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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Volunteers Needed for Autism Study at Children's Hospital Boston Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience

Researchers at  Children's Hospital Boston have asked our help in recruiting participants in a study of how children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) process emotion in the faces that they see around them. They are particularly interested in how much information children need, as compared to adults, in order to recognize emotion in a face, and the brain activity associated with recognizing these emotions. It's called:

Behavioral and Brain Response to Changes in Facial Emotional Expressions

The ability to perceive and identify emotions in faces is crucial to navigating our social world, and it is often an area of difficulty for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Our research team at aims to shed light on specific areas of strength and difficulty for children with ASD.
By learning more about how children process facial emotion, we may be able to contribute to a better understanding of ASD and the design of more effective intervention programs and therapies.

In this study, children will look at pictures of faces, some of which will express emotions of different intensities. They will be asked to sort those pictures into different groups according to emotion. Children will also complete activities designed to help us understand their cognitive and communication skills.

Eligible for Participation
  • children 5 years old;
  • children 12 years old.
Children should have been previously diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome or high-functioning autism. They must be able to sit still for 20-30 minutes at a time and cannot also have a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder or uncorrected vision problems.

Participation involves one visit to our lab in the Longwood Medical Area. Visits usually last between 1-3 hours and are scheduled at a time convenient for you. We offer free parking and childcare for siblings you may wish to bring. Participating children will receive a small toy or cash prize.

For additional information, please contact Rhiannon Luyster, Ph.D. at 857-218-5209 or by email to: rhiannon.luyster@childrens.harvard.edu.


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