Sensory Perception and Cognition
About 90% of individuals with autism experience atypical sensory perception. These sensory perception differences may provide the key to understanding the neurobiology of the condition. We pioneer brain imaging techniques (fMRI, MRS, EEG) as well as virtual reality to understand how you sense and represent the world around you.
Research shows that early detection and intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for individuals with autism. We are actively developing biological markers of autism to detect the condition in young, non-verbal children. We focus on the sensory symptoms that children with autism often present, which onset considerably earlier than differences in social condition. These sensory differences may be the key to early detection.
A major challenge for autism research today is the lack of cross-talk between human and animal-level studies of the condition. We are developing translatable behavioral assessments between autistic individuals and animal models in the laboratory. Developing these translatable assessments will facilitate the discovery of the principles of biological expression of autistic traits and help us move research from animals to humans.