Moving Towards Understanding and Improving Outcomes for Children with Autism
|Starts:||16:00 1 Jun 2015|
|Ends:||17:00 1 Jun 2015|
|What is it:||Talk|
|Organiser:||Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences|
|Who is it for:||Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public, University staff|
|Speaker:||Dr Stewart Mostofsky|
Stewart Mostofsky, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, USA
Dr. Stewart Mostofsky is a research scientist and director of the Centre for Neurodevelopmental and Imaging Research at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He is also a professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his medical degree in 1990 through the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-Albany Medical College six-year program, where he won the Jack Spitalny Prize for exceptional achievement in pediatrics. He went on to an internship and residencies in pediatrics and pediatric neurology at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Mostofsky first came to Kennedy Krieger Institute in 1995 for a fellowship in the Department of Developmental Cognitive Neurology, and stayed on as a pediatric neurologist, with subspecialty training and experience in behavioral neurology as it applies to the study of childhood developmental disorders. Dr. Mostofsky’s research with children with autism is focused on careful examination of the motor function, as increased insight into the brain mechanisms underlying the disorder might be gained from careful consideration of the motor signs associated with autism.
About the event:
Internal action models refer to sensory-motor programs that form the brain basis for a wide range of skilled behavior and for understanding others’ actions. Development of these action models, particularly those reliant on visual cues from the external world, depends on connectivity between distant brain regions. Studies of children with autism reveal anomalous patterns of motor learning and impaired execution of skilled motor gestures. These findings robustly correlate with measures of social and communicative function, suggesting that anomalous action model formation may contribute to impaired development of social and communicative, as well as motor, capacity in autism.
Motor signs can be measured with a high degree of precision and the neurologic basis of motor function is well mapped out so that deviations observed in autism can readily be understood at the brain level. This line of study can therefore lead to important advances in understanding the neural basis of autism and, more critically, can be used to guide effective therapies targeted at improving social, communicative, and motor function. Here we will present findings revealing:
- That children with autism show a distinctly anomalous pattern of motor learning, with a bias towards reliance on proprioceptive, rather than visual, feedback
- That this anomalous pattern of motor learning is associated with the severity of motor skill deficits, as well as social skill deficits that define the core features of autism, and
- That children with autism show decreased intrinsic visual-motor connectivity in functional MRI that is associated with the core features of autism
Building on these findings, we will discuss work in progress for using movement-based interventions to improve outcomes for children with ASD.
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Dr Stewart Mostofsky
Role: Director of the Centre for Neurodevelopmental and Imaging Research at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Organisation: Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, USA
Travel and Contact Information
Ellen Wilkinson Building