This Friday at 10am, Lauren Hollier from the University of Western Australia will be presenting her PhD research, which looks at the effects of testosterone levels in the womb on later language development. Lauren’s presentation is in the new Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University. All are welcome.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Speaker : Liz Pellicano, Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) & Department of Psychology and Human Development , Institute of Education, University of London.
Date : 4th of December 2012, 4:00PM until 5:30PM
Location : C5C498 – Palermo Room, Macquarie University.
Autism is most well known for the way that it affects how a person interacts and communicates with others. But autism can affect behavior in other important and debilitating ways, such as in an intense desire for sameness and in sensory systems that work too well or not well enough. Researchers have largely overlooked these so-called sensory symptoms but their prominence in forthcoming diagnostic criteria calls for systematic investigation and explanation. In this talk, I suggest that the sensory and other non-social symptoms in autism might be caused by important differences in what an autistic person expects about incoming sensory signals and therefore how they interpret their significance. Within a Bayesian framework, I suggest that attenuated Bayesian priors – hypo-priors – may be responsible for the unique perceptual experience of autistic people, leading to a tendency to perceive the world more accurately rather than modulated by prior experience. I further consider how hypo-priors could help explain the range and idiosyncrasy of sensory sensitivities and their difficulties dealing with new experiences.
On 30th October, Sander Begeer is giving a seminar on “Training Theory of Mind in Autism” at the Department of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University.
Speaker : Sander Begeer, School of Psychology, University of Sydney.
Date : 30th of October 2012, 4:00PM until 5:30PM
Location : Palermo Room, C5C498, Macquarie University
Deviant perspective taking or Theory of Mind (ToM) skills are a central feature of autism. However, the literature is unclear about specific strengths and weaknesses of individuals with autism. This is partly due to the way ToM is measured. Moreover, many treatments for children with autism involve attempts to ‘train’ ToM skills, while the evidence base for these treatments is generally poor. In the current presentation, the effects of training ToM in children with autism will be discussed, with specific regard to passive or active social interaction styles of the children. The difference between conceptual and applied ToM skills is highlighted, and the question is raised whether ToM is a proclivity, rather than a capacity. Bio: Sander Begeer is a postdoctoral fellow, working on University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research and Endeavour Award Research Fellowships. His research focus is on autism, empathy and social emotional development. He is involved in various projects that highlight the assessment of social emotional problems in autism, the effect of treatment for some of these problems (Theory of Mind and emotion regulation), and the assessment of autism in ethnic minorities.