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Research in our lab is directed at understanding how the brain functions in general, as well as how it may function differently in individuals with autism, agenesis of the corpus callosum and specific brain lesions. All participants are compensated for the time that they commit to our studies. Compensation is determined by length of time and type of experiment.

Please select one of the groups below if you are interested in participating.

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) High functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 16-65. To be considered ‘high functioning', individuals must have an full-range IQ of 80 or greater.
  • Bilateral amygdala lesions Adults with bilateral amygdala lesions (Urbach-Wiethe disease)
  • Agenesis of the corpus callosum People of all ages who have congenital absence of the corpus callosum.
  • Hemispherectomy Adults who had hemispherectomy during childhood.
  • Healthy adults We perform studies on individuals between the ages of 16-65, who have no major medical problems, psychiatric conditions or developmental delays, and do no family history of autism.


Our lab studies social and emotional behavior and the brain systems that support them. To do this, we use state-of-the-art scientific tools and methods including eye-tracking, MRI, and sophisticated behavioral assessment. Here are brief descriptions of the types of activities research participants might be asked to do:

  • Behavioral studies. Many of our behavioral studies involve observing something on a computer screen and responding to what you see using button presses or just by looking at it. We also conduct a variety of surveys regarding participants' behavior, attitudes, emotions, and mood.
  • MRI studies. In some of our experiments, we use MRI to examine brain structure and activity. During some of these studies, participants are looking at pictures or movies and making responses using button presses. These experiments are performed at the Caltech Brain Imaging Center (CBIC).