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Collection Summary Collection Charts
Collection Title Collection Investigators Collection Description
The Neural Substrates of Higher-Level Learning in Autism
Marjorie Solomon 
Individuals with ASD display a unique pattern of abilities and disabilities in learning and memory. They exhibit intact lower-level learning of items, facts, details, and routines. However, they manifest impairments in higherlevel learning involving abstraction, problem solving, using information that must be organized with selfgenerated conceptual schemas, and generalizing learning. This uneven and situation-focused learning profile has a profound impact on the academic, social, and adaptive functioning of those with ASD. Furthermore, while consistent with other neurocognitive theories of ASD, a learning-based approach offers clearer links to animal and computational model systems, thus enhancing its potential to illuminate pathophysiological mechanisms. In this application, I attempt to clarify the neural mechanisms underlying higher-level learning deficits, and help identify their precise effects on the day-to-day functioning of adolescents with ASD. Experiments will include behavioral and fMRI studies in a well-characterized group of adolescents aged 12-17 years, 11 months with ASD (n=40), and age, IQ, and gender-matched control participants with typical development (TYP; n=40).The first Aim, investigates the neural circuitry underlying higher-level learning deficits in adolescents with ASD using fMRI and a transitive inference paradigm which includes testing on lower-level trained and higher-level abstracted relationships between stimuli. This Aim employs a rapid eventrelated fMRI study which is interpreted in the context of our recent behavioral study of transitive inference learning in young adults, and two prominent mechanistic learning models. We predict that individuals with ASD will demonstrate reduced frontal functioning and functional connectivity during higher-level inferences. In the second Aim, we investigate how behavioral and neural indices of lower and higher-level learning relate to academic performance, social problem solving, and restricted and repetitive behaviors using regression analyses to examine how reading, writing, math, and social problem solving abilities, and restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, are predicted by neurocogntive measures of abstract reasoning and generalization,and neural indices of transitive inference. This work proposes a new mechanistic model of ASD; attempts to link neurocognition to real life problems; focuses on the understudied adolescent population during a potentially effective window for intervention; advances the search for psychopharmacological, psychosocial, and neural retraining remediation strategies for these individuals who are extremely able, but experience higher-level learning problems that limit their human potential; uses Bayesian state-space quantitative methods to closely examine the emergence of learning; and establishes a conceptual basis for future investigation of generalization of learning in mice through the development of parallel tasks in mouse models of ASD that can be used as preclinical assays for dopaminergic and other pharmacological treatments for cognitive deficits.
NDAR
Closed
Shared
$414,260.00
66
0
71
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NIH - Extramural None


R21MH099250-01 The Neural Substrates of Higher-Level Learning in Autism 09/15/2012 05/31/2014 0 71 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT DAVIS $414,260.00

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Experiments

To create a new Omics, eye tracking, fMRI, or EEG experiment, press the "+ New Experiment" button. Once an experiment is created, then raw files for these types of experiments should be provided, associating the experiment – through Experiment_ID – with the metadata defined in the experiments interface.

IDNameCreated DateStatusType
297Ovals Transitive Inference Task04/10/2015ApprovedfMRI

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Shared Data

Data structures with the number of subjects submitted and shared are provided.

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) - Module 3 Clinical Assessments 20
Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) - Module 4 Clinical Assessments 13
BASC Parent Rating Scale Adolescent Clinical Assessments 65
BASC Self Report Adolescent Clinical Assessments 65
California Verbal Learning Test Clinical Assessments 65
Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Clinical Assessments 65
Image Imaging 64
Means-Ends Problem Solving Test (MEPS) Revised Clinical Assessments 61
Repetitive Behavior Scale - Revised (RBS-R) (2000) Clinical Assessments 65
Research Subject Clinical Assessments 65
Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) - Lifetime Clinical Assessments 64
WASI-2 Clinical Assessments 65
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test Third Edition. Part I Clinical Assessments 65

Collection Owners and those with Collection Administrator permission, may edit a collection. The following is currently available for Edit on this page:

Publications

Publications relevant to NDAR data are listed below. Most displayed publications have been associated with the grant within Pubmed. Use the "+ New Publication" button to add new publications. Publications relevant/not relevant to data expected are categorized. Relevant publications are then linked to the underlying data by selecting the Create Study link. Study provides the ability to define cohorts, assign subjects, define outcome measures and lists the study type, data analysis and results. Analyzed data and results are expected in this way.

