Activity Preview


AJP CME: December 2019 - Distinct Patterns of Neural Habituation and Generalization in Children and Adolescents With Autism With Low and High Sensory Overresponsivity

Activity Type:

  • Journal CME

Release Date: 12/1/2019

Expiration Date: 11/30/2021

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 1
  • Participation: 1



Objective: Sensory overresponsivity (SOR), an atypical negative reaction to sensory stimuli, is highly prevalent in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous work has related SOR to increased brain response in sensory-limbic regions. This study investigated where these atypical responses fall in three fundamental stages of sensory processing: arousal (i.e., initial response), habituation (i.e., change in response over time), and generalization of response to novel stimuli. Different areas of atypical response would require distinct intervention approaches.

Methods: Functional MRI was used to examine these patterns of neural habituation to two sets of similar mildly aversive auditory and tactile stimuli in 42 high-functioning children and adolescents with ASD (21 with high levels of SOR and 21 with low levels of SOR) and 27 age-matched typically developing youths (ages 8–17). The relationship between SOR and change in amygdala-prefrontal functional connectivity across the sensory stimulation was also examined.


This activity is only available to AJP CME subscribers.

Don't have a subscription to AJP CME? Subscribe Now! 

  • AJP Subscriber – 12 Month CME Subscription: $155.00
  • Non AJP Subscriber – 12 Month CME Subscription: $310.00

If you have questions about AJP CME subscriptions, please contact

Educational Objective

The participant will explain how sensory overresponsivity in autism affects the neurobiology of arousal, habituation, and response generalization.

Target Audience

This program is designed for all psychiatrists in clinical practice, residents in Graduate Medical Education programs, medical students interested in psychiatry, and other physicians who wish to advance their current knowledge of clinical medicine.

Estimated Time to Complete

Duration: 1 hour
Begin Date: December 1, 2019
End Date: November 30, 2021

How to Earn Credit

In order to earn CME credit, subscribers should read through the material presented in the article. After reading the article, complete the quiz and submit your evaluation and study hours (up to 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™).  A score of 60% or higher is required to receive credit.


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The APA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

Title: Distinct Patterns of Neural Habituation and Generalization in Children and Adolescents With Autism With Low and High Sensory Overresponsivity

Authors: Shulamite A. Green, Ph.D., Leanna Hernandez, Ph.D., Katherine E. Lawrence, B.A., Janelle Liu, B.A., Tawny Tsang, Ph.D., Jillian Yeargin, M.A., Kaitlin Cummings, B.A., Elizabeth Laugeson, Psy.D., Mirella Dapretto, Ph.D., Susan Y. Bookheimer, Ph.D.

Affiliations: The Jane and Terry Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles (S.A.G., L.H., K.E.L., J.L., J.Y., K.C., E.L., M.D., S.Y.B.); Yale Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. (T.T.); and the Help Group–UCLA Autism Research Alliance, Los Angeles (E.L.).

Disclosures: Dr. Laugeson receives royalties from Wiley and Taylor & Francis. The other authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Discussion of unapproved or investigational use of products*: No.

*APA policy requires disclosure by CME authors of unapproved or investigational use of products discussed in CME programs. Off-label use of medications by individual physicians is permitted and common. Decisions about off-label use can be guided by scientific literature and clinical experience.

Program Planners

Ned H. Kalin, M.D. (Editor-in-Chief, AJP); Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D. (Deputy Editor, AJP); Michael D. Roy (Editorial Director, AJP); Michael A. Pogachar (Online Content Manager, Journals). Dr. Kalin has served as a consultant to the Board of Scientific Advisors, the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, and the Skyland Trail Advisory Board and as Councilor, Society of Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Rodriguez has served as a consultant to Allergan, Blackthorn, Epiodyne, and Rugen. Mr. Roy and Mr. Pogachar report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.
Optimal System Configuration:
  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+ 
  • Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+ 
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher
  • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC:500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit

For assistance: Contact for questions about this course  |  Contact for technical assistance