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Features / Webinars

Webinar: Dan Kennedy discusses crafting social scenarios to study autism

27 September 2017
The Presenter

Dan Kennedy

Assistant professor, Indiana University

Here’s how Kennedy describes what he will talk about in this webinar:

Much of what we know about the cognitive and neural underpinnings of autism comes from experiments using highly controlled stimuli and carefully planned experimental manipulations. However, an important complementary approach that has been largely ignored emphasizes ecological validity over control — that is, using experimental conditions that accurately reflect features of the natural world. These features include stimuli and tasks that are complex, dynamic, multimodal, unpredictable, unconstrained and interactive. 

In this webinar, I will present examples from my laboratory that illustrate how using these more ecologically valid experimental approaches can provide insight into autism. Examples will include a behavioral study on the perception of facial expressions, an eye-tracking study of naturalistic parent-child interactions during play, and a neuroimaging study of neural responses to television and movie viewing. Throughout the talk, I will highlight the many benefits of studying behavior, cognition and neural functioning in autism using approaches that better approximate features of the real world.

Press Policy
The Spectrum Webinar Series aims to facilitate the free exchange of ideas among autism researchers, including discussion of published and unpublished research, hypotheses and results. Members of the press may report information presented during a Spectrum webinar only if that material has already been published elsewhere or they have first obtained express written consent from the presenter.

About Webinars
Presentations by leading experts that showcase new findings, useful techniques and emerging topics in autism research. We invite questions before and during the presentations in the Comments section.

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