Neural basis of social cognition in youth with autism and psychosis

What's the study about?

Our study involves behavioral and neuroimaging assessments of adolescents, ages 12-21, with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder (SSD). Selected participants will be invited to undergo the caregiver-assisted PEERS®16-week social skills training. The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is world-renowned for providing evidence-based social skills treatment to preschoolers, adolescents, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, and other socio-emotional problems. Our study will also recruit typically developing adolescents to undergo assessments and brain scans. All participants will be paid for involvement in assessments and brain scans. Our study is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Who can participate?

  • Teens with autism or psychosis
  • Verbally fluent
  • No MRI contraindications (e.g, braces, implants)

What will participants be doing?

Neuropsychological assessments, non-invasive MRI scans, PEERS social skills intervention

Why is this important?

This study will help us understand brain architecture differences unique to autism versus other clinical conditions such as psychosis. Additionally, the study aims to understand if brief behavioral interventions such as PEERS impacts brain architecture in substantial ways.