BECAUSE team wins poster prize at Dutch Neuroscience Meeting

25 June 2019

Ricarda Weiland and Maaike van Boven received a prize for best poster at the Dutch Neuroscience Meeting 2019. In their winning poster they presented their first results in the BECAUSE project, in which they investigate mechanisms involved in sensory sensitivity in people with autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental, highly heritable disorder with a >1% prevalence that is characterized by impairments in social skills and flexibility. Recently, sensory processing sensitivities, such as extreme sensitivity to light, sound, or touch, were added to the ASD diagnostic criteria (DSM5) as negative and prevalent symptoms. These symptoms are now considered “a critical cornerstone for characterizing and understanding ASD”. A new theory explains ASD by a disturbed excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance in synaptic networks in the brain, but direct evidence to support this theory remains scant. In their poster, Ricarda and Maaike explained how the BECAUSE project aims to test this hypothesis in humans on different levels: using subjective reporting, behavioural testing, EEG and in human iPSC-derived neurons