Blythe Corbett, Ph.D.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
PMB 40
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-936-0280
Secondary Phone: 615-513-9562
Email: [email protected]
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Last Updated: September 15, 2021

Blythe Corbett

Primary Activity Coordinators: Research
Discipline Coordinators: Psychology
Specialty Resource Contacts: SENSE Lab Director
Project/Program/Clinic Contacts: Director of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Psychology
Discipline(s): Psychiatry
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership
Research: Dr. Corbett is a pediatric neuropsychologist with over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and chapters. She is a licensed clinical psychologist (CA, TN) and has been assessing and treating children with autism spectrum disorders since 1991. She has been awarded the Japanese-American Frontiers of Science Young Scientist award sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, as well as several other foundational awards and grants. Her current research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to study stress and arousal across pubertal development in autism and a novel intervention research approach, SENSE Theatre, combining classic behavioral approaches with theatre techniques in a peer-mediated model for children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder.


Blythe Corbett's translational research program, the Social Emotional NeuroScience Endocrinology (SENSE) lab, aims to evaluate the socioemotional responsivity of children with autism by using several methods of analysis, including: sophisticated behavioral observational techniques; functional neuroimaging; and the assessment of biological markers of emotional arousal or stress, such as cortisol. Corbett examines the biobehavioral profiles of autism to better understand factors that enhance or diminish the response to social and nonsocial stress. The ultimate goal of these interwoven studies of peer interaction, play, and psychosocial stress is to directly translate into novel, efficacious treatments. Recently, Corbett founded a non-profit, community-based intervention program, SENSE Theatre, which is a unique intervention research program that uses well established behavioral approaches alongside creative theatrical techniques designed to improve the social and emotional abilities of children with autism. Her current research projects include examining the regulation and responsivity of cortisol, behavioral and neural mechanisms of play in children with autism, and peer-mediated intervention.