity. Results Both children with ASD and TD performed similarly on this task and both groups performed better with age. Conclusions This work demonstrates that non-verbal rhythm synchronization is intact in ASD over the course of childhood development. This research serves to better understand sensorimotor interactions in ASD and to better define sensory phenotypes in ASD.  Link: Auditory-Motor Rhythm Synchronization in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Reference Information: Ana Tryfon, Nicholas E. Foster, Tia Ouimet, Krissy Doyle-Thomas, Evdokia Anagnostou, Megha Sharda, Krista L. Hyde, Auditory-motor rhythm synchronization in children with autism spectrum disorder, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Volume 35, 2017, 51-61.