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Evaluation of cognitive and behavioral symptoms as manifestations of anxiety in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Grant number: 13/25374-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 18, 2014
Effective date (End): July 17, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal researcher:Dora Selma Fix Ventura
Grantee:Carolina Souza e Silva
Supervisor abroad: Louise Gallagher
Home Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Trinity College Dublin, Ireland  
Associated to the scholarship:13/13127-9 - Neuropsychological evaluation of the reaction time on patients with Asperger syndrome and patients with high-functioning autism, BP.IC


The current study intends to evaluate several manifestations of anxiety in children and adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, such as physiological and biological measures, cognitive and behavioral symptoms and sleep and activity patterns. Four groups will be tested: two experimental groups of children with ASD with and without anxiety and two control groups of typically developing children with and without anxiety. There will be three phases: the first will establish the relevance of the physiological parameters (HR, GSR, Respiration, Voice) and biological measures (cortisol, amylase) of anxiety on children with ASD and typically developing children; the second will determine the association between the relevant physiological and biological measures with behavioral and cognitive symptoms of anxiety in children with ASD; the third will establish the association between biological and behavioral measures of anxiety with the behavioral (actigraphy) and biological measures (melatonin) of sleep and activity. Quantitative statistics, multiple regression analysis and multimodal signal analysis will be used. This is an ongoing study. The internship will consist in the engagement of the student in the study during four months, working on the participants' recruitment and on the analysis of the data collected so far, focusing on the cognitive and behavioral symptoms. (AU)