MyAssignmentServices uses cookies to deliver the best experience possible. Read more

  • Internal Code :
  • Subject Code :
  • University :
  • Subject Name : Nursing

Identifying the Needs of Neuropsychological and Neuro Imaging Research Relating to Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Table of Contents

Introduction.

Methods.

Results.

Discussion.

References.

Introduction to Neuropsychological and Neuro Imaging Research

Introduction to the general research topic

The neuropsychological and neuro imaging research regarding the autistic spectrum disorder usually involves testing children diagnosed with autistic disorders including high functioning or with Asperger Syndrome. A significant decline in the cognitive ability of the children with autistic disorders is observed in most of the cases of these children.

Relevant previous literature

Studies conducted by Pua et al. (2017) have tried to develop an understanding about the psychiatric manifestation considering the aspect of a common neurobiological substrate, possibly related to neuro-inflammation during development of the brain. This is directly related to the current research as it attempted to understand the psychiatric conditions in the context of inducing neuro inflammation during development of the brain. On the other hand, researchers such as Jennifer et al. (2017) has focused on the divergent and shared neuro imaging effects across disorders to provide sufficient information regarding mechanisms that are working behind E/I balance hypothesis. Another study has also conducted an examination through a meta-analytic review on the impairment of working memory in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and also tried to find out the moderating variables associated with the current problem (Wang et al. 2017). These studies have provided a brief understanding of the extent of neuropsychological and neuro imaging research in the context of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

However, the previous researches have conducted mostly qualitative analysis of the there is a lack of information in the existing literature about the psychiatric conditions especially the impacts on the capability of sustaining attention by the individuals diagnosed with ASD has not been covered effectively. There is a lack of sensitive tools for investigating sustained attention has not been found. Also there was no activation studies used sustained attention to response task (SART) which reduces the reliability of the results Apart from that, extensive research is required to be conducted in order to identify the condition of orientation attention and inhibition of the responses (Abu-Akel et al. 2020). Set shifting or task switching and associated mental conditions are also required to be researched for understanding the ability of the individuals with ASD in the context of executive functioning. The current study will conduct analysis about the gap or specific needs regarding the areas mentioned above to verify the adequacy of the current research in identifying different conditions such as sustained attention, orienting attention, response inhibition and set shifting.

Research questions

  • What areas do existing studies related to neuropsychological and neuro imaging research in autistic spectrum disorders cover?
  • Do the current neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to autistic spectrum disorders research covers aspects of sustained attention and set shifting?
  • Do the current neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to autistic spectrum disorders research covers aspects of orienting attention and response inhibition?
  • Would there be a need for further research regarding neuropsychological and neuroimaging in ASD?

Aim

The aim of the project is to identify whether any needs exist in neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to autistic spectrum disorders

Hypothesis

H0 = Existing studies do not fulfil all the needs of neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to autistic spectrum disorders

H1 = Existing studies sufficiently cover all the needs of neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to autistic spectrum disorders

Methods of Neuropsychological and Neuro Imaging Research

Participants

10 participants have been recruited for conducting the primary data collection. The mean age of the participants was 40 to 65; the standard deviation of the age was 40±2 and 65±2. All researchers were male. The participants have been selected based on the criteria relating to research experience. Individuals that have more than 5 years of research experience in the area of neuropsychological and neuro imaging studies relating to developmental disorders have been selected based on purposive sampling method. One of the key benefits of purposive sampling is that it reduces scope for personal bias and false information (Etikan, Musa & Alkassim, 2016).

Apparatus and materials

Research tools used presently have included questionnaire and a basic personal information gathering sheet. Participants have been asked to provide answers to the questions and provide their personal information such as age, gender, research expertise and other personal characteristics for the purpose of filtering the selection process. Excel has been used for conducting the regression analysis. Online survey platform has been used for collecting the primary data.

Procedure

Participants that provided consent to the study has been sent a questionnaire consisting of 3 questions regarding needs of neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to the ASD. Instructions have been provided with the questionnaire for avoiding confusion and doubts. The first section of the study has attempted to understand the contribution of the current relevant researches in each of the dependent variables such as sustained attention, orienting attention, response inhibition and set shifting (Campbell et al., 2019). Participants have been provided information regarding the basic purpose and motive of the research regarding the research and simple instructions along with a consent form to be filled by them via email. After obtaining consent from the participants the questionnaire has been mailed to them.

