The Social-Emotional Neuroscience & Endocrinology (SENSE) Lab is directed by Dr. Blythe A. Corbett, a pediatric neuropsychologist at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville, TN. The aim of the SENSE program is to evaluate the social functioning of children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders, using several methods of analysis including neuropsychological measures, sophisticated behavioral observational techniques, functional neuroimaging, and the assessment of biological markers of emotional arousal or stress.
The findings from these interwoven studies of reciprocal peer interaction and social competition, psychosocial stress and the neurobiological correlates will directly translate to the care and habilitation of children with autism and typical development. By looking behaviorally, neurologically and biologically to the consequences of various social interactions many insights can be gleaned. Specifically, the identification of various social and non-social scenarios that are stressful for children with and without autism. The perception of and response to different forms of social and emotional stimuli will implicate brain regions and the differences in modes of processing (e.g., bottom up versus top down) will likely be extremely fruitful in guiding what kinds of behavioral and educational interventions that children will respond to best.