Executive function deficits and neural discordance in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Agnes S. Chan, Mei chun Cheung, Yvonne Ming Yee Han, Sophia L. Sze, Winnie W. Leung, Hok Sum Man, Cho Yee To

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study examined neurophysiologic activities, executive dysfunctions, and their association in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Methods: Thirty-eight normal and 16 children with ASD participated with parental consent. Executive functions were measured using neuropsychological tests and parent ratings, and neurophysiologic activities were measured using EEG to yield cordance values, an indirect measure of brain perfusion. Results: Children with ASD made significantly more intrusion errors and False Alarms on the Hong Kong List Learning Test (HKLLT) and Object Recognition Test (OR) than normal children, but were comparable to normal children on the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test and Continuous Performance Test. They also showed significantly poorer executive functions in everyday activities as shown on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), and had lower frontal perfusion patterns than normal children as shown in the neurophysiologic cordance measures. Frontal cordance values were found to be significantly associated with executive dysfunctions in HKLLT Delayed Intrusions, OR False Alarms and BRIEF. Conclusions: Children with ASD were impaired in everyday executive functioning and response inhibition. The cordance value, which has been shown to correlate with brain perfusion in a number of studies, was significantly correlated with executive dysfunctions. Significance: Exploration of this measure as an index for response to intervention is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1115
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009


  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • EEG
  • Executive dysfunctions
  • Neural discordance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems


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