The aim of this study was to investigate the differential responses of the primary auditory cortex to auditory stimuli in autistic spectrum disorder with or without auditory hypersensitivity. Auditory-evoked field values were obtained from 18 boys (nine with and nine without auditory hypersensitivity) with autistic spectrum disorder and 12 age-matched controls. Autistic disorder with hypersensitivity showed significantly more delayed M50/M100 peak latencies than autistic disorder without hypersensitivity or the control. M50 dipole moments in the hypersensitivity group were statistically larger than those in the other two groups. M50/M100 peak latencies were correlated with the severity of auditory hypersensitivity; furthermore, severe hypersensitivity induced more behavioral problems. This study indicates auditory hypersensitivity in autistic spectrum disorder as a characteristic response of the primary auditory cortex, possibly resulting from neurological immaturity or functional abnormalities in it.
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