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Testing the Bottom-Up vs Top-Down Imbalance Hypothesis of ASD

February 28, 2007 - January 1, 2025

We are the TRANSCEND Research Team at Massachusetts General Hospital – thank you so much for your interest in our research! Our research is about how different areas in the brain are connected in autism compared to typically developing individuals, and is entirely non-invasive. We are currently recruiting individuals ages 14-32. The study would involve behavioral assessments, and 1-2 sessions in the MEG, a device that reads brainwaves, and is similar to EEG. We will also determine with you whether an MRI is needed. If so, it will be a very short one – about 10-15 minutes. You can read more about our studies on our website: http://transcend.mgh.harvard.edu/ We reimburse for time at the rate of $30/hr for behavioral assessments, and $70/hr for MRI/MEG visits. We also reimburse for travel expenses such as Uber and Lyft costs (up to $80 per visit) and for parking. Note also that our visit times are flexible, and we will do our best to accommodate your schedule.

What are the goals of the study?

Our research group studies brain development and associated medical conditions in healthy adults and adults with developmental disorders such as autism, an autism spectrum disorder, language impairments, attention deficit disorders, or sensory processing disorders, including misophonia. Specifically, we are trying to understand how sensory information (sight, hearing, and touch) is processed in the brain of an individual with autism spectrum or other developmental disorders as compared to a healthy individual.

What will happen during the visit or online?

The study would involve behavioral assessments, and 1-2 sessions in the MEG, a device that reads brainwaves, and is similar to EEG. We will also determine with you whether an MRI is needed. If so, it will be a very short one – about 10-15 minutes. If you self-identify as having misophonia, we will ask you to get a comprehensive audiology exam at the Mass Eye and Ear Audiology clinic affiliated with MGH, to rule out other potential auditory processing disorders.

How will this help families?

There is no direct benefit to the subject for participating in the research. We hope that the information gathered in our studies will aid in the identification, understanding, and treatment of autism.

Eligibility Criteria

Recruiting individuals who have been diagnosed with ASD, ages 14-30

View the study flyer here

Contact Information

Grace Levine – transcend@partners.org, (617) 966-9766

Research Study Website
TRANSCEND Research Team at Massachusetts General Hospital

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