American Journal of Clinical Medicine Research
ISSN (Print): 2328-4005 ISSN (Online): 2328-403X Website: Editor-in-chief: Dario Galante
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Clinical Medicine Research. 2013, 1(4), 65-70
DOI: 10.12691/ajcmr-1-4-5
Open AccessArticle

Plasma Cortisol Response to Asked Questions on Recent Events during Videogame Play in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Kunio Yui1, and Masako Ohnishi2

1Research Institute of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Ashiya University Graduate School of Education, Rokurokuso-choy, Ashiya, Japan

2Faculty of Pedagogy, University of KinDAI Himeji, Himeji, Japan

Pub. Date: December 03, 2013

Cite this paper:
Kunio Yui and Masako Ohnishi. Plasma Cortisol Response to Asked Questions on Recent Events during Videogame Play in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. American Journal of Clinical Medicine Research. 2013; 1(4):65-70. doi: 10.12691/ajcmr-1-4-5


One of the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is the need for consistency, repetition, rituals, and rigid patterns of play. The need for sameness may be extended to include videogame play and interaction with others.Unfamiliar social interactions and disruption of repetitive patterns of interests and behavior may easily exacerbate anxiety-related stress in individuals with ASD. Whereas, videogame can induce distraction of stress response. We examined the effects of videogame play on cortisol social under the situations of asked questions on daily events plasma.We conducted astructuredinterview consisting of the declarative memory recallon daily events during videogame.Before the start of the interviews, each participant played a videogame as the default context. Two serial contexts followed in which participants were exposed to different social stimuli. Twotypes of stimulators such as an unfamiliar female and an unfamiliar male asked the participants questions on unpleasant daily events, respectively. Immediately after these interviews, the participants were permitted to resume the video game play.A blood specimen for plasma cortisol determination were conducted twice: once at the time of 28 days before and again 5 minutes after the interviews.There were no significant differences in plasma cortisol levels between before and after the interview questions in the 10 children with ASD and the 7 normal healthy controls. Disruption of videogame play, asked questions conducted by the unfamiliar adults, and memory retrieval for the unpleasant daily life events may be able to increase plasma cortisol levels. However, plasma cortisol levels in the 10 children with ASD were not significantly increase plasma cortisol response. Considering that video playing has been found toinduce distraction or decrease and no stress response, video game play candistract cortisol response to stressors.

autism spectrum disorders video game play memory retrieval distress events plasma cortisol levels

