Arousal modulation in females with fragile X or Turner syndrome

Jane Roberts, Michèle M M Mazzocco, Melissa M. Murphy, Rudolf Hoehn-Saric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The present study was carried out to examine physiological arousal modulation (heart activity and skin conductance, across baseline and cognitive tasks, in females with fragile X or Turner syndrome and a comparison group of females with neither syndrome. Relative to the comparison group, for whom a greater increase in skin conductance was associated with poor arithmetic performance and less risk taking behavior, females with fragile X displayed a minimal increase in heart activity that was nevertheless associated with poor performance on mental arithmetic. In contrast, no arousal-cognitive performance relationship emerged for the group with Turner syndrome. Taken together, our findings suggest that distinct profiles of arousal modulation might be associated with cognitive deficits in these syndrome populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by NIH grants P30-HD003110-38S1, P30-HD40602-01, P50 NS35359 and RØ1 HD034061. Note that this manuscript is a report that extends and expands upon an earlier publication (Keysor, Mazzocco, McLe-od, & Hoehn-Saric, 2002; Developmental Psychobiology) in which we first reported atypical indices of arousal in females with fragile X or Turner syndrome at discrete time points that coincided or preceded cognitive tasks. In collaboration with Dr. Jane Roberts, we pursued additional meaningful information by examining modulation of arousal over time.


  • Arousal
  • Cognition
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Psychophysiology
  • Turner syndrome


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