Past Projects

Familiarity and the Mirror Neuron System

In this study we used EEG and behavioral assessment to examined neural response to biological motion and imitation ability among individuals with and without ASD.

Next Generation Gene Discovery in Familial Autism (NextGen)

The NextGen study seeks to understand the genetic basis of autism by learning more about extended family members of individuals with autism. We are recruiting families with at least two individuals with diagnosed or suspected ASD in the nuclear and extended family, and we take a small sample of each biological family member’s blood for genetic analysis. We also characterize each family members interests, problem-solving, language, and social skills through a series of questionnaires and assessments.

Simons Simplex Collection

The Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) is a core project and resource of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI). The SSC achieved its primary goal to establish a permanent repository of genetic samples from 2,600 simplex families, each of which has one child affected with an autism spectrum disorder, and unaffected parents and siblings (Sfari.org).

Simons Variation in Individuals Project

The Simons VIP project is a research initiative funded by the Simons Foundation that aims to identify and study a large number of individuals with a recurrent genetic variation (deletion or duplication of segment 16p11.2) that increases the risk of developing autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders (Sfari.org).

The Autism Semantics Study

The Autism Semantics Study was led by Dr. Kyle Steinman, Medical Director at the UW Autism Center and Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurology at Seattle Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with the Bernier Lab. The goal of the study was to learn how children and teenagers with ASD understand the meanings and associations of sights, sounds, and names of objects we encounter in the world around us.

The Brain Activity in Motion Study (BAM)

In the BAM study, we used EEG and behavioral assessment to investigate how children with ASD process visual motion.