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This article is the author's final published version in Frontiers in Psychiatry, Volume 14, 2023, Article number 1057221.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 Berman, Bloy, Blaskey, Jackel, Miller, Ross, Edgar and Roberts.


Introduction: The M50 electrophysiological auditory evoked response time can be measured at the superior temporal gyrus with magnetoencephalography (MEG) and its latency is related to the conduction velocity of auditory input passing from ear to auditory cortex. In children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and certain genetic disorders such as XYY syndrome, the auditory M50 latency has been observed to be elongated (slowed).

Methods: The goal of this study is to use neuroimaging (diffusion MR and GABA MRS) measures to predict auditory conduction velocity in typically developing (TD) children and children with autism ASD and XYY syndrome.

Results: Non-linear TD support vector regression modeling methods accounted for considerably more M50 latency variance than linear models, likely due to the non-linear dependence on neuroimaging factors such as GABA MRS. While SVR models accounted for ~80% of the M50 latency variance in TD and the genetically homogenous XYY syndrome, a similar approach only accounted for ~20% of the M50 latency variance in ASD, implicating the insufficiency of diffusion MR, GABA MRS, and age factors alone. Biologically based stratification of ASD was performed by assessing the conformance of the ASD population to the TD SVR model and identifying a sub-population of children with unexpectedly long M50 latency.

Discussion: Multimodal integration of neuroimaging data can help build a mechanistic understanding of brain connectivity. The unexplained M50 latency variance in ASD motivates future hypothesis generation and testing of other contributing biological factors.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.