Autism: Ongoing Studies

1.  Studies of Repetitive Behaviors in Autism

Individuals with Autism demonstrate a variety of ritualized and repetitive behaviors. Among these behaviors, patterns of insistence on sameness (IS) can be particularly challenging. IS refers to difficulties making transitions or responding to changes in routines. We are studying the cognitive and brain systems associated with IS in autism.

2.  Family studies of motor abilities in Autism

Sensorimotor integration challenges are common in individuals with autism. We are investigating specific brain circuits underlying these problems with the hope of informing the development of new treatments for these issues.

3.  Attention and sensory abilities in individuals with Autism

We are investigating cognitive and sensory problems in autism and brain system disturbances that underlie them. We are interested in how cognitive and sensory processing differences may relate to the social communication and daily life challenges children face. We hope information we gain from this study will help design new intervention and pharmacological treatment.

4.  Assessment of sensorimotor function in individuals with Fragile X Syndrome

These studies are aimed to understanding sensory processing abnormalities in Fragile X Syndrome and involve studying the genetic and brain abnormalities that cause them.

5. Sensorimotor function in relatives with premutations related to the Fragile X Syndrome

We also are interested in understanding motor system issues in family members who are premutation carriers of expansions in the repeat count of the gene which causes the Fragile X syndrome. This is referred to as FXTAS, and primarily impacts relatives of individuals with Fragile X after they are 50 years old.