ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (1): 31-44.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00031

• ·研究方法· • 上一篇    下一篇


贾磊, 徐玉帆, 王成, 任俊(), 汪俊()   

  1. 浙江师范大学教师教育学院心理系, 金华 321004
  • 收稿日期:2019-11-20 出版日期:2021-01-15 发布日期:2020-11-23
  • 通讯作者: 任俊,汪俊;
  • 基金资助:
    * 全国教育科学规划国家一般项目“多模态教育视角下自闭症儿童跨通道感觉统合障碍的神经机制及干预研究”(BBA180083)

Gamma oscillation: An important biomarker reflecting multisensory integration deficits in autism spectrum disorders

JIA Lei, XU Yu-fan, WANG Cheng, REN Jun(), WANG Jun()   

  1. Department of Psychology, College of Teacher Education, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China
  • Received:2019-11-20 Online:2021-01-15 Published:2020-11-23
  • Contact: REN Jun,WANG Jun;


多感觉整合是对不同感官信息进行选择、联系、统一乃至解释的加工过程, 它需要神经系统不同功能区域的共同投入与相互协调, 以实现多种感觉信息的时间捆绑以及全局性的预测编码。而γ神经振荡因具有反映神经皮层兴奋/抑制的平衡状况, 实现多感官信息的时间同步, 以及通过跨频耦合实现全局性预测编码的特点, 在多感觉整合的加工过程中发挥着重要作用。相比正常个体, 自闭症患者神经系统中的GABA中间神经元存在结构与功能异常, 导致γ神经振荡紊乱, 由此破坏了正常的时间同步以及预测编码加工, 并最终引发多感觉整合失调。基于上述因果关联, 未来研究可结合无创可逆性干预技术, 以γ节律神经振荡为生物反馈指标, 形成科学系统化的临床干预治疗方案。

关键词: 感觉整合, γ神经振荡, 自闭症谱系障碍


Multi-sensory integration (MSI), also known as multi-modal integration, refers to a comprehensive process of selecting, connecting, unifying, and interpreting different sensory information. It involves coordination among various functional brain regions to achieve temporal binding of multiple sensory information and global predictive coding. On the other hand, the gamma rhythm oscillation (i.e., γ-band oscillation, at 30-100 Hz), as a type of neural oscillatory activity with low amplitude but high frequency, widely exists in different brain areas. Gamma rhythm oscillation mainly originates from the responses of glutamic acid of the supragranular layers to external stimuli, while this response is synchronously modulated by gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons. Recent research has shown that gamma rhythm oscillation plays a critical role in perceptual process due to its multiple functions in reflecting excitation/inhibition balance of interneurons, implementing temporal binding of multi-sensory information, and participating in global predictive coding via a cross-frequency coupling mechanism. 
On the other hand, MSI deficits are typical comorbidities of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and usually found in ASD children from 7 to 12 years of age in the growth and development period. The main clinical manifestation of MSI deficits in ASD is that the patients have difficulties in combining with multi-sensory information efficiently, and even show abnormal perception such as hyper- or hypo-sensitivity. Under laboratory conditions, the MSI deficits in ASD could be illustrated as lacking multisensory redundant target effect, wider but symmetrical temporal binding window, weaker ability of rapid audiovisual temporal recalibration, and few illusions in multi-sensory integration.
From the perspective of MSI deficits in ASD, this article systematically reviews previous theories in abnormal perception of ASD, which include the minicolumn pathology hypothesis (Casanova et al., 2002), the temporal binding deficit hypothesis (Brock et al., 2002), the predictive coding deficit hypothesis (Chan et al., 2016), and the cross-frequency coupling hypothesis (Kessler et al., 2016). We also analyze the physio-psychological mechanisms of ASD’s MSI deficits in combination with their abnormal gamma rhythm oscillations. We argue that abnormal gamma rhythm oscillations should be treated as an important biomarker of MSI deficits in ASD. Specifically, compared with healthy controls, children with ASD usually exhibit abnormal gamma oscillations caused by their structural and functional abnormalities in GABA interneurons (i.e., impaired minicolumn). In turn, the abnormalities in GABA interneurons indexed by gamma oscillations would interfere the functional gamma feedforward connectivity and then disrupt the normal temporal binding and predictive encoding, and thus eventually cause MSI deficits. 
Although gamma rhythm oscillations in ASD have high correlations with their MSI deficits, it should be noted that the gamma rhythm oscillations might be one of the critical biomarkers of MSI deficits, but not the only one. Previous research has also shown that the alpha rhythm oscillations could also reflect the MSI deficits in ASD.  In addition, interventions on abnormal gamma rhythm oscillations could improve clinical symptoms of MSI deficits in children with ASD, but may not able to fully resolve their multi-sensory integration problems. Therefore, as a biomarker of MSI deficits in ASD, gamma rhythm oscillations should to be used in caution. Nevertheless, given a causal link existed between gamma neural oscillations and MSI deficits in ASD, future research could use gamma rhythm neural oscillation as a biofeedback indicator, in combination with non-invasive and reversible intervention technologies (e.g., repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, rTMS), to develop scientific and systematic clinical interventions.

Key words: multi-sensory integration (MSI), γ-rhythm oscillation, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)