Atypical Processing of Gaze Cues and Faces Explains Comorbidity between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
This study investigated the neurobiological basis of comorbidity between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We compared children with ASD, ADHD or ADHD+ASD and typically developing controls (CTRL) on behavioural and electrophysiological correlates of gaze cue and face processing. We measured effects of ASD, ADHD and their interaction on the EDAN, an ERP marker of orienting visual attention towards a spatially cued location and the N170, a right-hemisphere lateralised ERP linked to face processing. We identified atypical gaze cue and face processing in children with ASD and ADHD+ASD compared with the ADHD and CTRL groups. The findings indicate a neurobiological basis for the presence of comorbid ASD symptoms in ADHD. Further research using larger samples is needed.