IMFAR Presentations


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Title Type Authors Abstract Abstract Number Date / Time Location
When “Easy” Conversations Seem Harder: Filler Words and Social Context in Adults with ASD Poster

Okocha, A., Boorse, J., Bateman, L., Pallathra, A.A., Maddox, B., Brodkin, E.S., Ferguson, E., Dravis, Z., Minyanou, N., Pomykacz, A., Bartley, K., Kim, E., de Marchena, A., Pandey, J., Schultz, R., & Parish-Morris, J.

Background: Social communication is a core challenge in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but has proven difficult to reliably measure, especially in natural contexts. In this study, we use techniques from Natural Language Processing and theories of conversational dynamics to assess speech during different types of informal conversations.

24940 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon When Easy Conversations seem Harder-min.jpg
Real-World Conversational Turn-Taking: An Exploratory Study of Preschoolers with ASD, Teachers, and Peers Poster

Liu, T., Regan, S., Ferguson, E., Bateman, L., Nahmias, A., Mandell, D., Schultz, R.T. & Parish-Morris, J.

Background: Early intervention (EI) has the potential to dramatically improve long-term outcomes in children with ASD (Howlin, Magiati, & Charman, 2009). Little is known about the influence of child-level characteristics on treatment gains in different EI settings, which could have important implications for how we match children to the most effective setting. Language may be an important moderator of individual gains.

25316 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Real-World Conversational Turn Taking-min.jpg
Linguistic camouflage in girls with autism spectrum disorder Poster

Bateman, L., Liberman, M.Y., Cieri, C.,Herrington, J., Yerys, B.E., Ferguson, E., Pandey, J., Schultz, R.T., & Parish-Morris, J.

Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed more frequently in boys than girls, even when girls are equally symptomatic (Dworzynski, Ronald, Bolton, & Happé, 2012). Recent research points to “camouflaging” in girls with ASD, in which social behaviors appear superficially typical and contribute to diagnostic challenges (Rynkiewicz et al., 2016). We explore linguistic features that may contribute to the female camouflage effect in ASD.

24133 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Linguistic Camoflague in Girls with ASD-min.jpg
Features of Co-Speech Hand Gestures Help Predict Diagnostic Group Membership Poster

Cola, M., Kim, E., Bagdasarov, A., Zhang, Y., Dravis, Z., Maddox, B., Ferguson, E., Adeoye, L., Fergusson, F., Pallathra, A., Minyanou, N., Bateman, L., Pomykacz, A., Bartley, K., Brodkin, E., Pandey, J., Parish-Morris, J., Schultz, R.T., & de Marchena, A. 

Background: Deficits in nonverbal communication are required for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Unfortunately, nonverbal communication is poorly captured by informant-based questionnaires, the standard gatekeeper of ASD screening. Thus, novel measures are needed to assess nonverbal communication, which is central to clinical decision making. During the diagnostic process, clinicians integrate developmental history, including when and how atypical behaviors manifest, with behavioral observation.

25244 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Features of Co-Speech Hand Gestures-min.jpg
Conversational Compensation Predicts Autism Symptom Severity: Poster

Boorse, J., Okocha, A., Bateman, L., Pallathra, A.A., Maddox, B., Brodkin, E.S., Ferguson, E., Dravis, Z., Minyanou, N., Pomykacz, A., Bartley, K., Kim, E., de Marchena, A., Pandey, J., Schultz, R., & Parish-Morris, J.

Background: Everyday conversation is often challenging for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the impact on a given individual can vary from mild to profound. In this study, we explore a behavior that facilitates social communication and could index social motivation: conversational compensation via increased word production. During natural conversation, partners engage in verbal give-and-take. When one partner reaches a lull or becomes quiet, the other partner picks up the conversational slack and “fills in the blanks”.

24139 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Conversation Compensation Perdicts AS Severity-min.jpg
Adults with ASD show strengths and weaknesses in conversation during a referential communication task Poster

Dravis, Z., Bagdasarov, A., Kim, E., Zhang, Y., Cola, M., Maddox, B., Ferguson, E., Adeoye, L., Fergusson, F., Pallathra, A., Minyanou, N., Bateman, L., Pomykacz, A., Bartley, K., Brodkin, E., Pandey, J., Parish-Morris, J., Schultz., R.T., & de Marchena, A.

Background: Although social-communication deficits are central to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), little research has examined how communication changes in real time as social interactions unfold. In typical populations, conversational partners become more efficient communicators as they establish a shared vocabulary, or common ground. Other subtle phenomena, such as matching word choice, syntax, and prosody, as well as mimicking one another’s hand gestures, are also observed.

