Laboratory Learning Program 2022 - Identifying and overcoming challenges in learning language commonly faced by individuals on the autism spectrum  (PSY-01)

Research Opportunity Number: PSY-01

Project Title:  Identifying and overcoming challenges in learning language commonly faced by individuals on the autism spectrum

Project Summary: For children diagnosed with autism, communicative delays are a common and frustrating problem, which can result in cascading effects in their social-communicative development. Our current project brings together observations that combine to impact language learning in people with autism in measurable ways. The first observation is that people on the spectrum are more likely to attend to distinctions and specific perceptual features rather than similarities, and relationships in comparison to neurotypical individuals. The second observation is that most words are associated with multiple, complex meanings. We use online experimental methods to a) investigate the relationship between these two observations, and b) provide ways to facilitate language learning among children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Student Roles and Responsibilities: The student(s) will take CITI training in order to collect behavioral data, will help create stimuli and recruit participants. The student(s) will read background literature and prepare synopses of what is read.

Additional Considerations:  Start and end dates are flexible, but the student should be available at least 15 hours/week for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Department/Institute:  Psychology

Faculty Sponsor:   Adele Goldberg

Participation Dates: June 15 -August 1, 2022

Stipend Offered:  $0

Number of Internships Available: 0-3

Application Deadline: March 15, 2022, midnight eastern daylight time