Autism and Developmental Disorders

This line of research investigates a range of issues related to understanding the social dysfunction in autism.

Projects include autism genetic studies, studies of how young children respond to social events and develop social communication skills, how individuals with autism respond to and recognize faces and emotional information, and functional neuroimaging studies of how individuals respond to social information at the level of brain activity.

These studies represent collaborations among researchers at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Bradley Hospital, Hasbro Children's Hospital, the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk and on-campus researchers at Brown University.

Current Studies

  • Autism Fetal Behavior Study
    This study is open to pregnant mothers who have an older child with autism or a family history of autism.
    Principal Investigator: Stephen Sheinkopf, PhD

  • Autism Cry Home Videotape Study
    This study studies the sounds that children with autism made when infants by use of home videotapes.
    Principal Investigator: Stephen Sheinkopf, PhD  

  • The Rhode Island Multi-site Genetics Study For Autism and Related Disorders.
    The Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP) is investigating genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying autism and intellectual disability. We use genome-wide strategies to identify patterns in genes and chromosomes that may be associated with an autism diagnosis.

    The long-term goal of this research is to improve genetic diagnosis and treatments, with the hope of improving outcomes for affected individuals.

    We are inviting families to participate if there is at least one member affected by autism, or a related condition. Participation in the study consists of a one-time interview during which we go over the individual's medical and developmental history, as well as construct a family tree. We may also ask children to participate in a short evaluation. Finally, we will ask all family members in attendance to provide a DNA sample.

    By participating in the study, you can help future families like your own who are affected by autism, and contribute to approaches to diagnosis and treatment of autism in general. Email Eric Morrow, MD, PhD for more information.

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