Document Type : Full Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Research Center for Computational Cognitive Neuroscience, System & Cybernetic Labratory, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran

2 PhD Student, Biomedical Engineering Department, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

4 Professor, Pediatrics Neurology Division, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common disorder among children which despite painstakingly effort, it is not yet possible to be precisely detected using paraclinical methods. On the other hand, early detection, before 18th month, has pivotal role in treatment procedure. In this study, we present a method for early diagnosis of ASD based on the qualitative analysis of the Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal. We develop a new domain for quantifying the quality of interaction is present. We name it 'stretching – folding space’ (SFS). This domain is based on cybernetics, holistic and information-based analysis approaches. Therefore, it provides a non-deterministic approach to the biosignals. We collected data from 60 normal and 60 children with ASD in the range of 3-10 years old. We extracted features from the data in the SFS domain. The design of the study is self-controlled, meaning that each child serves as his/her own control. Each subject in the study watched a cartoon with and without sound, and the EEG signals were recorded. Statistical tests are applied on the extracted qualitative features in the SFS domain. The difference between the features of the data for each group (normal and ASD) was extracted, and the difference were compared between the groups. The results indicate that there is a statistically significant difference between the SFS features of normal and autism children. We conclude that our proposed method can serve as a new signal processing tool for diagnosing autism.


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