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Reward processing in autism: a thematic series

Dichter, Gabriel and Adolphs, Ralph (2012) Reward processing in autism: a thematic series. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 4 . Art. No. 20. ISSN 1866-1947. PMCID PMC3445830.

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This thematic series presents theoretical and empirical papers focused on understanding autism from the perspective of reward processing deficits. Although the core symptoms of autism have not traditionally been conceptualized with respect to altered reward-based processes, it is clear that brain reward circuitry plays a critical role in guiding social and nonsocial learning and behavior throughout development. Additionally, brain reward circuitry may respond to social sources of information in ways that are similar to responses to primary rewards, and recent clinical data consistently suggest abnormal behavioral and neurobiologic responses to rewards in autism. This thematic series presents empirical data and review papers that highlight the utility of considering autism from the perspective of reward processing deficits. Our hope is that this novel framework may further elucidate autism pathophysiology, with the ultimate goal of yielding novel insights with potential therapeutic implications.

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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2012 Dichter and Adolphs; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received: 31 May 2012; Accepted: 14 June 2012; Published: 19 July 2012.
PubMed Central ID:PMC3445830
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121129-143154518
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Official Citation:Dichter and Adolphs: Reward processing in autism: a thematic series. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders 2012 4:20.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35737
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Jan 2013 19:49
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:31

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