Identifying the needs of neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)

Independent Variable

Coverage of set shifting

Coverage of sustained attention

Coverage of response inhibition

Collective group of existing research including clinical correlates, neuropsychological studies and imaging studies

Coverage of orienting attention

Dependent Variables

Figure 1: Design of the study

This is a cross-sectional study that involves a number of responses from the individual observation within a single point of time. However, variables have not been influenced in the current study and have only been observed (Lewis et al., 2017). 

Ethical considerations

The research has been conducted keeping in mind the privacy of the participants considering which informed consent was obtained prior to start the study (Dooly, Moore & Vallejo, 2017). The personal data provided by the participants was used strictly for the purposes of the research and was not shared with external third parties. Participants were not coerced or influenced in any manner and the data collected from them has been preserved in a secure manner to prevent unauthorised access and ensure confidentiality.

Results of Neuropsychological and Neuro Imaging Research

The data collected from the participants was analysed using the method of linear regression following the guidelines of the 5 point Likert scale. According to Awang, Afthanorhan & Mamat (2016), the primary benefit associated with using the Likert scale is that it allows for a degree of opinion as opposed to a simple yes or no. The numerical representation of the answer scale has been presented as follows:

Option

Coding

Strongly agree

1

Agree

2

Not sure

3

Disagree

4

Strongly disagree

5

Table 1: Numerical representation of the answer scale

Q1. How strongly do you agree that existing studies have covered the needs of neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to autistic spectrum disorders?

Options

Response Percentage (%)

Number of respondents

Total respondents

Strongly agree

40

4

10

Agree

40

4

10

Not sure

10

1

10

Disagree

10

1

10

Strongly disagree

0

0

10

Table 2: Existing studies and needs

Q2. How strongly do you agree that sustained attention and set shifting have been covered adequately by studies involving neuropsychological and neuro imaging research into autistic spectrum disorders?

Options

Response Percentage (%)

Number of respondents

Total respondents

Strongly agree

10

1

10

Agree

30

3

10

Not sure

20

2

10

Disagree

10

1

10

Strongly disagree

30

3

10

Table 3: Sustained attention and set shifting

Q3. How strongly do you agree that orienting attention and response inhibition have been covered adequately by studies involving neuropsychological and neuro imaging research into autistic spectrum disorders?

Options

Response Percentage (%)

Number of respondents

Total respondents

Strongly agree

20

2

10

Agree

20

2

10

Not sure

30

3

10

Disagree

10

1

10

Strongly disagree

20

2

10

Table 4: Orienting attention and response inhibition

The analysis was carried out using the linear regression method using functions on Microsoft Excel. The variables that were regressed were obtained from the primary data, where the independent variable was existing research studies into neuropsychological and neuro imaging research relating to autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). The dependent variable comprised of the needs related to the themes of sustained attention, orienting attention, response inhibition and set shifting in existing studies. The summary outputs are as follows:

Discussion on Neuropsychological and Neuro Imaging Research

The analysis of the collected data revealed the perceptions of the researches in the context of how existing literature relating to neuropsychological and neuro imaging research in ASD covers the broad themes of sustained attention and set shifting and orienting attention and response inhibition. Based on the summary output obtained in Table 5 where existing studies and needs and sustained attention and set shifting were regressed, it would be important to look at the R Square value of 0.017857. It means that only 1.7% of the variations in existing studies cover the needs relating to sustained attention and set shifting. The statistical significance of the variables, which is 0.83, means that the variables are not a good fit and that the general perception is that existing studies do not adequately cover the needs related to sustained attention and set shifting in ASD.

Sanders et al. (2008) state that there has only been one imaging study that investigates neural correlates of set shifting through brain activities. Set shifting is one of the most significant symptoms associated with ASD, and it would certainly warrant further work, especially in terms of neuro imaging. Regarding sustained attention, the authors state that there are very few studies that explicitly investigate the neuropsychological implications of sustained attention in an ASD population. While it is a subjective area owing to the sensitivity of tools that could be used, further work in this field would be of paramount importance to understand how performance deterioration and sustained attention were related in ASD populations.

