Current Research Projects
This study will help us to better understand early developmental differences in autism as well as how autistic mothers can be better supported
This study uses 3D ultrasound to look at babies' brains in the womb, and then follows their development for 18 months after birth to see if markers found during gestation might predict autism.
The ARC began work in empathy studying 'theory of mind' (ToM) deficits in autism, and has since developed a series of tests and teaching methods to aid the development of empathy.
The ARC’s primary aim within AIMS-2-TRIALS is to ensure that the diverse voices across the autism community are heard and that the project takes the community’s priorities and concerns seriously.
Event related potentials (ERP) are a low-cost method of brain imaging which can be used while the person does a task or test. This study looks at how the autistic brain differs when carrying out tasks.
Lots of genetic variants have been associated with autism, but these are found in a small proportion of autistic people. This study uses a variety of techniques to help identify the genetic causes of autism.
Mutation in NRXN1 is one of about 100 high confidence rare genetic variants that has been associated with autism, although it can cause a diverse range of conditions - or none at all. This study looks to understand this gene's actions.
Oxytocin (a hormone) plays a key role in social behaviour and social understanding. We studied the effects of inhaling it on the brains of autistic people.
We investigate if certain physical health conditions are more common in autistic people, exploring medical vulnerabilities and biological pathways which may be helpful in understanding autism.
Prenatal sex steroid hormones (like testosterone and estrogen) are known to change behaviour, cognition, and brain structure and function. This longitudinal study follows babies to see how hormones in the womb affect their behaviour.
The ARC pioneered early screening for autism at 18 months of age, using the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT), and since then we have refined it and created new measures across the lifespan that measure autistic traits. In some cases, we have tested how sensitive and specific they are to autism.
It appears there are structural and functional differences in the brains of autistic people, although large scale studies are needed to verify this. This is one such study, looking at typical and autistic people, and the siblings of autistic people.
This study looks at whether autistic people have strengths in systemising - analysing or constructing systems like machines, number sequences and so on.
This project investigates if a defendant is autistic, whether the criminal justice system takes this into account and if so, how.
The EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP) is a long-term study across seven sites in Europe with hundreds of participants, looking at how brain development is different in autistic and typical people.
This study explores if autistic teenagers are more likely to become "Not in Education, Employment or Training" (NEET).
Autistic people have social and communication difficulties which can leave them at greater risk of being vulnerable. This project explores areas of vulnerability and their triggers in autistic children and adults.