Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Our research  is part of STAARS / BASIS -a longitudinal study of infants at increased likelihood for ASD or ADHD because of having a sibling or parent with these disorders. We pursue the hypotheses that many of the later symptoms of ASD and ADHD are an adaptive response to early sensory processing atypicalities; we inquire the mechanisms underlying sensory and perceptual differences (Piccardi et al., 2021) and we want to understand how they lead to later social interactions difficulties (Vernetti et al., 2018).

This work has been funded by the Medical Research Council (PI Mark Johnson & Tony Charman).

As part of START project (PI Bhisma Chakrabarti, Reading University), we develop screening tools for ASD, using tablet-based measures, that can be used in low resource settings, currently in India.

8-month-old infants who later develop ASD are better at visual search.

Gliga, T., Bedford, R., Charman, T., Johnson, M.H. (2015) Enhanced visual search in infancy 

predicts emerging autism symptoms. Current Biology, 25(13), 1727-1730

.....but have no difficulties spotting a face 

Elsabbagh, M., Gliga, T., Hudry, K., Charman, T., Johnson, M.H. (2013). The development of face orienting mechanisms in infants at-risk for autism. Behavioral Brain Research, 251, 147-54.