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Effects of multisensory integration processes on response inhibition in adolescent autism spectrum disorder

  • W. X. Chmielewski (a1), N. Wolff (a1), M. Mückschel (a1), V. Roessner (a1) and C. Beste (a1) (a2)...



In everyday life it is often required to integrate multisensory input to successfully conduct response inhibition (RI) and thus major executive control processes. Both RI and multisensory processes have been suggested to be altered in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is, however, unclear which neurophysiological processes relate to changes in RI in ASD and in how far these processes are affected by possible multisensory integration deficits in ASD.


Combining high-density EEG recordings with source localization analyses, we examined a group of adolescent ASD patients (n = 20) and healthy controls (n = 20) using a novel RI task.


Compared to controls, RI processes are generally compromised in adolescent ASD. This aggravation of RI processes is modulated by the content of multisensory information. The neurophysiological data suggest that deficits in ASD emerge in attentional selection and resource allocation processes related to occipito-parietal and middle frontal regions. Most importantly, conflict monitoring subprocesses during RI were specifically modulated by content of multisensory information in the superior frontal gyrus.


RI processes are overstrained in adolescent ASD, especially when conflicting multisensory information has to be integrated to perform RI. It seems that the content of multisensory input is important to consider in ASD and its effects on cognitive control processes.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr C. Beste, Cognitive Neurophysiology, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine of the TU Dresden, Schubertstrasse 42, D-01309 Dresden, Germany. (Email:


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