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


Figure of 1


[1]  American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, text revision (4th ed.). Washington, DC.
[2]  Lopata C, Volker MA, Putmam SK, Thomeer ML, Nida RE. Effect of social familiarity on salivary cortisol and self-reports of social anxiety and stress in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. J Autism Dev Disord, 2008, 38(10). 1866-1877.
[3]  Nejtek VA. High and low emotion events influence emotional stress perceptions and are associated with salivary cortisol response changes in a consecutive stress paradigm. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2002. 27(3). 337-352.
[4]  Buchmann AF, Laucht M, Schmid B, Wiedemann K, Mann K, Zimmermann US.Cigarette craving increases after a psychosocial stress test and is related to cortisol stress response but not to dependence scores in daily smokers.J Psychopharmacol, 2010. 24(2). 247-255.
[5]  Petrowski K, Wintermann GB, Schaarschmidt M, Bornstein SR, Kirschbaum C.Blunted salivary and plasma cortisol response in patients with panic disorder under psychosocial stress. Int J Psychophysiol, 2013. 88(1). 35-39.
[6]  Spratt EG, Nicholas JS, Brady KT, Carpenter LA, Hatcher CR, Meekins KA et al. Enhanced cortisol response to stress in children in autism. J Autism Dev Disord, 2012. 42(1). 75-81.
[7]  Jansen LMC, Gispen-de WiedCC, van der GaagRJ, van Engeland H. Differentiation between autism and multiple complex developmental disorder in response to psychosocial stress. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2003. 28(3). 582-590.
[8]  Corbett BA, Schupp CW, Levine S, Mendoza S. Comparing cortisol, stress, and sensory sensitivity in children with autism.Autism Res,2009. 2(1). 39-49
[9]  Corbett BA, Schupp CW, Simon D, Ryan N, Mendoza S. Elevated cortisol during play is associated with age and social engagement in children with autism.Mol Autism, 2010. 27. 13.
[10]  Corbett BA, Schupp CW, Lanni KE. Comparing biobehavioral profiles across two social stress paradigms in children with and without autism spectrum disorders. Mol Autism, 012. 3(1):13.
[11]  Quesada AA, Wiemers US, Schoofs D, Wolf OT.Psychosocial stress exposure impairs memory retrieval in children. Psychonuroendoctrinology 2012.37(1). 125-136.
[12]  Petrowski K, Wintermann GB, Schaarschmidt M, Bornstein SR, Kirschbaum C.Blunted salivary and plasma cortisol response in patients with panic disorder under psychosocial stress. Int J Psychophysiol, 2013.88(1). 35-39.
[13]  de Weerth C, Jansen J, Vos MH, Maitimu I, Lentjes EG.A new device for collecting saliva for cortisol determination. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2007.32(8-10). 1144-1148.
[14]  Mazurek MO, Wenstrup C. Television, video game and social media use among children with ASD and typically developing siblings. J Autism Dev Disord, 2013. 43(6). 1258-1271.
[15]  Prot S, McDonald KA, Anderson CA, Gentile DA.Video games: good, bad, or other? Pediatr Clin North Am, 2012. 59(3). 647-658.
[16]  Chaput JP, Visby T, Nyby S, Klingenberg L, Gregersen NT, Tremblay A, Astrup A, Sjödin A.Video game playing increases food intake in adolescents: a randomized crossover study. Am J Clin Nutr.2011. 93(6). 1196-1203.
[17]  Ivarsson M, Anderson M, Åkerstedt T Frank Lindblad F. Playing a violent television game does not affect saliva cortisol. Acta Pediatrica, 2009. 98(6). 1049-1056.
[18]  Russoniello CV, O’Brien K, Parks JM, EEG, HRV and Psychological correlates while Playing Bejeweled II: A randomized controlled study. Stud Health Technol Inform, 2009. 144. 189-192
[19]  First MB, Spitze RL, Robert L, Gibbon M, Williams JBW, Janet BW. (2002). Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-R axis I disorders Axis 1 Disorders-patient Edition.SCID I/P. [PDF], available from:
[20]  Rutter M, Le Couteur A, Lord C. Autism Diagnostic Inventory-Revised. Los Angeles, CA:Western Psychological Services, 2003.
[21]  Constantino JN. The social Responsiveness Scale.Los Angeles CA: Western Psychological Services, 2002.
[22]  Aman MG, Burrow WH, Wolford PL. Aberrant behavior checklist- community: factor validity and effect of subject variables for adults in group homes. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 1995. 100. 283-292.
[23]  Constantino JN, Gruber CP, Davis S, Hayes S, Passanante N, Przybek T. The factor structure of autistic traits. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 2004. 45(4). 719-726.
[24]  Hollander E, Chaplin W, Soorya L, Wasserman S, Novotny S, Rusoff J, et al. Divalproex sodium vs. placebo for the treatment of irritability in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2009. 35(4). 990-998.
[25]  Pruett J R, LaMacchia A, Hoertel S, Squire E, McVey K, Todd RD, et al. Social and non-social cueing of visuospatial attention in autism and typical development.J Autism Devl Disorders,2011. 41(6). 715-731.
[26]  Miral S, Gencer O, Inal-Emiroglu FN, Baykara B, Baykara A, Dirik E. Risperidone versus haloperidol in children and adolescents with AD: a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 2008. 17(1). 1-8.
[27]  Grritsen W, Heijnen CJ, Wiegant VM, Bermond B, Frijda NH.Experimental social fear: immunological, hormonal, and autonomic concomitants.Psychosom Med, 1996. 58(3). 273-286.
[28]  Schilling TM, Kölsch M, Larra MF, Zech CM, Blumenthal TD, Frings C, Schächinger H. For whom the bell (curve) tolls: Cortisol rapidly affects memory retrieval by an inverted U-shaped dose-response relationship. PsychoneuroendocrinologyS0306-4530(13)00005-X.
[29]  Goerke M, Cohrs S, Rodenbeck A, Grittner U, Sommer W, Kunz D. Declarative memory consolidation during the first night in a sleep lab: the role of REM sleep and cortisol.Neuroendocrinology, 2013. 38(7). 1102-1111.
[30]  Ackermann S, Hartmann F, Papassotiropoulos A, de Quervain DJ, Rasch B. Associations between Basal Cortisol Levels and Memory Retrieval in Healthy Young Individuals.J Cogn Neurosci, 2013. Jun 28. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00440.
[31]  Seyrek SK, Corah NL, Pace LF. Comparison of three distraction techniques in reducing stress in dental patients. J Am Dent Assoc, 984. 108(3). 327-329.
[32]  Schupp CW, Simon D, Corbett BA.Cortisol responsivity differences in children with autismspectrum disorders during free and cooperativeplay. J Autism Dev Disord, 2013. Feb 22.