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Research Projects

Visual Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Self-Regulation and Social Motivation in ASDIndividuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often experience difficulties in social interactions, which may partially arise from lower levels of social motivation. For example, past research has found that individuals with ASD often pay less attention to social stimuli and find social stimuli less rewarding than their neurotypical peers. However, a separate line of research has shown that individuals with ASD show a greater stress response to social stimuli (e.g., social noise, eye gaze) and that this increased stress may be especially challenging, given that individuals with ASD often have difficulty regulating their cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses.

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Visual Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Visual Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders - Currently EnrollingHow do children and adolescents see different things in the world around them? There is so much visual information in the world and our brains work to efficiently process what is most important. Our brains are tuned to process different types of images with varying levels of precision, which helps us see what is necessary and filter out what is not. Previous research suggests that children with autism may have difficulty processing faces, but that they may show a strength in processing other types of visual information.

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Otoacoustic Emissions and Auditory Feedback in Minimally Verbal Children with ASD

Otoacoustic Emissions and Auditory Feedback in Minimally Verbal Children with ASDAuditory processing deficits have been found to be one of the earliest signs of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Testing early auditory processing is difficult in very young, minimally verbal children, but the integrity of outer hair cell function can be evaluated reliably using otoacoustic emissions (OAEs). Sound causes contractions of the outer hair cells and generates acoustic signals (OAEs), which can be recorded in the external ear canal (Kemp, 2002). Measuring these signals is noninvasive and reliable, and is a routine approach to testing auditory functioning in children as young as infancy.

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