Neurophysiological Indices of Atypical Auditory Processing and Multisensory Integration are Associated with Symptom Severity in Autism

Alice B. Brandwein, John J. Foxe, John S. Butler, Hans Peter Frey, Juliana C. Bates, Lisa H. Shulman, Sophie Molholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


Atypical processing and integration of sensory inputs are hypothesized to play a role in unusual sensory reactions and social-cognitive deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Reports on the relationship between objective metrics of sensory processing and clinical symptoms, however, are surprisingly sparse. Here we examined the relationship between neurophysiological assays of sensory processing and (1) autism severity and (2) sensory sensitivities, in individuals with ASD aged 6–17. Multiple linear regression indicated significant associations between neural markers of auditory processing and multisensory integration, and autism severity. No such relationships were apparent for clinical measures of visual/auditory sensitivities. These data support that aberrant early sensory processing contributes to autism symptoms, and reveal the potential of electrophysiology to objectively subtype autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-244
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • ADOS
  • ASD
  • ERP
  • Electrophysiology
  • Multisensory integration
  • Sensory Profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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