autism glasses
Using technology to detect autism sooner


  • Using technology to detect autism sooner

    Graduate student and Autism Science Foundation fellow Amy Ahn reads to a toddler during a recent autism assessment using special glasses that record the child's facial expression and gestures. Photo: Diego Meza-Valdes/University of Miami.

    UM psychology and engineering professors are collaborating to create a program that evaluates children for autism using digital data.

    Read about this Autism project here

  • Remembering Charles S. Carver

    The University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences and the Psychology Department is mourning the loss of Charles S. Carver, 71, who passed away on June 22, 2019 in Miami, FL.

    [Read the College of Arts and Sciences  obituary here]

  • Director Steven Safren forms CHARM (Center for HIV and Research in Mental Health) center to battle Miami‚Äôs HIV epidemic

    University forms new center to battle Miami's HIV epidemic.

    Behavioral scientists establish a new mental health research center at the University of Miami to halt Miami's AIDS epidemic.

    Read the story here

  • Dr. Lucina Uddin "First Psychology Recipient" of the College of Arts & Science's Gabelli Senior Scholar Award

    College of Arts & Science's Gabelli Senior Scholar Award: Dr. Lucina Q. Uddin first recipient for the department of psychology

    Dr. Lucina Q. Uddin is the “First Psychology Recipient” to be awarded with the University of Miami College of Arts and Science's Gabelli Senior Scholar Award.  This award was presented at the College’s reception for Faculty Scholarly & Creative Activities Recognition, and is awarded to an Associate Professor who has demonstrated outstanding scholarship.  Dr. Uddin was chosen from a group of candidates representing all of the departments and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Congratulations to Lucina on this wonderful honor.

  • Dr. Michael Alessandri recognized for community service by local chamber

    A Visionary Leader : Dr. Michael Alessandri recognized for community service by local chamber

    Dr. Michael Alessandri, executive director of UM-NSU CARD (University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) and clinical professor of psychology in the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, was presented with the “Visionary Leader of the Year” award by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

    “Surrounded by the undeniable love of family, friends, and the best colleagues in the world, it was an absolute honor to accept this award,” said Alessandri.

    The recognition from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is awarded to top community leaders for their work in advancing the South Florida community.

    In his speech at the Salute to Miami Leaders Awards Luncheon, Alessandri used the opportunity to remind attendees that the special needs community needs their assistance in creating sustainable employment opportunities for those adults with disabilities who remain underemployed or unemployed in our community

    Under his leadership, UM-NSU CARD was named Autism Society of America’s National Autism Program of the Year in 1999. Alessandri, who has received numerous research and service grants totaling more than $25 million for autism research and initiatives, has worked with individuals with autism and their families for nearly 30 years.

    Recently, he was awarded a $515,000 multi-year grant from The Taft Foundation for his proposal to help promote entrepreneurship in the autism community that will allow for sustainable employment for adults with autism. In 2012, The Children’s Trust awarded Alessandri with its David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children Award for his lifetime achievement and dedication to children, one of South Florida’s highest honors for community service.

  • Dr. Simpson & colleagues show the benefits of mother-infant communication

    Dr. Simpson & colleagues show mother-infant face-to-face interaction have long-lasting benefits

    Infant macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) that receive more face-to-face interaction from their mothers become more sociable later in life, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Communications. This study suggests that, in non-human primates, experiences during infancy have a long lasting effect on social behaviours.

    One of the mechanisms proposed to support early social development in humans is face-to-face interaction between caregivers and infants. Previous studies showed that, in rhesus macaques, mothers engage in face-to-face interactions (including lip-smacking and mutual gazing) with their infants.

    Amanda Dettmer and colleagues show that the benefits of this kind of mother-infant communication are long-lasting. They monitored natural variations in face-to-face interactions in 10 rhesus monkey mother-infant pairs living in a large, open air enclosure and found that infant monkeys that received more face-to-face interaction from their mothers during the first three months of life became more social — in terms of levels of social play, close proximity to other monkeys, and grooming behaviour — later in life (at two to five months). The authors also examined separate groups of 48 monkeys that received nursery care from human caregivers. Monkeys randomly assigned to receive additional neonatal face-to-face interactions — measured in terms of mutual gaze and intermittent lip-smacking — from human caregivers displayed increased social interest at two months, compared to monkeys who received only additional handling or no extra interactions.

    This study of infant monkeys’ social development can aid understanding of human development because macaque monkeys and humans share similar child rearing behaviours and trajectories of social development.Read More ...