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0 - 36 months

Neural Assays and Longitudinal Assessment of Infants at Very High Risk for ASD

Keywords: ASD, <1 month, Biomarkers of Atypical Development

Project Summary

What is being studied?

The purpose of this study is to identify brain-based markers of Autism Disorders (ASD) in the first year of life. Using MRI, EEG, eye tracking, and a variety of behavioral assessments, we are tracking the development of infants throughout the first year of life. Identifying brain-based markers of ASD earlier in infancy will allow for earlier diagnosis of ASD in infants, leading to improved developmental outcomes EEG domains of interest include implicit language learning, visual statistical learning, and resting state oscillations.

Who can participate?

If you have a child younger than one month old and either two children with an ASD or one child with an ASD and an extended family history of autism, you may be eligible to participate in this study.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact UCLA CART at (310) 825-3478 or


Targeting Joint Engagement in Infants at Risk for ASD: Integrating Treatment with Biomarkers

Keywords: ASD, >12 months, <21 months, Biomarkers of Treatment Outcomes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Project Summary

What is being studied?

The purpose of this study is to implement a parent-mediated clinical intervention to address social and communicative delays in infants. Because brain development occurs rapidly in infants and toddlers, EEG is being used to closely track biomarkers of functional changes in the brain from intervention, as well as biomarkers predicting response to treatment. We are focused on neural correlates of social attention, face processing, and learning from joint engagement.

Who can participate?

If you have a child between the 12 and 21 months of age, and have concerns over their social communication development, you and your child may be eligible to participate in this study. Your child must not have any previously diagnosed sensory or physical disorders. A participating parent must be available for two sessions per week at UCLA.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact the Kasari Lab at (310) 206-1268


Early Intervention Targeting Social Communication in Infants with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

Keywords: TSC, >12 months, <36 months, Neurogenetic Syndromes, Biomarkers of Treatment Outcomes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Project Summary

What is being studied?

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of behavioral intervention on social-communication skills in infants and toddlers with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), and to identify behavioral strategies required to maximize treatment outcomes in infants with TSC. Participants will be integrated into an existing early intervention study targeting social communication function in infants.

Who Can Participate?

If you have a child between the ages of 12-36 months, and with a clinical diagnosis of TSC, you may be eligible to participate in this study.

What does the study involve?

Participation requires attending behavioral intervention classes at UCLA twice a week for 8 weeks. Because this behavioral intervention is parent-mediated, a parent must be available to attend the sessions. Participants are also given behavioral assessments before entry into behavioral intervention, after exiting intervention, and at a 4-month follow up visit. Behavioral assessments generally take up to 3 hours to complete.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Scott Huberty at (310) 825-8738, or by email at

1 - 10 year-old

Brain and Behavior in Genetic Syndromes (B-BIGS)

Keywords: ASD, Dup15q, ID, >1 year-old, <10 year-old, Neurogenetic Syndromes

Project Summary

What is being studied?

Children with 15q11-q13 duplications are at high risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities, particularly autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID). The purpose of this study is to systematically characterize cognitive and social-communication abilities in children with dup15q syndrome, using standardized behavioral testing, play-based assessments, and EEG. The overarching goal is to determine if there are specific areas of strength or impairment that may serve as targets for behavioral intervention.

Who can participate?

If you have a child between 1 and 10 years of age with either interstitial or isodicentric 15q11-q13 duplications, you may be eligible to participate in this study.

What does the study involve?

The study will involve approximately 3 hours of testing, including parent questionnaires, behavioral evaluations of the child, and a 20-minute high-density EEG session. We will provide each family with written and verbal feedback on the behavioral testing. Furthermore, a subset of children will be entered into a pilot behavioral intervention focused on social-communication skills, for a total of 12 one-hour sessions.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Scott Huberty at (310) 825-8738


Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT)

Keywords: ASD, Eye tracking, EEG, consortium, Biomarkers

Project Summary

What is being studied?

The goal of this study is to develop reliable and objective measurements of social function and communication in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Children will be monitored over a six-month period using EEG to measure brain function, eye tracking technology to measure visual attention, behavioral assessments and automated recording techniques to assess behavior and speech.  These measures aim to validate a set of tools that will enable clinicians to objectively measure and predict how children with ASD will respond to treatment.

Who can participate?

School-aged children (4-11 years) with ASD and typical development (TD) are invited to participate.

What is being studied and what does the study involve?

The goal of this study is to develop reliable and objective measurements of social function and communication in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Across three time points over a six-month period, participants’ social function and communication will be monitored using EEG to measure brain function, eye tracking technology to measure visual attention, behavioral assessments and automated recording techniques to assess behavior and speech.  These measures aim to validate a set of tools that will enable clinicians to objectively measure and predict how children with ASD will respond to treatment.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

Lead Research Coordinator: Elizabeth Baker (310) 825-0180 or by email at


EEG Biomarkers of Language and Literacy Abilities in Minimally Verbal Children with ASD

Keywords: ASD, Biomarkers of Treatment Outcomes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Project Summary

What is being studied?

To understand more about language processing in children with ASD, and how their written and auditory linguistic processing relates to their spoken language ability.

Who can participate?

Children between 5-11 years old with a primary diagnosis of ASD/Autism, or typically developing children.

What does the study involve?

Participating involves 1 - 2 visits to the Jeste Lab.  An EEG session (approximately 30 minutes), where the child wears a stretchy electrode net while watching pictures and hearing words.  An assessment session (approximately 2 hours), where the child will participate in various language and cognitive assessments. Participants will receive a letter with their assessment results.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Charlotte DiStefano, PhD at (310) 825-8219, or via email 


Augmenting Language Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Translational Approach

Keywords: ASD, >6 year-old, <11 year-old, Biomarkers of Treatment Outcomes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Project Summary

What is being studied?

The purpose of this study is to examine the combined effects of medication and a behavioral intervention on language development in children with autism. To measure this, we are using both eye tracking and EEG to study face processing and language learning prior to and after intervention. Data from this study can inform an empirically based approach to intervention for children with an ASD and low language ability.

Who can participate?

If you have a child between 6 and 11 years of age with an ASD and low language ability you may be eligible to participate in this study.

What does the study involve?

Participants will receive either Aripiprazole or a placebo, along with an engagement-based language intervention. Participation also requires some parent questionnaires, interviews, and psychological testing.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

If interested in participating in this study, contact Jenny Cowen at (310) 825-6170 or by email at

8 - 17 year-old

Gender Exploration of Neurogenetics and Development to Advance Autism Research

Keywords: ASD, >8 year-old, <17 year-old, Biomarkers of Atypical Development

Project Summary

What is being studied?

The main goal of this study is to identify gender differences in brain structure, function, connectivity, and genetics in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Currently, ASD affects more males than females. Research indicates that males are 15 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD. By learning more about these gender differences, we aim to improve techniques for diagnosis and interventions. In order to thoroughly investigate the questions we are asking, we will be using a variety of methods: neuropsychological testing, EEG, fMRI and a genetics portion. The EEG domains of interest include reward processing, implicit language learning, processing of biological motion, and resting state oscillations.

Who can participate?

Children between the ages of 8 to 17 years that fit into one of these groups: a) children who have an ASD diagnosis, B) Children who are typically developing with a sibling with an ASD diagnosis, C) Children who are typically developing without a sibling with an ASD diagnosis.

What does the study involve?

Eligible participants will be invited to UCLA for two visits lasting approximately 3-4 hours, asked to complete a few mailed questionnaires (for both the child and the parents), and a blood draw.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Rosemary McCarron at the UCLA Brain Mapping Center, at (310) 825-5326, or by email at

 

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