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. 

Indicative Publications


Arora Fedyushkin, I., Bellato, A., Gliga, T.,Ropar, D., Kochhar, P., Hollis, C. and Groom, M. (2021) ReducedAttention to Novelty in more Complex Visual Environments in Individuals with Clinical Symptoms or High Subclinical Traits of Autism. Molecular Autism

Bhavnani, S., Lockwood Estrin, G. Haartsen, R., Jensen, S.K.G, Gliga, T.,Patel, V., Johnson, M.H. (2021) EEG signatures of cognitive and socio-emotional development of preschool children: a systematic review. PLOS One

Piccardi, E., Begum Ali, Jones, Mason, Charman, Johnson, Gliga& STAARS. (2021) Neural markers of tactile sensory processing in infants at elevated likelihood of Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Vernetti, A., Senju, A., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., & BASIS Team. (2018). Simulating interaction: Using gaze-contingent eye-tracking to measure the reward value of social signals in toddlers with and without autism. Developmental cognitive neuroscience, 29, 21-29. Nyström, P., Gliga, T., Jobs, E. N., Gredebäck, G., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H., ... & Falck-Ytter, T. (2018). Enhanced pupillary light reflex in infancy is associated with autism diagnosis in toddlerhood. Nature communications, 9(1), 1678. Shephard, E., Bedford, R., Milosavljevic, B., Gliga, T., Jones, E. J., Pickles, A., ... & Bolton, P. (2018). Early developmental pathways to childhood symptoms of attention‐deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Gliga, T., Bedford, R., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H., Baron-Cohen, S., Bolton, P., ... & Gammer, I. (2015). Enhanced visual search in infancy predicts emerging autism symptoms. Current Biology, 25(13), 1727-1730.