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Commentary: Translation Between Different Types of Model 

Commentary: Translation Between Different Types of Model
Commentary: Translation Between Different Types of Model

Francesca Happé

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date: 12 July 2020

This commentary discusses possible relationships and interplay between animal models and neurocognitive accounts of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It begins with a recap of types of validation possible for animal models in general. After brief comments on construct and predictive validity in models of ASD, face validity is discussed at a number of distinct levels. Face validity concerning behavior or symptom pattern has been the primary focus for this behaviorally diagnosed spectrum of conditions. What should be the aim of animal models of ASD focused on behavioral face validity? At least two possible approaches exist; to attempt to model the full syndrome, or to identify and target “fractionable” elements, ideally intermediate phenotypes, which need not be unique to ASD. These different approaches are discussed, and evidence is presented for fractionating the triad of ASD characteristics. Lastly, possible contributions from cognitive theories to animal models of ASD are considered.

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