Autism Spectrum Disorder



Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a severe neuro-developmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive behaviors. Although ASD is often considered a childhood disorder, it persists throughout the lifespan. Roughly 50% of individuals with autism may have an average or above-average intelligence (“high-functioning autism”, HFA).

The Transden Lab is currently using fMRI to investigate the neural underpinnings of deficits in social and reward processing in HFA adults.

The Transden Lab is pleased to announce that we have recently joined forces in our ASD research endeavors. As part of a new research network (ASD net – Autism Spectrum Disorder across the lifespan: From a better etiological understanding, through valid diagnosis, to more effective health care) we are focusing on diagnostics, treatment and health care in the field of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The research network consists of six university partners: Dresden, Berlin, Bremen, Leipzig, Mannheim und Marburg (http://www.asd-net.de/). Our PI Stefan Ehrlich and our lab members Joseph King and Julius Steding are working in close cooperation with Prof. Dr. Peter Kirsch from the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim. In addition to clinical parameters of success we use functional magnet resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze how the combination of oxytocin and social skill training (SST) modulates behavior and cognition and whether specific neurobiological mechanisms underlie the treatment.