PubMed IDStudyTitleJournalAuthorsDateStatus
26506585Create StudyAtypical Learning in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Transitive Inference.Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySolomon M, Ragland JD, Niendam TA, Lesh TA, Beck JS, Matter JC, Frank MJ, Carter CSNovember 2015Not Determined
26418313Create StudyClinical and Cognitive Characteristics Associated with Mathematics Problem Solving in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism ResearchOswald TM, Beck JS, Iosif AM, Mccauley JB, Gilhooly LJ, Matter JC, Solomon MApril 2016Not Determined
23413037Create StudyOxytocin and vasopressin in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: sex differences and associations with symptoms.Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism ResearchMiller M, Bales KL, Taylor SL, Yoon J, Hostetler CM, Carter CS, Solomon MApril 2013Not Determined
23239098Create StudyMeasuring changes in social behavior during a social skills intervention for higher-functioning children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.Journal of autism and developmental disordersMcMahon CM, Vismara LA, Solomon MAugust 2013Not Determined
21656344Create StudyTransitive inference in adults with autism spectrum disorders.Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscienceSolomon M, Frank MJ, Smith AC, Ly S, Carter CSSeptember 2011Not Determined
help.tab.dataexpected

Relevant Publications
PubMed IDStudyTitleJournalAuthorsDate
No records found.
help.tab.dataexpected.addnew
Data Expected
Data ExpectedTargeted EnrollmentInitial SubmissionSubjects SharedStatus
Research Subject and Pedigree info iconApproved
Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) info iconApproved
Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) info iconApproved
ADOS info iconApproved
Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) info iconApproved
Imaging (Structural, fMRI, DTI, PET, microscopy) info iconApproved
Means-Ends Problem Solving Test (MEPS) info iconApproved
Transitive Inference Task info iconApproved
Repetitive Behavior Scale - Revised (RBS-R) info iconApproved
Auditory Verbal Learning Task info iconApproved
Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) info iconApproved
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test info iconApproved
Structure not yet defined

Collection Owners and those with Collection Administrator permission, may edit a collection. The following is currently available for Edit on this page:

Associated Studies

Studies that have been defined using data from a Collection are important criteria to determine the value of data shared. The number of subjects column displays the counts from this Collection that are included in a Study, out of the total number of subjects in that study. The Data Use column represents whether or not the study is a primary analysis of the data or a secondary analysis. State indicates whether the study is private or shared with the research community.

Study Name Description Number of Subjects
Collection / Total
Data Use State
Derivation of Brain Structure Volumes from MRI Neuroimages hosted by NDAR using C-PAC pipeline and ANTs An automated pipeline was developed to reference Neuroimages hosted by the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR) and derive volumes for distinct brain structures using Advanced Normalization Tools (ANTs) and the Configurable-Pipeline for the Analysis of Connectomes (C-PAC) platform. This pipeline utilized the ANTs cortical thickness methodology discuessed in "Large-Scale Evaluation of ANTs and Freesurfer Cortical Tchickness Measurements" [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24879923] to extract a cortical thickness volume from T1-weighted anatomical MRI data gathered from the NDAR database. This volume was then registered to an stereotaxic-space anatomical template (OASIS-30 Atropos Template) which was acquired from the Mindboggle Project webpage [http://mindboggle.info/data.html]. After registration, the mean cortical thickness was calculated at 31 ROIs on each hemisphere of the cortex and using the Desikan-Killiany-Tourville (DKT-31) cortical labelling protocol [http://mindboggle.info/faq/labels.html] over the OASIS-30 template. **NOTE: This study is ongoing; additional data my be available in the future.** As a result, each subject that was processed has a cortical thickness volume image and a text file with the mean thickness ROIs (in mm) stored in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3). Additionally, these results were tabulated in an AWS-hosted database (through NDAR) to enable simple, efficient querying and data access. All of the code used to perform this analysis is publicly available on Github [https://github.com/FCP-INDI/ndar-dev]. Additionally, as a computing platform, we developed an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) that comes fully equipped to run this pipeline on any dataset. Using AWS Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2), users can launch our publicly available AMI ("C-PAC with benchmark", AMI ID: "ami-fee34296", N. Virginia region) and run the ANTs cortical thickness pipeline. The AMI is fully compatible with Sun Grid Engine as well; this enables users to perform many pipeline runs in parallel over a cluster-computing framework. 8 / 1540 Secondary Analysis Shared
Revising the Social Communication Questionnaire scoring procedures for Autism Spectrum Disorder and potential Social Communication Disorder In analyzing data from the National Database for Autism Research, we examine revising the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), a commonly used screening instrument for Autism Spectrum Disorder. A combination of Item Response Theory and Mokken scaling techniques were utilized to achieve this and abbreviated scoring of the SCQ is suggested. The psychometric sensitivity of this abbreviated SCQ was examined via bootstrapped Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses. Additionally, we examined the sensitivity of the abbreviated and total scaled SCQ as it relates to a potential diagnosis of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder (SCD). As SCD is a new disorder introduced with the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), we identified individuals with potential diagnosis of SCD among individuals with ASD via mixture modeling techniques using the same NDAR data. These analyses revealed two classes or clusters of individuals when considering the two core areas of impairment among individuals with ASD: social communication and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. 2 / 1021 Secondary Analysis Shared
* Data not on individual level
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