Brain-wave data collected during a hearing test routinely given to newborns could help clinicians spot neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism in early infancy, according to a new Rutgers-led study. Researchers found that newborns who later received an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis had pronounced delays in their brainstem’s responses to sounds. On average, these newborns had a 1.76-millisecond lag – in a system that operates at a microsecond timescale – compared to newborns who developed neurotypically.

These newborns may have difficulty integrating sound with other sensory streams like vision, movement, and pain because of limited access to sound frequency. Furthermore, they may have difficulty communicating socially and learning languages. To read the full story.