Till startsida
University of Gothenburg
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Magnetoencephalography (MEG)-based intermediate biological phenotypes associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Participants: Elena Orekhova, Tatiana Stroganova, Anna Butorina, Nouchine Hadjikhani, Justin Schneiderman, Sebastian Lundström & Christopher Gillberg.

Background: Behavioural abnormalities associated with ASD stem from diverse genetic and environmental factors, suggesting that these factors target common neural mechanisms.
The functional neurophysiological characteristics mediating effect of genes on behavior constitute intermediate phenotypes that have direct prognostic relevance to more complex behavioral features. Investigation of the intermediate phenotypes may provide unique information about brain mechanisms of the ASD that cannot be obtained with either behavioral testing or genetic screening alone and may help to develop individually optimized neuro-cognitive therapies and/or neuro-pharmacological interventions.
The aim of the study is to analyze intermediate phenotypes associated with ASD by focusing on two categories of functional brain abnormalities best documented in these disorders: the elevated neural excitation/inhibition (E/I) ratio and atypical functional brain connectivity.

Method: Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a noninvasive method that has perfect time resolution. The high-frequency (gamma) oscillations recorded by MEG are sensitive to the altered E/I balance. Moreover, MEG allows better localization of electrical activity in the brain than EEG. Therefore, we use MEG to study neurophysiological intermediate phenotypes in ASD. Taking into account that the extent and direction of functional and structural brain abnormalities in ASD crucially depend on the developmental stage, we will compare findings in children and adults with ASD. The study is performed in collaboration between GNC and the MEG Centre at the Moscow University of Psychology and Education.


Stroganova T.A., Orekhova E.V., Prokofyev A.O., Tsetlin M.M., Gratchev V.V., Morozov A.A.& Obukhov Y.V. (2012). High-frequency oscillatory response to illusory contour in typically developing boys and boys with autism spectrum disorders. Cortex, 48, 701-717.

Kenet T., Orekhova E.V., Bharadwaj H., Shetty N.R., Israeli E., Lee A.K.C., Agam Y., ... & Manoach, D. (2012). Disconnectivity of the cortical ocular motor control network in autism spectrum disorders. NeuroImage, 61, 1226-1234.

Orekhova E.V., Stroganova T.A., Nygren G., Tsetlin M.M., Posikera I.N., Gillberg C.& Elam M. (2007). Excess of high frequency electroencephalogram oscillations in boys with autism. Biological psychiatry, 62, 1022-1029.


Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 11/3/2014

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