Examining the correlation between traits (phenotype) and genes (genotype) can provide a more precise strategy for characterizing genes that may be involved in the development of ASD. However, it is critical to move beyond evaluating clinically diagnostic symptoms of ASD, which are typically behavioral ‘macros’ that can be comprised of many underlying processes.  Phenotypic (or trait) evaluations use

multidisciplinary methods to characterize the complex traits of individuals with ASD, providing more precise data for calculating genotype-phenotype correlations. We use electrophysiology, cognitive neuroscience and the assessment of developmental trajectories to provide more detailed information about the behaviors that contribute to ASD. This requires identifying patterns of performance that are heritable. To address this question, we are examining neural processing in first degree relatives of individuals with ASD. In collaboration with labs specializing in genetic analysis, we use this data to evaluate phenotype-genotype correlations in ASD.