Brown Bag Talk by Mr. Daniel Gan on 19 September


Speaker: Mr. Daniel Gan

Title: Early Predictors of Social and Non-social Autistic-Like Traits in Toddlers

Date: 19 September 2014, 1-2pm

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)


Recent research has demonstrated that while Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and autistic-like traits (ALTs) share a common etiology, independent sets of etiological factors appear to underlie the different core autistic dimensions. The present study investigated whether early precursors of ASD (occurring at birth and in the first year of life) were significantly associated with and predicted later social and non-social ALTs in 18-month-old toddlers. Participants were 368 Singaporean toddlers involved in a nationwide prospective longitudinal study: GUSTO (Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes). Results showed that different infant precursors predicted social versus non-social ALTs at 18 months. The study findings resonate with earlier literature suggesting that the core autistic dimensions are each underpinned by distinct sets of etiological factors. In addition, they provide preliminary cross-cultural support for the view that the etiological contributions and neurobiological abnormalities underpinning the different core autistic dimensions are likely different.

About the Speaker:

Daniel received his B.Soc.Sci.(Hons) degree in Psychology from NUS. He is currently a M.Soc.Sci. candidate in the department. His main research seeks to identify early life predictors of autistic traits in young children.

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