Frontiers in Psychology: Neuropsychology Section Editor’s Choice articles

Offering insights into Autistic Inertia, Adolescent Brain Development and Social Anxiety Disorder, this is the first edition of Editor’s Choice articles from Frontiers in Psychology’s Neuropsychology specialty section chosen by the Specialty Chief Editor, Professor Martina Amanzio. These articles are the most widely read in the section between 2020-2021.

I. “No Way Out Except From External Intervention”: First-Hand Accounts of Autistic Inertia 

By Karen Leneh Buckle, Kathy Leadbitter, Ellen Poliakoff and Emma Gowen

– 31,870 total views

This study explores ‘autistic inertia’, a widespread and often debilitating difficulty in acting on intentions. It provides a unique perspective on the difficulty of starting, stopping, and changing tasks in real life through qualitative data, collected from adults with autism in focus groups.

Participants described complex interactions between external and internal factors and their ability to act. What was consistent and universal was that the inability to voluntarily start and stop tasks had profound and pervasive effects on their daily lives and overall well-being.

This article can benefit researchers and patients who want to gain a deeper understanding of ‘autistic inertia’ and as basis to devise effective support strategies.

II. Review of EEG, ERP, and Brain Connectivity Estimators as Predictive Biomarkers of Social Anxiety Disorder 

By Abdulhakim Al-Ezzi, Nidal Kamel, Ibrahima Faye and Esther Gunaseli  

– 10,229 total views

This review article explores the electrocortical endophenotypes associated with distinct and persistent fear experienced in social situations, known as social anxiety disorder (SAD). The authors provide insights into differences in these biomarkers compared to healthy controls and in the impact on neuronal networks implicated in emotional regulation, perceptual stimulus functions, and emotion processing.  The authors also share recommendations for improving the assessment of electrocortical endophenotypes of SAD to improve the diagnostic process and treatment selection.

This article lays the foundation for a more personalised treatment for patients.

III. Adolescent Brain Development and Progressive Legal Responsibility in the Latin American Context 

By Ezequiel Mercurio, Eric García-López, Luz Anyela Morales-Quintero, Nicolás E. Llamas,  José Ángel Marinaro, José M. Muñoz

– 10,409 total views

In this article, the authors analyze the contributions of neuroscience to adolescent brain development and progressive legal responsibility in Latin America.

During this particular stage of life, the process of brain development is not yet complete, the affectivity of adolescents is more unstable, with a diminished capacity for self-regulation. These aspects can have important consequences on their behaviour.  In fact, risky behaviour, characterised by transgression of social norms and conventionsoccurs frequently during adolescence. While the authors recognize the importance of neurodevelopmental aspects and the implications for legal responsibility, they point out that they do not provide definitive answers.

The three selected articles are clearly an important contribution to the Neuropsychology field providing insights for potential therapies and support strategies to overcome the challenges posed by autistic inertia, social anxiety disorder and adolescence brain development associated with legal responsibility.