Infant Siblings of ASD Children
Categorization in Children & Adults With Autism
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy
Autism Treatment Network
Autism Task Force
Project I: Development of Categorization and Facial Knowledge in Low
and High Functioning Autism
Where People Look When Watching F
Researchers at the Infant and Toddler Development Center have been
studying the effects of autism in older children and adults since 2002.
With the recent naming of the University of Pittsburgh as one of six
national Autism Centers of Excellence, this research will continue and
will also be extended to the study of both toddlers and young infants.
What We Want To
Our research is concerned with how autism
impacts the ability of individuals to process cognitive information.
While autism is often described as a disorder that affects the ability
of individuals to socially interact with others, it also has a profound
impact on the way individuals process all types of information. More
specifically, we are studying how autism impacts the way individuals
learn about the world, including their knowledge of both categories and
How We Do This
These studies are focused on individuals, age 6 through adulthood, who
have been diagnosed with autism and who also have I.Q. scores above 80.
Participants in these studies use a keyboard to respond to a series of
simple questions regarding various pictures they see on a computer
childhood to adulthood, individuals with autism show continual
improvement in most of the abilities we are studying. However, they do
not seem to possess the same level of expertise as do typically
developing individuals. We believe this is because they are processing
both objects and facial information in a manner different from typically
developing children. As they age, typically developing children focus
less on specific details in favor of type of processing which is more
global and configural. In contrast, individuals with autism remain
focused on more minor details. Ultimately, this limits their processing
abilities. Through this knowledge we hope to improve cognitive
capabilities of those with autism by creating interventional methods.