Research Interests

Our research addresses a fundamental challenge in ASD: how to map complex behavioral constructs, such as social communication deficits, onto mechanistic processes in the brain. We primarily target low-level (and particularly non-social) cognitive processes, such as working memory and auditory processing, that may not be specific to the ASD diagnosis, but that can be linked to genetic, neurophysiological or neuroanatomical domains, and that impact socio-communicative behavior. The aim is to better understand the pathology of ASD by linking research at the molecular level (genetics), at the neurofunctional level (brain imaging), and at the behavioral level (symptomatology): We aim to connect complex behaviors to underlying genetic mechanisms. Click on the “projects” link for more detail on current research projects.

Land acknowledgement

We acknowledge that this is the territory of the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett,  Nipmuc, and Lenape Peoples, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations.  We thank them for their strength and resilience in protecting this land, and aspire to uphold our responsibilities according to their example.

Lab News

  • Congrats to Jason Crutcher on new pub on pragmatic language!
    Crutcher, J., Butler, E., Burke, J. D., Naigles, L., Fein, D. A., & Eigsti, I. M. (in press). Pragmatic language and associations with externalizing behaviors in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those who have lost the ASD diagnosis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
    Posted on September 15, 2023
  • Well done, Dr. Girolamo!!
    Congrats to post-doctoral fellow Teresa Girolamo on her new position at San Diego State University, and her multiple recent publications: Girolamo, T., Castro, N., Hendricks, A. E., Ghali, S., & Eigsti, I. M. (2022). Implementation of Open Science Practices in Communication Sciences and Disorders Research With Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Journal of Speech, […]
    Posted on May 11, 2023
  • Congratulations to lab alum Amanda Yagan!
    Congratulations to lab alum Amanda Yagan on having her work as a clinical research assistant in the Advanced Baby Imaging Lab at Rhode Island Hospital featured in the most recent issue of UConn Magazine! Here is the link to her story which gives credit to postdoctoral fellow Caroline Larson and Dr. Inge-Marie Eigsti for their mentorship:  
    Posted on October 18, 2022
  • LVIS (the Low Verbal Investigatory Screener) is in the building!
    We are delighted to share a new publication, describing the Low Verbal Investigatory Screener (LVIS).  We hope that this measure will prove useful to the broader community! Naples*, Tenenbaum*,  Jones, Righi, Sheinkopf  & Eigsti (in press). Exploring communicative competence in autistic children who are minimally verbal: The Low Verbal Investigatory Survey for Autism (LVIS). Autism. […]
    Posted on October 17, 2022
  • Congrats to Dr. Melina West on her two new papers!
    Congrats to Dr. Melina West, former lab post-doc, on her two recent publications examining Maladaptive Daydreaming and Divergent Thinking (a dimension of creativity). Check them out here!: (1) West, M. J., Somer, E., & Eigsti, I.-M. (2022). Immersive and Maladaptive Daydreaming and Divergent Thinking in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 0(0), 02762366221129819. (2) West, M. […]
    Posted on October 10, 2022
  • Good luck on your projects, Drs. Larson and Girolamo!
    Congratulations to Carrie Larson on her new ASHFoundation grant, “Language-Related Neural Function in Developmental Language Disorder” and to Teresa Girolamo on her ASHFoundation grant, “Determining the Role of Social Determinants of Health in Young Adulthood Outcomes of Autistic BIPOC With Language Impairment” !! 
    Posted on September 28, 2022
  • Check out our new lab publication: Online administration of ADOS
    Eigsti, I. M., Thomas, R. P., Stabile, M., Mohan, A., Dieckhaus, M. F. S., Crutcher, J., Taverna, E., & Fein, D. A. (in press). Online administration of the ADOS for research with adolescents and adults in response to the pandemic. Autism Research. Please contact us with any questions about this exciting new procedure!
    Posted on July 28, 2022
  • Congrats to Mackenzie Stabile on her new publication!
    Congrats to our graduate student Mackenzie Stabile on her new publication! 🎊 Stabile, M., & Eigsti, I. M. (in press). Research Note: Lexical Alignment and Communicative Success. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.
    Posted on July 12, 2022
  • Congrats to lab alum Amanda Yagan
    After graduating from UConn, Amanda is now working in the Advanced Baby Imaging Lab in Rhode Island (Deoni, PI), traveling to Kenya, Ghana and Zambia with a portable MRI system.  Way to go, Amanda! 
    Posted on February 11, 2022