Tag: Macquarie

Brain imaging study: request for volunteers

We are looking for volunteers, aged 10-25, who have been identified as being on the autism spectrum to participate in a brain imaging study at Macquarie University, Sydney.

Many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience unusually strong or atypical reactions to sights and sounds and this can have a major impact on their quality of life. Our research aims to understand how the brains of individuals with autism and typically developing children, adolescents and young adults differ in their response to sounds and images.

Participants will play two interactive tasks involving aliens, astronauts and musical tones. Whilst doing this, we measure the tiny magnetic fields produced by the brain. This technique, known as MEG, is completely safe. The MEG machine is silent and you will not be in any discomfort.

We will also take a picture of participants’ brain using an MRI scanner. This is also non-invasive but is noisy and requires participants to lie still in a confined space for about 10 minutes.

Finally, we will ask participants to complete some simple tests of language and reasoning skills. And we ask parents to fill out a brief questionnaire.

The study takes place in our labs at the Australian Hearing Hub on the Macquarie University campus. Altogether, it takes around 2.5 hours to complete. We pay $50 for each child. Participants also receive a picture of their brain.


Please contact Robert Seymour for more information: robert.seymour@students.mq.edu.au

Research study: Measuring Anxiety in Children and Adolescents

You are invited to take part in a study that will assist in developing a measure for children and adolescents with anxiety including anxiety in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

If you decide to take part you will be asked to complete online questionnaires involving some demographic questions and a series of questions about child anxiety. The study will take between 20-30 minutes to complete.

Your answers will be entirely anonymous and confidential. Completing the study will make you eligible for the chance to win one of five $100 Coles Myer Gift Vouchers.

We are looking for parents of children and adolescents aged 6-18years. (more…)

Understanding the Role of the Oxytocin Receptor Gene in anxiety and social behaviours in individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is this study? What does it involve?

We are looking at genetic factors that influence social and psychological functioning in autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

Adults and children aged 12 years and over with autism will be asked to complete a range of questionnaires asking about social and psychological functioning and will be asked to provide a saliva sample, so we can look at individual differences in the oxytocin receptor gene, a gene involved in social approach and avoidance behaviours. Parents/informants/guardians will also be asked to complete some questionnaires.

All research can be undertaken in the privacy of your own home and should take around 60-90 minutes to complete.

Who can participate?

Adults, teens and children (5 years and over) who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (e.g. ASD, Asperger’s, pervasive developmental disorder) are invited to participate, along with their parents/carers! (more…)

Study of movement coordination in adults with ASD

We are looking for adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to take part in a study of movement coordination at Macquarie University.

Movement coordination can be a challenge for lots of people on the autism spectrum. In this study, we measure people’s muscle activity while they transfer objects from one hand to the other. The results will provide important information about how people with ASD coordinate different parts of their bodies.

Who can take part?

We are looking for adults (18 to 35) with a diagnosis of autism, Asperger syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, or PDD-NOS, who live in the Sydney area. (more…)

ARC Centre for Cognition and its Disorders: Stakeholder’s workshop

29 April 2014, Macquarie University, Sydney

Registration is essential but free

This workshop, to be held at the Macquarie University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), is a special opportunity to further develop and enhance collaborative links between CCD researchers and the organisations that benefit from their work.

With a theme of “sharing vision for future research impacts”, the day will commence with presentations by representatives from the CCD’s key stakeholder organisations outlining how each organisation supports the community and highlighting focus areas for 2014 and beyond.

These presentations will be followed by interactive demonstrations by CCD researchers from all three of the CCD’s nodes and tours of CCD and Cochlear facilities. There will also be opportunities for informal networking for researchers and stakeholders over the tea break, lunch and during drinks/canapés at the conclusion of the workshop.

Research facilities to be showcased include the KIT-Macquarie Brain Research Laboratory, the CCD’s state-of-art Liquid Helium Recovery System, and the research and development laboratories at Cochlear Ltd.

The KIT-Macquarie Brain Research Laboratory, which includes two world-first magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain imaging systems – one for investigating cognitive processing in children, and a custom-designed MEG system that can be used with children and adults with Cochlear Implants – is one of the world’s most advanced laboratories for brain research.

