An Introduction to Translational Neuroscience Approaches to Investigating Autism


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Archived Recording
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013- Wednesday, December 18, 2013
2:00pm EST - 3:00pm EST

Webinar Objectives:

This webinar is one of a series of webinars developed by LEND and UCEDD programs within the Southeast Regional Consortium.  The objectives of this webinar were:

  1. Gain familiarity with eyetracking, electrophysiology, and functional neuroimaging approaches to investigating autism and autism risk
  2. Learn about the methodological advantages and disadvantages of these translational neuroscience tools
  3. Identify important avenues for future clinical translational research to improve our understanding of autism neurobiology 

Webinar Description: 

This webinar provided an introduction and overview of three translational neuroscience approaches to investigating autism, namely eyetracking, electrophysiology, and functional neuroimaging.  The relative advantages and disadvantages of endophenotypic methods to understand autism will be presented, followed by a selective review of emerging and influential findings in the scientific literature using each of these three techniques.  The goal of this webinar was not to provide a comprehensive review of the scientific literature but rather to help the non-specialist gain a better understanding and appreciation of the potential contributions of each technique to further our understanding of autism neurobiology and autism risk.  


Dr. Gabriel Dichter is a licensed clinical psychologist, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill, and a core faculty member of the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center (BIAC).  His research uses behavioral methods, electrophysiology, and functional brain imaging to investigate core deficits and treatment response in autism and affective disorders.  He received his PhD from Vanderbilt University where he trained with Andrew Tomarken and Judy Garber and completed T32-funded postdoctoral training in neurodevelopmental disorders at UNC-Chapel Hill.  He has been PI of numerous federal and foundation grants, including two NARSAD awards addressing reward processing in mood disorders, a career development award from NIMH focused on neuroimaging treatment effects in autism, and a recent grant from NIMH investigating imaging-genetic predictors of psychotherapy response in mood disorders.  He was the recipient of the 2011 Vanderbilt University Randolph Blake Early Career Award for the Psychological Sciences and has served on numerous NIH study sections and working groups.  Dr. Dichter also runs a social skills clinic for adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities.