Neural hyperexcitability in autism spectrum disorders

Yukari Takarae, John Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Despite the progress that has been made in research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the understanding of the biological basis of ASD to identify targets for novel, effective treatment remains limited. One of the leading biological theories of autism is a model of cortical hyperexcitability. While numerous genetic and epigenetic studies support this model, how this particular biological alteration relates to known phenotypes in ASD is not well established. Using examples of sensory processing alterations, this review illustrates how cortical excitability may affect neural processes to result eventually in some core clinical phenotypes in ASD. Applications of the cortical excitability model for translational research and drug development are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number129
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 13 2017


  • Autism
  • Individual differences
  • Inhibition
  • Sensory abnormalities
  • Sensory hypersensitivity
  • Sensory hyposensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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