DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCEDifferential habituation to repeated sounds in infants at high risk for autismGuiraud, Jeanne A.a; Kushnerenko, Elenab; Tomalski, Przemyslawb; Davies, Kima; Ribeiro, Helenaa; Johnson, Mark H.aThe BASIS TeamAuthor Information aDepartment of Psychological Science, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London bInstitute for Research in Child Development, School of Psychology, University of East London, London, UK The BASIS team members are: Simon Baron-Cohen, Patrick Bolton, Susie Chandler, Tony Charman, Mayada Elsabbagh, Janice Fernandes, Teodora Gliga, Greg Pasco and Leslie Tucker Correspondence to Jeanne A. Guiraud, PhD, Department of Psychological Science, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London, The Henry Wellcome Building, London WC1E 7HX, UK Tel: + 44 7846115332; fax:+ 44 2076316587; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Received August 8, 2011 Accepted August 15, 2011 NeuroReport: November 16th, 2011 - Volume 22 - Issue 16 - p 845-849 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32834c0bec Buy SDC Metrics Abstract It has been suggested that poor habituation to stimuli might explain atypical sensory behaviours in autism. We investigated habituation to repeated sounds using an oddball paradigm in 9-month-old infants with an older sibling with autism and hence at high risk for developing autism. Auditory-evoked responses to repeated sounds in control infants (at low risk of developing autism) decreased over time, demonstrating habituation, and their responses to deviant sounds were larger than responses to standard sounds, indicating discrimination. In contrast, neural responses in infants at high risk showed less habituation and a reduced sensitivity to changes in frequency. Reduced sensory habituation may be present at a younger age than the emergence of autistic behaviour in some individuals, and we propose that this could play a role in the over responsiveness to some stimuli and undersensitivity to others observed in autism. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.