The next set of regression was carried out on the variables of existing studies and their coverage relating to the needs of orienting attention and response inhibition. While the R Square value obtained was 0, the Adjusted R Square was -.0.33. Naturally, the statistical significance of the variables are extremely poor that hints at the negative perception within the respondents regarding the coverage of orienting attention and response inhibition in existing psychological research studies. Orienting attention is also a significant symptom associated with ASD, and clinical correlates and neuropsychological studies have been covered in a relatively significant manner. However, Sanders et al. (2008) mention that no imaging study was conducted that analysed attention orienting in an ASD population to a conclusive extent. Moreover, the findings of neuropsychological studies were also inconsistent, thus hinting at the need for further research.

Although the Significance F value was 1 between the regressed variables, the P- value was 0.576 and the t Stat value was 0.62. Both the statistics further solidify the lack of statistical significance between the opinions of the respondents regarding the neuropsychological and neuro imaging research into ASD and the coverage of the needs of orienting attention and response inhibition. Both the aspects are crucial behavioural components of ASD populations and as Sanders et al. (2008) have mentioned, there has only been one imaging study that has been published in this regard while neuropsychological studies relating to response inhibition showed different results based on tasks, such as SART, Windows and Go-no-go. It is evident that these aspects would have to be the key areas of consideration in future studies to conclusively define behavioural components within an ASD population.

References for Neuropsychological and Neuro Imaging Research

Abu-Akel, A., Philip, R., Lawrie, S. M., Johnstone, E. C., & Stanfield, A. C. (2020). Categorical and Dimensional Approaches to Examining the Joint Effect of Autism and Schizotypal Personality Disorder on Sustained Attention. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 798.

Awang, Z., Afthanorhan, A., & Mamat, M. (2016). The Likert scale analysis using parametric based Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Computational Methods in Social Sciences, 4(1), 13.

Campbell, K., Carpenter, K. L., Hashemi, J., Espinosa, S., Marsan, S., Borg, J. S., ... & Tepper, M. (2019). Computer vision analysis captures atypical attention in toddlers with autism. Autism, 23(3), 619-628.

Dooly, M., Moore, E., & Vallejo, C. (2017). Research Ethics. Research-publishing. net.

Etikan, I., Musa, S. A., & Alkassim, R. S. (2016). Comparison of convenience sampling and purposive sampling. American journal of theoretical and applied statistics, 5(1), 1-4.

Foss-Feig, J. H., Adkinson, B. D., Ji, J. L., Yang, G., Srihari, V. H., McPartland, J. C., ... & Anticevic, A. (2017). Searching for cross-diagnostic convergence: neural mechanisms governing excitation and inhibition balance in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. Biological psychiatry, 81(10), 848-861.

Lewis, F. C., Reeve, R. A., Kelly, S. P., & Johnson, K. A. (2017). Evidence of substantial development of inhibitory control and sustained attention between 6 and 8 years of age on an unpredictable Go/No-Go task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 157, 66-80.

Pua, E. P. K., Bowden, S. C., & Seal, M. L. (2017). Autism spectrum disorders: Neuroimaging findings from systematic reviews. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 34, 28-33.

Sanders, J., Johnson, K. A., Garavan, H., Gill, M., & Gallagher, L. (2008). A review of neuropsychological and neuroimaging research in autistic spectrum disorders: Attention, inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Research in autism spectrum disorders, 2(1), 1-16.

Wang, Y., Zhang, Y. B., Liu, L. L., Cui, J. F., Wang, J., Shum, D. H., ... & Chan, R. C. (2017). A meta-analysis of working memory impairments in autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychology review, 27(1), 46-61.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Nursing Assignment Help

Get It Done! Today

Applicable Time Zone is AEST [Sydney, NSW] (GMT+11)
Not Specific >5000
  • 1,212,718Orders

  • 4.9/5Rating

  • 5,063Experts

Highlights

  • 21 Step Quality Check
  • 2000+ Ph.D Experts
  • Live Expert Sessions
  • Dedicated App
  • Earn while you Learn with us
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Customer Feedback

Just Pay for your Assignment

  • Turnitin Report

    $10.00
  • Proofreading and Editing

    $9.00Per Page
  • Consultation with Expert

    $35.00Per Hour
  • Live Session 1-on-1

    $40.00Per 30 min.
  • Quality Check

    $25.00
  • Total

    Free
  • Let's Start

Get
500 Words Free
on your assignment today

Browse across 1 Million Assignment Samples for Free

Explore MASS
Order Now

Request Callback

My Assignment Services- Whatsapp Tap to ChatGet instant assignment help

Get 500 Words FREE
Ask your Question
Need Assistance on your
existing assignment order?