Autism Journal Club

Discussion: SFARI Webinar by Dr Christine Wu Nordahl: The inclusion in autism imaging studies

As part of the Spectrum webinar series, funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), there was a very interesting webinar by Dr Christine Wu Nordahl where she discusses the inclusion of autism in imaging studies. We will cover the main points that were covered in the webinar. If a recording is made available prior to the meeting we will watch the whole or parts of the webinar instead. Here’s how Dr. Nordahl describes what she presented in the webinar: Neuroimaging is an important tool for understanding the neural basis of autism. To maximize what we can learn from imaging studies, we need to conduct longitudinal studies that begin at the earliest possible ages and look at individuals across the entire autism spectrum, including those with severe impairments. In this webinar, I plan to discuss the approaches we use for imaging a large cohort of children enrolled in the University of California, Davis MIND Institute’s Autism Phenome Project. I plan to describe methods that we have developed over the past decade to image infants and toddlers during natural sleep. I will also present strategies we use for imaging the children in this cohort, including those with severe autism, into middle childhood. In addition, I will highlight the latest findings from this large-scale longitudinal study.