Research

Studies of Attention and Reasoning in Autism and Related Disorders

Reference Number: 201104092

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY?

To learn more about attention and reasoning in autism, typical development, and other psychiatric disorders of childhood (e.g., ADHD). Findings could help design better screening tests.

WHO IS NEEDED?

1)Volunteers age 9-12 with or without diagnosis of autism
2)Volunteers age 21-26 with or without diagnosis of autism
3)Volunteers age 4 with no diagnosis
4)Volunteers must not have any significant psychiatric illness (other than autism)

WHAT IS INVOLVED IF I PARTICIPATE?

Duration: You will be in the study for a total of 1-10 hours (spread over a number of days or weeks) depending on the number of assessments and tasks you participate in. Each task will average up to 1.5 hours in 1-3 different 30-60 minute sessions over 1-3 different days, as needed. Very young children may perform shorter task sessions (e.g., 15 minutes).
 
Tests/Procedures: As part of the screening phase of this study, you will be given a series of psychiatric interviews (administered by a trained interviewer) and questionnaires. Answer questions and participate in interviews to determine your eligibility and assignment to an experimental group. If eligible, you perform (a) simple task(s) that require you to view pictures (e.g., circles on a computer screen) or study problems (e.g., which tool will let you pull a toy or object within reach). You will be instructed to respond to these as quickly and/or accurately as possible in order to observe your ability to pay attention, to tell differences between, and/or respond to various problems.
 
Risks: Likely: The experiments will require you to sit and observe carefully. You may find them fatiguing but you may ask for a rest at any time, or you can terminate the experiment at any point.
Less likely: None.

Rare: There is always the rare possibility of a breach of confidentiality or that you may become upset by a question on a form or in an interview. If a question makes you feel uncomfortable, please discuss this with the research staff. You may choose not to answer any question that still makes you feel uncomfortable. People with autism spectrum symptoms may feel uncomfortable being videotaped, but this is unusual. For any psychological distress caused by the completion of the assessments, you have the option of stopping the assessment at any time.
 
Benefits: In completing the assessments you will have a chance to review measures of your social and behavioral functioning. Copies of completed questionnaires will be provided to you upon request. These may, in turn, be brought to the attention of your doctor. Experiments of this type have been used for a variety of socially useful purposes such as the design of better tests for mental illness and developmental disabilities, brain injury, proving measurements of sensory acuity and the like. There are benefits in improving knowledge of human mental ability.
 
Compensation: $15.00 per hour of participation is provided for time and effort in the study.

WHO IS THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (DOCTOR)?

John R. Pruett, MD, PhD

WHERE WILL THE STUDY TAKE PLACE?

Washington University School of Medicine; East Building; 4525 Scott Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

CONTACT INFORMATION

Cognitive & Perceptual Development Lab
e-mail: squiree@psychiatry.wustl.edu
phone: 314-747-6751
1-877-CPDLVOL (273-5865)
fax: 314-747-6753

WEB SITE

cpd.wustl.edu