Psychophysiological and Behavioral Responses to a Novel Intruder Threat Task for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Academic Article


  • © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. We measured skin conductance response (SCR) to escalating levels of a direct social threat from a novel, ecologically-relevant experimental paradigm, the Intruder Threat Task. We simultaneously evaluated the contribution of social symptom severity and behavioral movement. Children with AS group showed less psychophysiological reactivity to social threat than controls across all three phases of the experiment. In the AS group, greater social impairment was significantly associated with reduced SCR. However, movement activity predicted SCR while diagnosis did not. Research and treatment need to account for the complex interplay of emotional reactivity and social behavior in AS. Psychophysiology studies of AS should consider the impact of possible confounds such as movement.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • South M; Taylor KM; Newton T; Christensen M; Jamison NK; Chamberlain P; Johnston O; Crowley MJ; Higley JD
  • Start Page

  • 3704
  • End Page

  • 3713
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 12