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

Our Research

Our research is focused on sensory and repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The lab uses direct observational assessment of sensation, perception, and behavior. These approaches are combined with neuroimaging and neurophysiological approaches such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and event-related potentials (ERP).

The goal of the lab is to better understand how basic sensory and limbic neural systems contribute to the complex array of social and communication impairments in ASD.

Current projects include: 1) an fMRI study of limbic/reward system activation in response to motivating objects such as food and circumscribed interests in ASD, 2) DTI and functional connectivity MRI studies of sensory thalamocortical pathways as they relate to sensory hyper- and hyporesponsiveness in ASD,  3) a behavioral and fMRI study of sensory processing of internal cues in ASD, 4) an fMRI study of pain in ASD, and 5) a pilot study targeting sensory processing differences in infants at risk for ASD.

Our Collaborators

Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, Columbia University

Mark Wallace, Vanderbilt University

Tiffany Woynaroski, Vanderbilt University

Sohee Park, Vanderbilt University

Neil Woodward, Vanderbilt University

Grace Baranek, University of North Carolina

Greg Essick, University of North Carolina

Paul Yoder, Vanderbilt University

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