Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Allen, a neuroscientist in the university’s College of Education, is trying to figure out what underlies the behaviors and symptoms of autism.
His uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the ways in which the cerebellum of a person with autism differs from that of a non-autistic person, and then to examine how that pathology contributes to the symptoms and behaviors of autism.
In his previous research, Allen showed that in autistic individuals cerebellar activation is abnormally low during tasks involving attention and abnormally high during simple motor tasks. This difference in activation patterns may be related to regional differences in the number of Purkinje cells.
To find out more about Allen’s autism research and where it’s headed next, check the university homepage on Monday, April 13.
In the meantime, read the 2007 homepage story about Jody Jensen, also in the College of Education, and her work in developing and delivering workshops to families, teachers and clinicians who interact with and care for children on the autism spectrum.