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ResearchSSPAutonomic Nervous SystemDr. Stephen Porges

Optimizing The Social Engagement System In Prader-Willi Syndrome: Insights From The Polyvagal Theory

Stephen W. Porges, Indiana University and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Summary: To demonstrate that children with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) have atypical regulation of the Social Engagement System (SES). We hypothesize these effects will be manifested by dampened vagal regulation of the heart (low parasympathetic tone); poor middle ear muscle regulation resulting in auditory hypersensitivities and poor auditory processing; lack of voice intonation (prosody), and difficulties in accurately detecting the emotions of others.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) in decreasing the atypical features of the SES in adolescents with PWS. We hypothesize that individuals who complete the SSP will have improved vagal regulation of the heart, improved middle ear muscle regulation, increased voice intonation and improved ability to accurately detect the emotions of others.

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