Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 9, pp 3133–3143 | Cite as

Largely Typical Electrophysiological Affective Responses to Special Interest Stimuli in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Keelin Rivard
  • Andrea B. Protzner
  • Ford Burles
  • Manuela Schuetze
  • Ivy Cho
  • Kayla Ten Eycke
  • Adam McCrimmon
  • Deborah Dewey
  • Filomeno Cortese
  • Signe Bray
Original Paper


Circumscribed interests are a symptom of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that may be related to exaggerated affective neural responses. However, the use of generic ASD-interest image stimuli has left an open question as to whether affective responses towards individual interests are greater in ASD compared to typically developing (TD) controls. We compared amplitudes of the late positive potential (LPP), an affective electroencephalographic response, between adolescents with ASD (N = 19) and TD adolescents (N = 20), using images tailored to individual likes and dislikes. We found an LPP response for liked and disliked images, relative to neutral, with no difference in amplitude between groups. This suggests that the LPP is not atypical in adolescents with ASD towards images of individual interests.


Autism spectrum disorder EEG LPP Affective Circumscribed interests 



We would like to acknowledge the support of a SickKids Foundation and CIHR-IHDCYH New Investigator Award to SB (NI14-021), the Sinneave Family Foundation, the Alberta Chlidren’s Hospital Foundation, a Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund (30320, award to AP, an Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education Research Capacity Program, Alberta Alignment Grant (RCP-13-38SEG; We would like to thank all of the families who took the time to participate in this study. Data included in this manuscript were collected as part of Keelin Rivard’s MSc thesis, and findings were previously presented at the Society for Neuroscience 2016 annual meeting.

Author Contributions

The authors KR, DD, AWM, ABP and SB have designed the research. KR, FB, KE, IC, FC and MS have performed research. KR, ABP and SB have wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors contributed to revising the manuscript.


This work was supported by a SickKids Foundation and CIHR-IHDCYH award to SB (NI14-021), the Sinneave Family Foundation (SB), the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation (SB), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund (30320;ABP), and the Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education Research Capacity Program, Alberta Alignment Grant (RCP-13-38-SEG,ABP).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10803_2018_3587_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 27 KB)
10803_2018_3587_MOESM2_ESM.csv (5 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (CSV 4 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keelin Rivard
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andrea B. Protzner
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ford Burles
    • 4
  • Manuela Schuetze
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
  • Ivy Cho
    • 2
  • Kayla Ten Eycke
    • 3
    • 10
  • Adam McCrimmon
    • 3
    • 9
  • Deborah Dewey
    • 3
    • 8
    • 10
  • Filomeno Cortese
    • 5
    • 7
  • Signe Bray
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Medical Sciences, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Imaging Research (CAIR) ProgramUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, Faculty of ArtsUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  5. 5.Hotchkiss Brain InstituteUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  6. 6.Department of Neuroscience, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  7. 7.Department of Radiology, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  8. 8.Department of Paediatrics, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  9. 9.Werklund School of EducationUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  10. 10.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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