Global motion evoked potentials in autistic and dyslexic children: a cross-syndrome approach
Toffoli L., Scerif G., Snowling MJ., Norcia A., Manning C.
<p>Atypicalities in psychophysical thresholds for global motion processing have been reported in many neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism and dyslexia. Cross-syndrome comparisons of neural dynamics may help determine whether altered motion processing is a general marker of atypical development or condition-specific. Here, we assessed group differences in N2 peak amplitude (previously proposed as a marker of motion-specific processing) in typically developing (n = 57), autistic (n = 29) and dyslexic children (n = 44) aged 6 to 14 years, in two global motion tasks. High-density EEG data were collected while children judged the direction of global motion stimuli as quickly and accurately as possible, following a period of random motion. Using a data-driven component decomposition technique, we identified a reliable component that was maximal over occipital electrodes and had an N2-like peak at ~160 ms. We found no group differences in N2 peak amplitude, in either task. However, for both autistic and dyslexic children, there was evidence of atypicalities in later stages of processing that require follow up in future research. Our results suggest that early sensory encoding of motion information is unimpaired in dyslexic and autistic children. Group differences in later processing stages could reflect sustained global motion responses, decision-making, metacognitive processes and/or response generation, which may also distinguish between autistic and dyslexic individuals.</p>