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Neurocognitive Bases of Autism
My program of research is broadly directed at examining the neurocognitive bases of developmental disabilities, with the ultimate goal of understanding how atypical neurocognitive development relates to deficits in social-communication functioning as well as everyday difficulties with adaptive functioning. My lab focuses primarily on understanding autism spectrum disorders, but we have also been working to understand other developmental disorders such as Down syndrome, as well as normal developmental processes.
Collaborative Autism Research at the University of Rochester. This figure represents the exciting network of multidisciplinary research at the University of Rochester focused on autism. Autism is a complex disorder, so understanding its causes, improving accurate and earlier diagnoses, and designing effective interventions requires an equally complex approach. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have such a talented and diverse group of scientists and clinicians at the University of Rochester who are working together to improve the lives of those with autism spectrum disorders. Many thanks to our collaborator, Dr. Chris Stodgell for conceptualizing and designing this figure.
Our recent work examines the role of multisensory processing in several domains, including social communication and feeding. Some of our current projects in the domain of social communication in autism examine audiovisual speech perception, hearing-in-noise perception (including both speech-in-noise and music-in-noise), speech-and-gesture production and comprehension, and the role of atypical sensorimotor function in facial expressiveness. Our research on feeding investigates the role of multisensory processing in the development of restrictive food preferences (picky eating) in children with autism. We are interested in understanding the relative roles of sensory functions (including taste and olfaction), behavioral factors (e.g., restricted behavior style, neophobia), and family preferences on eating behaviors.