John J. Foxe,
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is characterized by persistently atypical over- or under- responsivity to standard environmental stimuli that are perceived as non-noxious inputs by typically developing children and adults. It is estimated that as many as 3.2 million children suffer from the disorder, and in many cases it is a severely debilitating affliction that adversely impacts the normal developmental trajectory. Yet there is currently no recognized diagnostic category for this disorder. As such, many of these children are either misdiagnosed or simply do not receive a diagnosis at all, and are often overlooked or do not receive appropriate clinical services. However, recent empirical evidence from both animal and human studies has resulted in a new appreciation for the existence of this disorder. This Research Topic of Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience is designed to grow the knowledge base about this under-researched and poorly understood disorder, frequently misdiagnosed as ADHD, Autism, and/or Anxiety Disorder. Recognition of SPD by neuroscientists, psychologists and others who will read this issue is intended to increase the visibility of this disorder to the national funding agencies, allowing for an amplification of much needed empirical research. Submissions in the following areas are especially welcomed: animal and human studies illuminating the neurophysiology and possible pathology of the disorder; genetic (familial) evidence of the discriminant validity of the condition; longitudinal studies differentiating SPD symptoms from other diagnostic entities such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders and other conditions; and methods of identifying the condition in animals and humans.