Predictive coding in autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Maria Luz Gonzalez-Gadea, Srivas Chennu, Tristan A. Bekinschtein, Alexia Rattazzi, Ana Beraudi, Paula Tripicchio, Beatriz Moyano, Yamila Soffita, Laura Steinberg, Federico Adolfi, Mariano Sigman, Julian Marino, Facundo Manes, Agustin Ibanez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Predictive coding has been proposed as a framework to understand neural processes in neuropsychiatric disorders. We used this approach to describe mechanisms responsible for attentional abnormalities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We monitored brain dynamics of 59 children (8–15 yr old) who had ASD or ADHD or who were control participants via high-density electroencephalography. We performed analysis at the scalp and source-space levels while participants listened to standard and deviant tone sequences. Through task instructions, we manipulated top-down expectation by presenting expected and unexpected deviant sequences. Children with ASD showed reduced superior frontal cortex (FC) responses to unexpected events but increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation to expected events. In contrast, children with ADHD exhibited reduced cortical responses in superior FC to expected events but strong PFC activation to unexpected events. Moreover, neural abnormalities were associated with specific control mechanisms, namely, inhibitory control in ASD and set-shifting in ADHD. Based on the predictive coding account, top-down expectation abnormalities could be attributed to a disproportionate reliance (precision) allocated to prior beliefs in ASD and to sensory input in ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2625-2636
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2015


  • ADHD
  • ASD
  • MMN
  • P300
  • Predictive coding


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