The McPartland Lab investigates autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from a clinical neuroscience perspective. Clinical work informs our understanding of the behavioral phenotype and helps us appreciate what is relevant from the perspective of individuals with ASD and their families. Guided by these clinical insights, we apply the methods of neuroscience to elucidate the brain systems underlying the unique strengths and vulnerabilities seen in people on the spectrum.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Children with ASD are born with brains that process information differently. As they develop, these differences shape attention and social interactions to further influence neural specialization. This cycle, when left unchecked, leads to lost opportunities for learning; however, recognized and treated, this process of developmental specialization offers hope for improvement of impacted brain systems.