Principal Investigator

Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D. University of Rochester work Box 270266 Rochester NY 14627-0268 office: Meliora 492 p (585) 275-8712

Honors & News

  • July 25, 2016

    Luebke and Bennetto Explore Hearing Test That May Identify Autism Risk

    Diagram of hearing test to identify autism risk

    Researchers have identified an inner ear deficiency in children with Autism that may impact their ability to recognize speech. The findings, which were published in the journal Autism Research, could ultimately be used as a way to identify children at risk for the disorder at an early age.

    This study identifies a simple, safe, and non-invasive method to screen young children for hearing deficits that are associated with Autism, said Anne Luebke, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience and a co-author of the study. This technique may provide clinicians a new window into the disorder and enable us to intervene earlier and help achieve optimal outcomes.

    Auditory impairment has long been associated with developmental delay and other problems, such as language deficits, said Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology and a co-author of the study. While there is no association between hearing problems and autism, difficulty in processing speech may contribute to some of the core symptoms of the disease. Early detection could help identify risk for ASD and enable clinicians to intervene earlier. Additionally, these findings can inform the development of approaches to correct auditory impairment with hearing aids or other devices that can improve the range of sounds the ear can process.

  • March 20, 2014

    Understanding Autism

    Loisa Bennetto, director of the developmental neuropsychology lab in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, will present a talk on Understanding Autism at the next "Got Health?" event on Thursday, March 20. The free lecture will be held from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. in the Rundel Auditorium at the Rochester Central Library, 115 South Ave. The talk is sponsored by the Center for Community Health in partnership with the Central Library.

  • April 7, 2011

    MSTP, NSC Graduate Student Susan Lee Receives Trainee Travel Award

    MSTP and Neuroscience student, Susan Lee has received a Trainee Travel Award to present her research at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping's 17th Annual Meeting in Quebec City, Canada on June 26-30, 2011. Susan is currently working in Dr. Loisa Bennetto's lab on Audiovisual Integration During Language Comprehension: The Neural Basis of Social Communication in Autism and Typical Development.

  • June 3, 2010

    Anne Luebke, Ph.D. and Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D. Awarded Collaborative Pilot Grant

    Anne Luebke, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Neurobiology & Anatomy and Biomedical Engineering, and Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Clinical and Social Psychology, have been awarded a collaborative pilot grant to study whether physiological-based biomarkers of cochlear efferent strength will be impaired in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) population.

    The specific aim of the project is to determine efferent feedback strength in children and adolescents with ASD when compared with typical controls (age, gender, and IQ matched). The project will build on existing measures of MOC strength using two different otoacoustic emission-based tests with short and sustained binaural broadband suppression to obtain maximal efferent feedback strength in both ears of all participants.

  • July 1, 2009

    Transformative Research

    Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D., has spent much of her scholarly career trying to unravel the biological and psychological mechanisms behind autism, a neurological developmental disorder with no known cause that affects as many as 1 in 150 children in the United States.

    Parents frequently tell us that their children with autism are picky eaters, and for some children, it can have a significant impact on their health, says Bennetto, an expert in the neurocognitive bases of autism. Understanding why a child with autism refuses certain foods could be a tremendous help to struggling families. That understanding could also help identify the hereditary source for the atypical sensory perceptions—and may help isolate some of the genes—involved in autism.

    This spring, Bennetto received a major boost in her efforts when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded her a $3 million grant to follow up on her preliminary studies, which indicate that children with autism are less able to identify tastes and smells than their normally developing peers.

  • May 21, 2003

    UR Awarded $7.5 Million to Investigate Autism Treatment

    Already a national leader in autism research due to the late-1990s discovery of a critical genetic link, the University of Rochester Medical Center is among eight institutions in the United States selected to study treatments for this early childhood brain disorder.

    The $7.5 million, five-year National Institutes of Health grant will fund studies in diet and intensive behavioral therapy, with related investigations into neurobiology and genetics. The NIH initiative, announced this month, is called STAART (Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment). Among the principal investigators on the STAART project is Assistant Professor, Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D., of the Department of Clinical and Social Psychology.

  • October 14, 2000

    Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D. Honored For Excellence in Teaching

    Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D., of the Department of Clinical and Social Psychology, has been honored with the 2000 Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Education. The Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recognizes the distinctive teaching accomplishments and skills of faculty in Arts, Sciences and Engineering. The Award aims to acknowledge the full scope of work that contributes to excellence in undergraduate education.

    It can be given for distinguished teaching in large introductory courses or advanced seminars. In addition to being given for superior classroom performance, it can recognize innovation in course design or teaching methods, the creative use of educational technology, the integration of research and teaching, the capacity to elicit superior work from students, or the mentoring of students in independent study projects and senior essays.