26043 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon ZachIMFAR2107Poster.jpg
Adults with ASD more rigid when establishing common ground during a referential communication task Poster

Conca, M., Beriont, J., de Marchena, A., Maddox, B., Ferguson, E., Pallathra, A., Minyanou, N., Bateman, L., Dravis, Z., Pomykacz, A., Bartley, K., Brodkin, E., Pandey, J., Parish-Morris, J., Schultz., R.T., & Kim E. S.

Background: A speaker’s ability to manage shared knowledge, or common ground, with a listener is a fundamental aspect of pragmatic language, which in turn is an area of deficit common to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Common ground management problems observed in individuals with ASD include verbosity (de Marchena & Eigsti 2016), overspecification, and ambiguity caused by pronoun or article-definiteness reversal (Graf & Davies 2014). But little research has examined how interlocutors come to agree on the terms used to describe shared referents.

26043 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Rigidity in Adults with ASD.jpg
Communicative Functions of Co-Speech Gestures During Conversation in Adults with ASD Poster

Zhang, Y., Bagdasarov, A., Kim, E., Dravis, Z., Cola, M., Maddox, B., Ferguson, E., Adeoye, L., Fergusson, F., Pallathra, A., Minyanou, N., Bateman, L., Pomykacz, A., Bartley, K., Brodkin, E., Pandey, J., Parish-Morris, J., Schultz., R.T., & de Marchena, A.

Background: Co-speech hand gestures serve many communicative functions, often denoted by gesture “types.” For example, gestures can be interactive (signaling pragmatic functions, e.g., turn taking), or representational (depicting physical properties of referents, e.g., shape/movement). Several studies have reported that people with ASD use the same types of gestures as controls, while others report differential proportions of certain gesture types (e.g., increased iconic/representational gestures).

25277 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:30pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon CommunicativeFunctions de Marchena-min.jpg
Creatine Transporter Deficiency: A Rare Neurodevelopmental Disorder with ASD Symptomatology Poster

Miller, J. S. ,Thomas, R.P., Bruchey, A., Davis, R.J., & Thurm, A.

Background: Creatine transporter deficiency (CTD) is a rare X-linked inherited neurometabolic condition associated with intellectual disability, minimal verbal development and, in some cases, ASD.  Seizures are also common.  CTD is caused by mutations in the SLC6A8 gene, and was discovered in 2001. It is estimated that 0.2% to 3.5% of males with an ID or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis may have CTD (Thurm et al., 2016).

25807 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
12:45pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Creatine Transport Deficiency-min.jpg
Universal Screening for Autism in a Large Healthcare System: Diagnostic Outcomes After Age 4 Years Talk

Guthrie, W., Gerdes, M., Levy, S.E., Pandey, J., Schultz, R.T. & Miller, J.S

Background: Large-scale autism screening studies have yielded empirical support for early screening for ASD. However, they have not accurately estimated sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value (NPV), because children who screen negative have not been systematically followed through the risk period. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) implemented universal screening for ASD documented in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) in 2009.

23976 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
1:45pm to 2:30pm
Yerba Buena 9 (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
Parent Preparatory Activities as Adolescents with ASD Transition to Adulthood Poster

Holmes, L. G., Kirby, A. V., Himle, M. B., & Strassberg, D. S.

Background: Extant longitudinal research suggests parental expectations during adolescence are a significant predictor of outcomes in the areas of social participation, employment, and independence1,2,3 for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

25854 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
5:30pm to 7:00pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
Loneliness and Quality of Life for the Broader Autism Phenotype Poster

Holmes, L. G., Zampella, C. J., Gillespie, A.A., & Himle, M. B.

Background: Autism-related traits vary along a wide severity continuum, including subclinical traits that are continuously distributed among the general population (commonly referred to as the broader autism phenotype; BAP). Recognition of the BAP has led to increased interest in how these milder autism characteristics may influence functional outcomes in nonclinical populations. A small body of research has found that the BAP is related to fewer and lower-quality interpersonal relationships, as well as increased loneliness.

25834 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
5:30pm to 7:00pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
Event-Related Potentials Index Atypical Processing of Auditory Tones in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Poster

Wood, J.L., Wang, L.A., Pandey, J., Maldarelli, J., Rudoler, J., Slomowitz, R.F., Henderson, M., Schultz, R.T. & McCleery, J.P.

Background: Magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies have identified atypical processing of simple tones as a putative biomarker associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Specifically, participants with ASD exhibit temporal delays and hemispheric differences emanating from superior temporal gyrus between 50 and 100ms post-stimulus, and reduced activity at approximately 200ms post-stimulus, relative to controls.

25491 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
5:30pm to 7:00pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Event-Related Potential Index-min.jpg
Electroencephalographic Examination of Resting State Neural Oscillatory Activity in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Poster

Rudoler, J., Wang, L. A., Pandey, J., Maldarelli, J., Vanderwal, T., Miller, J., Schultz, R. T., & McCleery, J. P. 

