HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Boston, Massachusetts, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

8th Edition of International Conference on Neurology and Brain Disorders

October 19-21, 2023

October 19 -21, 2023 | Boston, Massachusetts, USA
INBC 2017

Razvana Stanciu

Speaker at International Conference on Neurology and Brain Disorders 2017 - Razvana Stanciu
Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium
Title : Sensory processing in autism spectrum disorders: literature review and perspective on the latest theories


Background: Since the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders: DSM-5, sensory processing anomalies have for the first time been identified as diagnostic criteria in the international classification and thus been recognized as part of the core symptoms in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Their clinical relevance and their critical importance for the patients is underlined by numerous first-person accounts, and many recent studies have investigated their epidemiology as well as their behavioral and neurophysiological links with the other core symptoms of ASDs. In the past years, several explanatory models of autism have been developed in relation with the atypical sensory processing features found in these disorders.

Methods: In this presentation, we summarize the research data found in a systematic literature review about sensory anomalies in ASDs, with regard to epidemiology, clinical presentations, and neurophysiology. We then summarize the latest explanatory theories based on perception in autism, and discuss the implications of the recent data in relation with them, as well as the latest research directions.

Findings: Sensory anomalies in ASDs are characterized by the variability of their presentation and of their clinical impact, not only between individuals but also in time. At present the underlying physiological mechanisms and their relation with the other core symptoms in autism are not fully understood, but much progress has been made in the last years, as research focus on these anomalies has been increasing. Several models show interesting perspectives for explaining atypical sensory processing as well as other core symptoms in ASDs. Some could account for the complexity and clinical features variability of the autism spectrum, as well as provide indications for underlying neurological processes and even treatment possibilities.

Main ideas of the presentation:

  • Sensory processing anomalies in autism are described and their clinical relevance is emphasized
  • Their complexity is highlighted by the summarized literature results
  • The latest and most promising explanatory theories of autism take these anomalies into account or even consider them at the origin of the peculiarities of the autistic functioning
  • Further research perspectives are examined in relation with these theories

Audience take away:

The audience will be familiarized with one of the main clinical issues in ASDs, that has until recently been very often ignored by many clinicians. This presentation is also an opportunity to exchange about an interesting topic in recent research on ASDs, and on the latest advances in the exploration of the aetiology of ASDs.


Dr Razvana Stanciu is a child psychiatrist, a researcher and a PhD candidate in child psychiatry at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). After she completed her medical studies at the ULB, she became mainly a hospital practitioner in child and adolescent psychiatry, but she also acquired a background in child neurology and adult psychiatry, and a training in systemic therapy. Her clinical interest led her to focus on autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). After being in charge for two years of a diagnostic centre for ASDs, she contributed to the creation of a day care facility for young children with ASDs. Her research work focuses on sensory aspects in ASDs and is mainly located at the Queen Fabiola Children Hospital in Brussels, Belgium.