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Investigators Current Studies Infant Siblings of ASD Children Categorization in Children & Adults With Autism            -Study Completed Emotion Processing            -Study Completed Imaging/fMRI Cognitive Enhancement Therapy Autism Treatment Network Autism Task Force



Project I-Development of Categorization and Facial Knowledge in Low and High Functioning Autism

The purpose of the infant sibling project, Pittsburgh Early Autism Study (PEAS), is to understand the development of object processing, communication and motor skills in infants, 5-22months old, who may be at heightened risk for autism because they have an older sibling with autism. The research procedures are simple and only require having the babies look at pictures and movies while we watch their eyes and record where they are looking.
This project is studying infants.
The purpose of the toddler project is to understand how perception and recognition develops in young children recently diagnosed with autism. Participants sit in front of a computer screen that shows them  videos of people, and pictures of objects and are instructed to push buttons to indicate their responses. This project is studying toddlers and young children.
The third element of this project is studying how individuals with high-functioning autism learn about the world, including their knowledge of objects, categories, and people. The research is examining how autism impacts the ability of individuals to process cognitive information.
      This project is studying infants
Project II-Disturbances of Affective Contact: Development of Brain Mechanisms for Emotions

The purpose of this project is to help understand how the brain processes emotions. With the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), pictures of the brain are taken while the participant is thinking. An eye-tracking device is used to better understand how people perceive, understand, experience and express emotions.   In addition, the goal is to find out how well people are able to use emotion to make decisions and social judgments. This project is studying children.
roject III-Systems Connectivity and Brain Activation:  Imaging Studies of Language and Perception

The purpose of this project is to study brain structure and function in autism by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The participant will be asked to do activities such as looking at pictures and reading short stories while in the MRI machine. The goal of this project is to understand how the brains of individuals with autism work by looking at their eye movements and measuring the activity in their brains as they do visual tasks during the fMRI scan. This project is studying adults.


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