Carissa Cascio, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Division of Psychology
Village at Vanderbilt
1501 21st Avenue S

Research Information

Dr. Cascio's research program is focused on sensory and repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The lab uses direct observational assessment of sensation, perception, and behavior. These approaches are combined with neuroimaging and neurophysiological approaches such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and event-related potentials (ERP). The goal of the lab is to better understand how basic sensory and limbic neural systems contribute to the complex array of social and communication impairments in ASD. Current projects include: 1) an fMRI study of limbic/reward system activation in response to circumscribed interests in ASD, 2) a DTI study of sensory thalamocortical pathways as they relate to sensory hyper- and hyporesponsiveness in ASD, 3) an ERP study of steady state potentials and sensory processing in a high-risk group of infant siblings of children with ASD. Pilot and methodological projects include: 1) an ERP study of affective touch in children with ASD, 2) development of behavioral approaches for pediatric neuroimaging, including a biofeedback motion training program for use in a mock scanner environment.

Postdoctoral Positions Available