Autism Sensory and Repetitive Behavior Research Cascio Lab Vanderbilt University Medical Center

How to Participate

We are currently seeking new participants for three studies:

How Individuals Process and Express Pain


Goal of Study
To determine if some people with autism spectrum disorder experience pain differently because of the way their brains process pain information. 

Time commitment
You may qualify to participate in up to four 1.5 to 3 hour sessions.

What's involved?
-Sensory tasks (tasks that measure touch and pain)
-An EEG or MRI scan 
-Interviews and questionnaires
-DNA donation in the form of a small sample of saliva

Eligibility
We are looking for participants who:
- are 18-50 years of age.
- have autism spectrum disorder OR are typically developing.

Compensation
The study pays $20 per hour. 

To volunteer for this study please contact:
Miller Tracy or Samona Davis
Email: casciolab@vanderbilt.edu
Phone: (615) 936-0151 / (615) 936 7220

Sensory Processing in Infant Siblings (Infants)

Goal of Study
To understand how younger siblings of children with Autism Diagnoses develop 

Time commitment
Eligible participants (Babies ages 6 months to 22 months) can meet us at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville on Monday mornings from 9 to Noon. Additionally, eligible participants can participate with us at Vanderbilt.

What’s involved?
Younger siblings will receive standardized developmental and language testing at Vanderbilt and during the follow-up visit. They will receive a psychological assessment for autism at the final visit. Participation through the Science Center will involve sensory testing and the option of participating in the larger study through Vanderbilt.

Eligibility
We are looking for participants who:
- are between the ages of 6 months and 22 months
- have an older sibling
- do AND do not have an older sibling with an autism spectrum disorder

Compensation
The study pays $20/hour. 
 
To volunteer for this study, please contact:
Sarah Bowman 
Email: smacbowman@gmail.com

Bahar Keceli-Kaysili 
Email: bahar.keceli-kaysili@vanderbilt.edu


Processing Internal and External Cues (Children & Adults)


Goal of Study
To understand how the brain processes sensory cues from the outside world as well as sensory cues within the body.

Time commitment
Eligible participants may spend anywhere from 2 hours to as much as 9 hours, spread out over a number of days.

What’s involved?
Session 1: You will be asked to answer some questions and complete some questionnaires. Your child will also be asked some questions and complete some puzzles. After that session, your child may qualify for further sessions.  Session 2: This will include brief tests that involve vision, hearing, and touch, and this session may include an MRI “practice” run, to help him/her feel comfortable with the scanner and learn to stay still for the scan.  Your child will be asked to donate saliva as a source of DNA.  Session 3: Your child will receive a brain scan using an MRI.  We may invite you to do a second “practice” session before this session.  Your child may be asked to donate a second sample of saliva on this session. Session 4: Your child may complete a second brain scan.

Eligibility
We are looking for participants who:
- are healthy
- are between the ages of 8 and 17 OR between the ages of 18-50
- can consistently follow verbal instructions
- speak English fluently
- do AND do not have an autism spectrum disorder

Compensation
The study pays $15/hour to the child, and parents receive $30 total upon completion of the study. Your parking at Vanderbilt will be paid for. If your child participates in the MRI portion of the study, he/she will also get a picture of his/her brain!
 
To volunteer for this study, please contact:
Miller Tracy or Samona Davis
Email: casciolab@vanderbilt.edu
Phone: (615) 936-0151 / (615) 936-7220


Peripersonal Space (Adults)


Goal of Study
To examine the representation of peripersonal space and its boundary with extrapersonal space in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia compared to typical control groups. 

Time commitment
Phase 1 of this study consists of 2 appointments each lasting 2 to 2.5 hours.
Phase 2 of this study consists of 11 weekly appointments each lasting 1 hour. 

What’s involved?
- surveys and questionnaires
- clinical assessments and sensory tasks
- MRI

Eligibility
We are looking for participants who:
- are between the ages of 18 and 50
- are schizophrenia outpatients, have autism spectrum disorder or are typically developing
- have no diagnosed organic brain disease, brain lesions, history of head traumas or neurological disorders
- no substance/alcohol abuse/dependence during the past 2 years
- normal or corrected-to-normal hearing and vision

Compensation
This study pays $20 per hour. 
 
To volunteer for this study, please contact:
Miller Tracy or Samona Davis
Email: casciolab@vanderbilt.edu
Phone: (615) 936-0151 / (615) 936-7220



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