DEPARTMENT of PSYCHOLOGY
2017-2018 COLLOQUIUM SERIES
Matthew Lerner, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, & Pediatrics
Director, Social Competence & Treatment Lab
Stony Brook University
“Catch Me If You Can:
Novel Mechanisms of Social Functioning and Intervention in
Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders”
Fluid and competent social behavior is a crucial element of youth development. Understanding of this complex process is especially crucial for those with characteristic impairments in social functioning, such as those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). While ample work has aimed to describe such deficits, only recently has research begun to uncover theoretically-sound mechanisms underlying them. Likewise, little research has attempted to employ such mechanisms to improve and customize evidence-based interventions designed to affect social functioning (social competence interventions). This talk presents an approach designed to achieve several complementary aims. First, it elucidates novel electrophysiological, perceptual, and cognitive predictors of diverse social outcomes in youth with social deficits in order to advance parsimonious models of youth social development. Second, it uses such predictors to produce targeted, optimized evidence-based social competence interventions, which call into question theoretical assumptions of traditional, larger intervention packages. Finally, it reveals individual differences in the relationship between these predictors and intervention outcomes, thereby producing individually-tailored treatment response profiles that maximize responsiveness to social skills interventions. Collectively, this work suggests the need – and provides direction – for novel models of etiology, development, and plasticity of social functioning in youth with ASD.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Coffee/cookies at 3:15pm.
Reception will be held after the talk.