The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Development of Social Cognition Lab


Early Social and Non-Social Attention in Children with and Without Autism

Principal Investigator

Noah Sasson, PhD, UT Dallas

Sasson Lab

Prior work by Dr. Sasson and colleagues has demonstrated that certain categories of objects are disproportionately salient to children with autism. The current study is investigating whether the presence of these object types interferes with attention to social stimuli for children on the autism spectrum.

Children ages 2 to 5, both with and without diagnoses of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, are invited to participate.

Children in this study will:

  1. Participate in an eye tracking session where they look at images of people and objects on a computer monitor.
  2. Participate in a developmental assessment. Written results will be available for parents.
  3. Receive a $15 gift certificate for their participation.

All research will be conducted at the UTD Callier Centers in Dallas and Richardson. Please contact email Noah Sasson for more information.

Comparing Social Cognitive Dysfunction in Autism and Schizophrenia

Principal Investigators

Noah Sasson, PhD, UT Dallas, Amy Pinkham, PhD, UT Dallas

Previous work has suggested that individuals with autism and schizophrenia may have difficulty accurately recognizing emotions because they do not look at the most important parts of the face when deciding what emotion is being shown. By using eye-tracking technology, the current study will examine how individuals with schizophrenia and individuals with autism spectrum disorders view social stimuli.

Sasson Lab

We are currently recruiting volunteer research participants for this study who are between the ages of 18 and 45 who are healthy, or who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, or who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This is a joint study between Southern Methodist University and The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. We will not ask you to change medications or any part of your treatment. We will ask you about your history and have you perform various tasks designed to measure how your brain processes visual information (for example, answering questions about pictures you are shown).

This study will take no more than 3 hours, and you will be paid for your time and participation.

Other Ongoing Studies

Social Cognition and Social Skill in the Broad Autism Phenotype

This study is examining whether mild characteristics of autism found in the general population are associated with differences in social cognition and social behavior.

Circumscribed Attention and Restricted Interests in the Broad Autism Phenotype

This study explores whether patterns of circumscribed attention and restricted interests previously reported for individuals with autism extend to the broad autism phenotype.