Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #40
CE Offered: BACB

Quantifying the Qualitative: Empirical Measures of Social Information Processing in Autism

Saturday, May 24, 2008
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
International North
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: James Charles McPartland, Ph.D.
Chair: William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Dr. James C. McPartland is a Psychologist and Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. He obtained his doctoral degree in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington, where he studied autism spectrum disorders under the guidance of Dr. Geraldine Dawson. After completing autism-focused pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at the Child Study Center under the mentorship of Drs. Ami Klin, Robert Schultz, Fred Volkmar, and Kasia Chawarska, Dr. McPartland joined the faculty in 2006. He currently supervises trainees and evaluates children through the Yale Autism Resource Program. He also directs a research program using electrophysiological methods to investigate brain function in individuals with autism, with particular focus on visual perception of social information. Dr. McPartland is co-author of the book, A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive, published by Guilford Press.

Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by core impairments in social and communicative behavior. Though behavior in these domains can be subjective and difficult to measure, diagnostic assessments and outcome measures rely on accurate estimation of these skills. This lecture will review current research utilizing eye-tracking technology and recordings of brain electrophysiology to discretely measure aspects of visual attention and brain function related to social perception. The objective of this research is to develop indices of brain function and behavior that will enable assessment of social perception in infancy and will offer sensitive and discrete measures of progress during intervention.




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