Background:  Previous research has observed atypical neural oscillatory activity in 6-15 year-old children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), using Magnetoencephalography (MEG; Cornew et al., 2012).

25241 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Electroencephalographic Examination of Resting State-min.jpg
A Functional MRI Meta-Analysis of Reward and Social Motivation Studies of ASD Poster

Zoltowski, A., Clements, C.C., Yankowitz, L., Schultz, R.T., Herrington, J.D.

Background: The Social Motivation Hypothesis posits that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show diminished social motivation and responsiveness to social rewards (Chevallier et al., 2012). Two types of motivation typically distinguished are the “liking” of the reward that occurs during its consumption, and the preceding “wanting” of the reward (Berridge, Robinson, & Aldridge, 2009).

25595 Thursday, May 11, 2017 -
5:30pm to 7:00pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Functional MRI Meta-Analysis-min.jpg
A Smartphone Application to Measure Response to Name in Everyday Environments Poster

Thomas, R.P., Wang, L.A., Miller, J., Pennington, J., Hassan, S., Grasmeder, A., Swanick, J., Minyanou, N., & Miller, J.S.

Background: Reduced response to name is a hallmark feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but our current methods of identifying it are not very sensitive. Measurement of response to name is often qualitative, relying on the child’s performance during an in-person evaluation (ADOS) or a yes/no response on parent questionnaires (M-CHAT). Measured as a quantitative variable, or as a rate of responding rather than a dichotomous summary judgment, response to name may be both a more sensitive indicator of ASD and a potential moderator of response to treatment.

25135 Friday, May 12, 2017 -
10:00am to 1:30pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon A Smartphone Application-min.jpg
Introducing a Novel Community-Based Assessment Tool: The Computerized Social Affective Language Task (C-SALT) Poster

Minyanou, N., Bateman, L., Liberman, M.Y., Cieri, C., Ryant, N., Brown, J., Kim, E., Dravis, Z., Ferguson, E., Bartley, K., Pomykacz, A., Pandey, J., de Marchena, A., Schultz, R.T., & Parish-Morris, J.

Background: Social communication is a significant area of weakness for individuals with developmental differences like autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but is notoriously expensive and time-consuming to measure. A recent movement toward fine-grained behavioral imaging using cutting-edge technologies could drastically improve our ability to automatically capture subtle and complex social communication impairments, thus laying the groundwork to generate personalized interventions.

25297 Friday, May 12, 2017 -
10:30am to 1:30pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Introducing a Novel Community-Based Assessment Tool-min.jpg
Increased risk of autism among individuals with atypical 22q11.2 deletions or duplication involving COMT and RANBP1 Talk

Clements, C., Wenger, T.L., Miller, J.S., de Marchena, A., Zoltowski, A., DePolo, L., McDonald-McGinn, D. M., Zackai, E. H.,Emanuel, B., & Schultz, R.T

Background: Increased rates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been observed in individuals with copy number variations (CNVs) of the 22q11.2 region, including both deletions (Fine et al, 2005) and duplications (Wenger et al, 2016a).  However, research has not yet identified which of the 30-40 genes in this region confer autism risk. One research strategy entails narrowing the search space to smaller regions by studying nested (termed “atypical”) CNVs within the full 22q11.2 region.

23579 Friday, May 12, 2017 -
10:30am to 12:00pm
Yerba Buena 7 (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
Executive Function in Preschoolers with ASD: Evaluation of a Test Battery with Minimal Verbal Demands Poster

Bertollo, J.R., Nahmias, A.S., Antezana, L., Crabbe, S.R., Mandell, D.S., & Yerys, B.E.

Background: Executive Function (EF) refers to a set of cognitive processes that regulate impulses and emotions and channel them into socially appropriate, goal-directed behavior. Core EF processes include working memory, inhibition, and shifting (Diamond, 2013). Impaired EF is linked to a number of poor outcomes in school-age youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including lower adaptive behaviors, more repetitive behaviors, and poorer social skills (Yerys et al, 2009; Pellicano, 2012).

24517 Friday, May 12, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel) Image icon Executive Function in Preschoolers with ASD-min.jpg
Categorical Meets Dimensional: A Fuzzy Categorical Conception of Autism Spectrum Poster

Tunç, B., Parker, D., Pandey, J., Verma, R.,& Schultz, R.T

Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is presumed to have a categorical distinction from other disorders and the general population. Much current research, however, concentrates on testing whether ASD is better described by dimensional traits defined over continua. This oversimplifying dichotomy of “categorical vs. dimensional” obscures more finely graded possible alternatives, corresponding to structures that are neither purely categorical nor purely dimensional.

24502 Friday, May 12, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:45pm
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)