Similar Social Cognition Impairments Found in Schizophrenia and Autism

Deficits in social cognition are characteristics found in both schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Historically,  these two different disorders have been examined separately and evaluated by contrasting means. However, a new systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 studies compared social cognition performances in individuals with SSDs and ASD. The review discovered that there were no statistically significant variances in emotion processing or theory of mind between the two disorders.  This finding suggests that similar levels of social cognition impairment may be present in those that have SSDs as well as with individuals with ASD, which points to shared biological pathways between the two disorders. The paper’s authors report that more research is needed to substantiate their findings and suggest using cross-disorder studies to examine social cognitive domains with larger samples along with consistent reporting of clinical measures, and neuroimaging to further investigate their theory. 

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Younger siblings of children with ASD are known to be at higher risk for developing language delays. The Infancy Studies Lab at Rutgers University-Newark has created an engaging interactive acoustic experience with the aim of helping baby siblings of children with ASD develop better pre-language skills known to be important for optimal and efficient language acquisition. Watch this short video to learn more about how to participate in this exciting, innovative research study.