SENSE Lab: Social Emotional Neuroscience Endocrinology

Participate in Research

How Children Play

Social play is important for children with autism spectrum disorders. We invite 7-14 year old boys and girls with autism or typical development to be part of our research about how children play together!

Participation involves 3-5 visits to Vanderbilt University:

  • Psychological Testing (1-2 hours), get $20
  • Social Interaction or play! (1 hour), get $20
  • ** Research MRI (2 hours), get gift cards for your child**
  • **Hormone administration with blood draws (2 hours)**
** We are not currently colllecting these data.

A great way to learn about science and help other kids!

Participant Criteria
7-14 year old boys and girls with autism disorder or typical development. Children need some verbal ability to be able to participate in the study.
$20 per visit
Visit Requirements
2-5 visits

How do teenagers interact with each other?

Adolescence is filled with social interaction, social comparison, and performing for peers. These social engagements may be more stressful for teenagers with autism than their typically developing peers. We invite 13-17 year old boys and girls with and without autism to participate in our research about how teenagers interact with each other.

Participation involves 3 visits to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center:

  • 1. Psychological Testing (2-2 ½ hours)
  • 2. Peer Social Interaction (1 ½ hours)
  • 3. Peer Social Evaluation (1 ½ hours)

Participant Criteria
Boys and girls age 13-17 years with autism or typical development
$20 for each visit
Visit Requirements
3 visits to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, between 1 and 2 ½ hours each

Theatre as Therapy

Researchers at Vanderbilt University are studying the effects of behavior therapy and theatre techniques in children with autism. We invite children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to be part of our treatment program.

The intervention is free and involves several research visits before and after the treatment to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center:

  • Psychological Testing (2 hours)
  • Social Interaction and Play (1 hour)
  • Research EEG (1 hour)
  • Interventions are on Saturday afternoons for 10 weeks during the winter
  • Participation in research is necessary to receive the treatment

The SENSE Theatre program works in collaboration with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and the University School of Nashville.

Participant Criteria
Children with Autism Spectrum disorder with no intellectual disability ages 8 to 16
Social Skills / theater intervention at no cost.
Visit Requirements
Pre, post, and follow-up visits as well as 10 weeks of theater intervention

For more information please contact:

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Vanderbilt Kennedy Center