Joint attention in toddlers and pre-schoolers with ASD: fNIRS data
The hypothesis was tested that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) would show atypical activation during response to joint attention in a live task. For each child, fNIRS data were collected while they watched silent excerpts from a cartoon (the object of joint attention) which were introduced by a computer sound (solo attention condition) or by the experimenter (joint attention condition) and were interspliced by a static baseline. The results of this study suggest that, unlike their TD peers, children with ASD do not show clear signs of activation during RJA in right temporal cortical areas. On the contrary, haemodynamic activity in the same region seemed to indicate deactivation during RJA as compared to solo attention (at least for HbO), which was interpreted as a possible sign of disengagement from a challenging stimulus, namely a social one.
Steps to reproduce
Raw data folder: .nirs files are pre-processed, but still contain raw data information. You can process them differently by adapting the 'fNIRSpaper.cfg' file in Homer software for fNIRS data analysis. To remove all pre-processing, open the '.nirs' files in Matlab with a '-mat' extension. Delete the 'procResult' variable. Raw data are contained in the 'procInput' variable. Variables 'aux', 'd', 'ml', 's', 'SD', and 't' also belong to raw data. The script 'Homer2Fieldtrip_example.m' shows how each file is optimised for analysis in Fieldtrip toolbox. Pre-processed data folder: 'Preproccessed_fileldtrip.mat' contains fNIRS data for ASD and TD groups after preprocessing in Homer2 and optimisation for Fieldtrip format. Use Fieldtrip toolbox for Matlab to run statistical analysis with the provided scripts. Follow the tips in the scripts for customisation of analysis. Insert 'aleNIRS.lay' file in the Fieldtrip folders with layout files.