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Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia And Auditory Processing In Autism: Modifiable Deficits Of An Integrated Social Engagement System?

Stephen W. Porges, Matthew Macallaio, Shannon D. Stanfill, Kimberly McCue, Gregory F. Lewis, Emily R. Harden, Mika Handelman, John Denver, Olga V. Bazhenova, and Keri J. Heilman 
International Journal of Psychophysiology, 2013 Jun; 88(3): 261-270
In this peer-reviewed study, higher functioning individuals with ASD were tested using an early version of the SSP.  The study showed that auditory processing and state regulation improved following the intervention.

Reducing Hypersensitivities In Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Preliminary Findings Evaluating The Listening Project Protocol (A Precursor To The Safe And Sound Protocol)

Stephen W. Porges, Olga V. Bazhenova, Elgiz Bal, Nancy Carlson, Yevgeniya Sorokin, Keri J. Heilman, Edwin H. Cook, and Gregory F. Lewis
Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2014; 2:80
In a second peer-reviewed study, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who used an early version of the SSP experienced significant improvements in emotional organization, listening, spontaneous speech and hearing sensitivities.

The Listening Project: Tuning Into Change

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Summary: A research project funded by the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) will be conducted in Australian facilities of the ACF to evaluate the effectiveness of the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) in children with a trauma history. The SSP is designed as a “neural exercise” to reduce auditory hypersensitivities, to improve auditory processing of speech, and to improve behavioral state regulation. The SSP uses acoustic stimulation to exercise the neural regulation of the middle ear structures to rehabilitate and to normalize the acoustic transfer function of the middle ear structures. The current study is being conducted to evaluate efficacy and feasibility of the SSP and will use objective measures to evaluate changes in acoustic transfer function of the middle ears structures, auditory processing skills, physiological state regulation, and sensory symptoms.

The Listening Project at the ADD Centre and Biofeedback Institute of Toronto

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

Summary: A research project will be conducted at the ADD (“Attention Deficit Disorder”) Centre and Biofeedback Institute of Toronto to evaluate the feasibility of the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) intervention in individuals with difficulties with autonomic and/or behavioral regulation. The SSP is designed as a “neural exercise” to reduce auditory hypersensitivities, to improve auditory processing of speech, and to improve behavioral state regulation. These improvements should translate into increase feelings of safety and calmness, thereby promoting improvement in social behavior.

Home-based SSP on Individuals With PWS

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

Summary: To assess the effects of the SSP on improvement of social and regulation behaviors in individuals with Prader Willi Syndrome. In addition, a new methodology for collecting and evaluating vocal samples for analyses of prosody will be assessed.

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.

Examining the Effects of Processed Music on Chronic Pain

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

Summary: To examine whether the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP), a non-invasive audio intervention, can be effective for reducing chronic pain in a sample of older adults and whether increased regulation via the autonomic nervous system accounts for the decrease in pain if the intervention is successful.

The Effect of the SSP on the Regulation of Hypersensitivity in ASD

Sonja Heinrich (autismus-dialog), Michel Ackermann (Berliner Institut für Familientherapie), Prof.Hristo Kyuchukov (Univ.of Silesia Katowice), Prof.William New (Beloit College)

Summary: This is the first study to assess the effects of the SSP on visual, tactile, digestive, and selective eating domains as well as the first ASD-specific study of the SSP in Germany.

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