AtteND Lab

  • Atypical Hemispheric Specialization for Faces in Infants At-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Check out our recently publish findings in Autism Research. High-risk infants showed an atypical pattern of leftward lateralization of intra-hemispheric connectivity by the end of the first year of life, suggesting that the network specialized for face processing may develop atypically in these infants. Read more here.
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  • Slowed Search in the Context of Unimpaired Grouping in Autism: Evidence from Multiple Conjunction Search
    Check out our recently publish findings in Autism Research. Contrary to results from most visual search studies, we found that individuals with ASD were significantly slower to find the target than their typically developing peers. Why they are slower in this case may help us understand how individuals with ASD typically excel at search. Read more here.
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    Under-Reactive but Easily Distracted: An fMRI Investigation of Attentional Capture in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Check out our recently publish findings in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Results indicate that individuals with ASD may be under-reactive to behaviorally-relevant stimuli, unable to filter irrelevant information, and that both top-down and bottom-up attention networks function atypically in ASD. Read more here.
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    Exploring What’s Missing: What Do Target Absent Trials Reveal About Autism Search Superiority?
    Check out our recently publish findings in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Results from behavioral and eye-tracking measured revealed a lack of left-visual-field search asymmetry in ASD, which may confer an additional advantage when the target is absent. Read more here.
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Our lab uses a variety of techniques, such as behavioral testing (e.g., performing tasks in a quiet room), eye tracking (e.g., measuring where your child is looking; figure to the right), and brain imaging (e.g., recording the electrical activity produced by the brain using sensors placed on the head).

Using these tools, we study areas where individuals with autism excel, such as visual search. In a visual search task, participants have to find a target (a circle in the example to the right) that is hidden among an array of "distractors." Individuals with autism are faster than their peers without autism at finding the target.

Our research explores how individuals with autism achieve their superior performance, with the goal of using this knowledge to enhance our understanding what is different about the brain in autism and how we may be able to utilize these abilities to enhance the lives of individuals with autism and their families.
To answer these questions we need help from families like yours. If you are interested in participating, please complete our contact form