Adults with autism spectrum disorder show atypical patterns of thoughts and feelings during rest

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

LAY ABSTRACT: Everyone knows the feeling of letting one's mind wander freely in a quiet moment. The thoughts and feelings experienced in those moments have been shown to influence our well-being-and vice versa. In this study, we looked at which thoughts and feelings are being experienced by adults with autism spectrum disorder and compared them to adults without autism spectrum disorder. In total, 88 adults with autism spectrum disorder and 90 adults without autism spectrum disorder were asked to rest for 5 min with their eyes closed and let their mind wander. Directly after, they filled in the Amsterdam Resting-State Questionnaire, which probes what participants were feeling and thinking during the period of rest. We found that adults with autism spectrum disorder tend to think less about others, felt less comfortable, and had more disrupted thoughts during the rest compared to adults without autism spectrum disorder. Interestingly, autism spectrum disorder participants reporting lower levels of comfort during the rest also reported more autism spectrum disorder symptoms, specifically in social behaviors and skills, attention switching, and imagination. We propose to use the eyes-closed rest condition in combination with the Amsterdam Resting-State Questionnaire more widely to shed light on aberrant thoughts and feelings in brain disorders and to study the effect of therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1362361321990928
JournalAutism : the international journal of research and practice
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Feb 2021

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