UT Autism Laboratory:
Some Highlights of Our Research Findings

  • Children with autism have specific deficits in developing joint attention skills, a major component of early language and social behavior.
    (Loveland, & Landry, 1986; Landry & Loveland, 1988)
  • Persons with autism have special difficulty identifying emotion across visual-auditory modalitites (e.g., face and voice).
    (Loveland, Tunali-Kotoski, Pearson, Chen, Brelsford, & Ortegon, 1995)
  • Verbal persons with autism can often identify appropriate social behavior, but frequently cannot identify inappropriate behavior. They also do not always know why a behavior would be inappropriate.
    (Loveland, Pearson, tunali-Kotoski, Ortegon, & Gibbs, 2001)
  • Many persons with autism do not have the concept of a story narrative and cannot easily tell a story even with prompts.
    (Loveland, McEvoy, Tunali and Kelley, 1990)
  • Several studies show persons with autism may have more knowledge about their social environments than they typically use, unless they are prompted.
    (Loveland, Tunali, Kelley, and McEvoy, 1989; Loveland, & Tunali, 1991)
  • Children with autism acquire adaptive (everyday life) skills more slowly than others of similar IQ and their progress often plateaus by mid-adolescence.
    (Loveland and Kelley, 1988, 1991)
  • Measures of adaptive behavior can help increase the accuracy of diagnostic measures of autism.
    (Tomanik, Pearson, Loveland, Lane & shaw, in press)
  • Children with autism have greater signs of co-morbid psychopathologies such as anxiety and depression than do controls without autism or children with milder forms of autism such as Pervasive Developmental disorder-NOS.
    (Pearson, D.A., Loveland, K.A., Lachar, D., Lane, D.M., Reddoch, S.A., Mansour, R., & Cleveland, L.A., in press)
  • Adolescents with autism have less (fMRI) brain activation in medial frontal cortex, fusiform gyrus and superior temporal sulcus than controls when deciding whether emotional faces and voices match.
    (Loveland, Steinberg et al, submitted)
  • Individuals with autism probably vary a great deal in the specific neural deficits they exhibit...
  • ...but converging evidence suggests dorsolateral, medial, and orbital frontal cortex are impaired along with both hippocampus and amygdala and associated structures.
    (Loveland, Bachevalier, Pearson, and Lane, 2005; Loveland, Bachevalier, Nemanic & Pearson, 2005)

More coming soon!

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