Brain Signals Reflect Social Anxiety and Performance Fears in ASD Posted on January 4, 2018 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tamara Rosen, Graduate student in Clinical Psychology Stony Brook University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Approximately 40 percent of youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are diagnosed with a co-occurring anxiety disorder. Social anxiety is a common presenting problem for these youth. Youth with ASD and increased social anxiety have heightened threat sensitivity, particularly in relation to performance fears, as measured by a brain signal response called the error-related negativity (ERN), which measures response to errors. The threat sensitivity-performance fears association remained even after controlling for anxiety symptoms other than social fearfulness. MedicalResearch.com:

What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Findings will help guide professionals to more specific diagnosis and better treatment strategies for co-occurring anxiety symptoms experienced by many with ASD. Future studies should investigate the unique ways in which youth with autism experience and display anxiety, and see if the ERN can help us to better understand those experiences.

Citation: Tamara E. Rosen, Matthew D. Lerner. Error-related brain activity and anxiety symptoms in youth with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 2017; DOI: 1002/aur.1898 Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.