UD Autism Lab fNIRS Study

Location: Newark, DE - Move2Learn Autism Lab, University of Delaware
Start Date: June 1st, 2016
End Date: July 6th, 2019

Families can participate in a study that examines brain activity when performing everyday skills in infants, children, adolescents, and adults with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Who Can Participate?

  • Typically developing infants (3-18 mos.), children (3-14 yrs.), & healthy adolescents/adults (15-50 yrs.)
  • Infant siblings of children with ASD between 3 and 18 months
  • Preterm infants (< 37 weeks of gestation) between 3 and 18 months
  • Children with ASD between 3 and 14 years of age
  • Adolescents and adults with ASD between 15 and 50 years

What Will Be Involved?

  • This study will involve 4 testing visits completed over 4 to 8 weeks. All visits will be completed in the researchers’ lab at the UD STAR Health Sciences Complex. Each session lasts between 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Prior to participation in the study, individuals with autism will need to provide a letter from a pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist confirming the autism diagnosis.
  • At each visit, researchers will place a cap with LED lights on your or your child’s head. Using fNIRS to capture brain activity during different tasks is a completely safe and non-invasive approach.
  • If the participant is between 3 and 18 months of age, researchers will complete various play activities involving social or movement play with toys and caregivers.
  • If the participant is between 3 to 50 years of age, you or your child will complete various social and motor skills including hammering pegs, swaying with a partner, swaying on different surfaces, and a cooperative building game.
  • For the swaying game, researchers will attach a small, light wireless motion tracker using a waist band to capture sway movements.
  • Researchers will assess various developmental skills in infants or social and movement skills in the children, adolescent, and adults. Researchers will also ask you or your caregiver to fill out standardized questionnaires that will assess your or your child’s movement and social interaction skills.
  • All testing sessions will be videotaped so that researchers can score the tests later. You will receive $40 as payment for participation upon completing all testing sessions ($10 per fNIRS session completed).

You can help by volunteering for the study. Please email the study PI, Dr. Bhat at abhat@udel.edu (preferred) or call the Move2Learn Autism Lab at 1-302-831-7608.