The Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials: Initial Evaluation of a Battery of Candidate EEG Biomarkers.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Numerous candidate EEG biomarkers have been put forward for use in clinical research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but biomarker development has been hindered by limited attention to the psychometric properties of derived variables, inconsistent results across small studies, and variable methodology. The authors evaluated the basic psychometric properties of a battery of EEG assays for their potential suitability as biomarkers in clinical trials. METHODS: This was a large, multisite, naturalistic study in 6- to 11-year-old children who either had an ASD diagnosis (N=280) or were typically developing (N=119). The authors evaluated an EEG battery composed of well-studied assays of resting-state activity, face perception (faces task), biological motion perception, and visual evoked potentials (VEPs). Biomarker psychometrics were evaluated in terms of acquisition rates, construct performance, and 6-week stability. Preliminary evaluation of use was explored through group discrimination and phenotypic correlations. RESULTS: Three assays (resting state, faces task, and VEP) show promise in terms of acquisition rates and construct performance. Six-week stability values in the ASD group were moderate (intraclass correlations ≥0.66) for the faces task latency of the P1 and N170, the VEP amplitude of N1 and P1, and resting alpha power. Group discrimination and phenotype correlations were primarily observed for the faces task P1 and N170. CONCLUSIONS: In the context of a large-scale, rigorous evaluation of candidate EEG biomarkers for use in ASD clinical trials, neural response to faces emerged as a promising biomarker for continued evaluation. Resting-state activity and VEP yielded mixed results. The study's biological motion perception assay failed to display construct performance. The results provide information about EEG biomarker performance that is relevant for the next stage of biomarker development efforts focused on context of use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Webb, SJ; Naples, AJ; Levin, AR; Hellemann, G; Borland, H; Benton, J; Carlos, C; McAllister, T; Santhosh, M; Seow, H; Atyabi, A; Bernier, R; Chawarska, K; Dawson, G; Dziura, J; Faja, S; Jeste, S; Murias, M; Nelson, CA; Sabatos-DeVito, M; Senturk, D; Shic, F; Sugar, CA; McPartland, JC

Published Date

  • January 1, 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 180 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 41 - 49

PubMed ID

  • 36000217

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC10027395

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1535-7228

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1176/appi.ajp.21050485


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States