||Frontal theta activation during motor synchronization in autism
Kawasaki, Masahiro ,
Kitajo, Keiichi ,
Fukao, Kenjiro ,
Murai, Toshiya ,
Yamaguchi, YokoFunabiki, Yasuko
72017-11-08 , Springer Nature
自閉スペクトラム症者のコミュニケーション障害に関する新たな視点 --最新の脳波技術を用いた科学的根拠による理解の促進--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2017-11-10.
Autism is characterized by two primary characteristics: deficits in social interaction and repetitive behavioral patterns. Because interpersonal communication is extremely complicated, its underlying brain mechanisms remain unclear. Here we showed that both characteristics can be explained by a unifying underlying mechanism related to difficulties with irregularities. To address the issues, we measured electroencephalographm during a cooperative tapping task, which required participants to tap a key alternately and synchronously with constant rhythmic a PC program, a variable rhythmic PC program, or a human partner. We found that people with autism had great difficulty synchronizing tapping behavior with others, and exhibited greater than normal theta-wave (6 Hz) activity in the frontal cortex during the task, especially when their partner behaved somewhat irregularly (i.e. a variable rhythmic PC program or a human partner). Importantly, the higher theta-wave activity was related to the severity of autism, not the performance on the task. This indicates that people with autism need to use intense cognition when trying to adapt to irregular behavior and can easily become overtaxed. Difficulty adapting to irregular behavior in others is likely related to their own tendencies for repetitive and regular behaviors. Thus, while the two characteristics of autism have been comprehended separately, our unifying theory makes understanding the condition and developing therapeutic strategies more tractable.