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Response to Emotion in ASD Children & Teens (REACT) Study-This study is completed.

Dr. Carla Mazefsky, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23), National Institutes of Health

Poor emotional control is a problem for many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but  the behavioral and neural underpinnings of this problem are not well understood.  This research study will explore the neurobiological basis of emotional experiences in autism.  The objectives are to better understand how emotional processes differ in individuals with and without ASD, including differences in brain functioning and how factors like pubertal status and associated anxiety and mood symptoms play a role.  This study includes individuals between the ages of 12 and 19 years old who have an ASD and those who do not have any developmental or mental health problems.


Eligible participants and their parents will complete a series of questionnaires about the participant's emotional and behavioral functioning.  Participants will also complete three tasks in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.  fMRI is a painless way of taking pictures of the brain while a person is completing an activity.  Also while in the scanner, eye tracking will be completed, which is a noninvasive means of tracking where the participants' eyes are looking.  Information from this study will help to identify specific differences in emotional functioning in autism, which will enable the development of more targeted and effective treatments.


Autism research REACT study brochure

Please click on image to see an electronic

version of REACT study brochure


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2006 CeFAR at the University of Pittsburgh • Site last updated September, 2012