Dr Trevor Clark, Autism Spectrum Australia
Dr Molly de Lemos, Learning Difficulties Australia
Mr Bill Gye, OAM, Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW
Professor Greg Leigh, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children
Ms Alison McMurtrie, Learning Difficulties Australia
Mr Brendan Moore, Alzheimer’s Australia
Professor Jim Patrick, Cochlear, Ltd
Professor Leanne Togher, Speech Pathology Australia

For more information and to register for this event, visit: http://www.ccd.edu.au/events/conferences/2014/ccdstakeholders/index.html

Seminar: Eye Movements in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

vb1.jpg_SIA - JPG - Fit to Width_144_trueSpeaker : Val Benson, University of Southamptom

Date : 22nd of November 2013, 2:00PM until 3:00PM

Location : Australian Hearing Hub, 3.610, Macquarie University.

All welcome

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term encompassing a range of developmental conditions principally characterised by impairments in social interaction, communication and cognitive flexibility. It remains unclear to what extent any social or cognitive difficulties experienced by people with ASD result from differences in sampling the environment, or differences in interpreting the information sampled, or both. In addition, perceptual and attentional atypicalities are observed in the disorder. Our current experiments have used eye-tracking methodology to explore these issues. Evidence from collaborative investigations on low-level eye-movement characteristics; perception of complex stimuli; and processing of and attention to social information suggests that simple information processing requirements across the different processing domains are intact in ASD, whereas more complex information processing requirements within the same processing domain are impaired. We emphasise the importance of using subtle eye movement metrics as a way of illustrating these group processing differences and explain how these findings link to contemporary theoretical accounts of autism.

Talking Brains: A study of speech production in autism

Our robots are ready for the challenge. Are you?
Our robots are ready for the challenge. Are you?

We’re looking for kids with autism as well as typically developing kids to take part in our research over the next few weeks.

Participants: English-speaking kids aged 8 to 16 years old

Project description: In this study, we are investigating how children choose the right words to say and the extent to which they use the left or right side of their brain to do this. We’re also interested in word production difficulties faced by some children with autism.

Children play a computer game (against a friendly robot) in which they have to name pictures on a computer screen as quickly as possible. While they do this, we measure the tiny magnetic fields produced by their brains. This is completely safe and non-invasive.

We also get the kids to complete some simple tests of language and reasoning skills.

The study takes place in our new labs at the Australian Hearing Hub on the Macquarie University campus. Altogether, it takes around 2 hours to complete. We pay $40 for each child and can arrange free parking.

Interested? Please email Shu Yau at shu.yau@mq.edu.au or ring 9850 2991


Finding the right words: A study of language production in autism

Can you beat our robot team in the picture naming game?

We’re looking for kids with autism as well as typically developing kids to take part in our research over the next few weeks.

Language difficulties affect many children with autism. But while there is a lot of research on language comprehension, surprisingly little is known about the production of language. We know there is huge variation: from kids who never speak or come very late to speech, to those who are precocious talkers, despite having difficulties with conversational skills or nonverbal communication. We need to understand the diversity within autism as well as the differences between children with and without autism.

In this study, we are using a simple picture naming test. Children are shown a series of pictures on a computer screen and are asked to name them as quickly as possible.

We’re interested in two main questions: Do some children with autism have particular difficulty choosing between words with similar meanings? And do some children with autism rely more on the right side of their brain for producing language?

The study takes around 90 minutes to complete. We pay $30 for each child.

Optionally, you can also take part in another 30 minute study looking at children’s ability to use pronouns (words like “he”, “you” and “I” that children with autism often struggle to make sense of).

If you’d like your child to take part, please ring Shu Yau (0298502991) or email shu.yau@mq.edu.au


Japanese autism research seminar at Macquarie University

Thursday 24th of January 2013, 11-1pm

The Australian Hearing Hub Meeting, Room 3.610, South Wing, Macquarie University

  • Introduction of the mission and program of Hokuriku Innovation Cluster for Health Science (HICHS)
  • Early diagnosis system of pervasive developmental disorders in young children
  • Brain activity and related network during moral judgment in autism -MEG study-
  • GPCRs play important roles in social behavior