Last updated on March 2019

Cognitive Neuroscience of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Are you eligible to participate in this study?

You may be eligible for this study if you meet the following criteria:

  • Conditions: Child | Asperger Syndrome | Adult | Mental Retardation | Pervasive developmental disorder
  • Age: Between 5 - 89 Years
  • Gender: Male or Female


Subjects will include:

  1. males and females.
  2. 5-89 years of age.
  3. A minimum IQ of 70 if age 18 or older.
  4. A minimum IQ of 50 if 5-17 years old.

Inclusion criteria for cognitively impaired children without ASD, Subjects will include:

  1. males and females.
  2. 5-17 years of age IQ of 50-69.

Subjects in the ASD group will:

  1. meet DSM-IV criteria for one of the pervasive developmental disorders (i.e., autistic disorder, Asperger disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified).
  2. meet or pass the autism cut-off score for social symptoms on the ADI and/or the ASD cut-off score from social+communication symptoms on the ADOS.
  3. be able to provide their own consent (for adults).


All subjects, except for savants, also will be excluded if they have:

  1. a history of neurological insult/injury.
  2. substantial prenatal drug exposure known to affect later brain and behavior (e.g., cocaine, alcohol).
  3. severely premature birth or birth trauma.
  4. severe medical disorder (e.g., neurofibromatosis, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, uncontrollable seizure disorder).
  5. a known genetic disorder (e.g., Fragile X or Down syndrome) that would be expected to significantly impact findings from cognitive testing and/or neuroimaging.

Furthermore, subjects will be excluded from MRI/MEG studies, if they have:

6. any exclusion from MRI scanning including: the presence of metal in their body, having a pacemaker, and/or females who are pregnant.

Exclusion criteria for cognitively impaired children:

  1. An IQ of less than 50
  2. Had severely premature birth or birth trauma,
  3. Typically developing but takes psychiatric medication.

Healthy volunteers, except for parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, parents of healthy volunteers, and parents of children with cognitive impairments, will also be excluded if they have:

  1. a current or past history of axis I psychiatric conditions or any current usage of psychiatric medication.

Savants have less restrictive exclusionary criteria because: 1) they are a very rare group, thus we don t want to limit recruitment further and 2) we can examine common and unique cognitive mechanisms across savants, a question of keen interest, regardless of co-morbidities. Those with tumors or other neuroimaging-relevant contraindications will be excluded from fMRI/MEG procedures.

Recruitment Status: Open

Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team

Receive Emails About New Clinical Trials!

Sign up for our FREE service to receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.