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Cardiovascular and electrodermal responses to simple stimuli in autistic, retarded and normal children

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Phasic changes in respiratory period, electrodermal activity (EDA), the evoked cardiac response (ECR), and the vasoconstrictive pheripheral pulse amplitude response (PPAR), were examined in matched groups of autistic, retarded, and normal children, using repeated presentation of simple visual and auditory stimuli. Analysis as a function of group membership and age indicated that respiratory pause and EDA showed habituation in the retarded and normal groups, but not in the autistic group, with no age effects in any group. PPAR and ECR showed no habituation in any group, but within-group age differences, and a higher mean response level for the autistic subjects. The autistic children did not display the diminution of response level with increased age that was characteristic of both the control groups. These effects were obtained across both modalities. Results could not be attributed to between-group tonic cardiac arousal differences, and were interpreted as further indications of diminished sensitivity to reductions in stimulus novelty, as well as developmental delay, in early-onset psychosis. © 1984.

Publication Date


  • 1984

Citation


  • James, A. L., & Barry, R. J. (1984). Cardiovascular and electrodermal responses to simple stimuli in autistic, retarded and normal children. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 1(2), 179-193. doi:10.1016/0167-8760(84)90037-0

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0021323094

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 179

End Page


  • 193

Volume


  • 1

Issue


  • 2

Abstract


  • Phasic changes in respiratory period, electrodermal activity (EDA), the evoked cardiac response (ECR), and the vasoconstrictive pheripheral pulse amplitude response (PPAR), were examined in matched groups of autistic, retarded, and normal children, using repeated presentation of simple visual and auditory stimuli. Analysis as a function of group membership and age indicated that respiratory pause and EDA showed habituation in the retarded and normal groups, but not in the autistic group, with no age effects in any group. PPAR and ECR showed no habituation in any group, but within-group age differences, and a higher mean response level for the autistic subjects. The autistic children did not display the diminution of response level with increased age that was characteristic of both the control groups. These effects were obtained across both modalities. Results could not be attributed to between-group tonic cardiac arousal differences, and were interpreted as further indications of diminished sensitivity to reductions in stimulus novelty, as well as developmental delay, in early-onset psychosis. © 1984.

Publication Date


  • 1984

Citation


  • James, A. L., & Barry, R. J. (1984). Cardiovascular and electrodermal responses to simple stimuli in autistic, retarded and normal children. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 1(2), 179-193. doi:10.1016/0167-8760(84)90037-0

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0021323094

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 179

End Page


  • 193

Volume


  • 1

Issue


  • 2