My laboratory studies typical and atypical brain and behavioral development during the first 5 years of postnatal life. We’re primarily interested in the intersection of infant social cognition, the development of the social brain, and the emergence of clinically impairing behaviors during the toddler and preschool-age periods. Much of our work focuses on 1) basic principles of postnatal human brain development and 2) early identification of risk for autism spectrum disorder.
We use various methods including magnetic resonance imaging during natural sleep (including DWI and fcMRI), direct assessments of child behavioral and cognitive development (including eye-tracking technology, experimental paradigms, and standardized assessments), as well as parent report of child behavior. We have also been collecting various biological samples (salivary DNA, fecal samples for gut microbiota, and breast milk samples for nutritive and non-nutritive compounds) to elucidate pathways of genetic and environmental risk to developing neural circuitry.
(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)
- Hazlett HC, Gu H, Munsell BC, Kim SH, Styner M, Wolff JJ, Elison JT, et al. Early brain development in infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorder. Nature. 2017;542:348-351.
- Eggebrecht AT, Elison JT, Feczko E, et al. Joint attention and brain functional connectivity in infants and toddlers. Cereb Cortex 2017;27:1709-1720.
- Wolff JJ, Jacob S, Elison JT. The journey to autism: insights from neuroimaging studies of infants and toddlers.Dev Psychopathol. 2017 Jun 20:1-17
- Piven J, Elison JT, Zylka MJ. Towards a conceptual framework for early brain and behavioral development in autism. Mol Psychiatry. 2017;22(10):1385-1394.
- Fenoglio A, Georgieff MK, Elison JT. Social brain circuitry and social cognition in infants born preterm. J Neurodev Disord. 2017 Jul 19;9(1):27.
- Wolff JJ, Boyd BA, Elison JT. A quantitative measure of restricted and repetitive behaviors in early childhood. J Neurodev Disord. 2016 Aug 2;8:27.
- Pruett JR Jr, Kandala S, Hoertel S, Snyder AZ, Elison JT, Nishino T, Feczko E, Dosenbach NU, Nardos B, Power JD, Adeyemo B, Botteron KN, McKinstry RC, Evans AC, Hazlett HC, Dager SR, Paterson S, Schultz RT, Collins DL, Fonov VS, Styner M, Gerig G, Das S, Kostopoulos P, Constantino JN, Estes AM; IBIS Network, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL, Piven J. Accurate age classification of 6 and 12 month-old infants based on resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging data. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015;12:123-33..
- Elison JT, Wolff JJ, Heimer DC, Paterson SJ, Gu H, Hazlett HC, Styner M, Gerig G, Piven J; IBIS Network. Frontolimbic neural circuitry at 6 months predicts individual differences in joint attention at 9 months. Dev Sci. 2013;16:186-197.
- Elison JT, Paterson SJ, Wolff JJ, Reznick JS, Sasson NJ, Gu H, Botteron KN, Dager SR, Estes AM, Evans AC, Gerig G, Hazlett HC, Schultz RT, Styner M, Zwaigenbaum L, Piven J; IBIS Network. White matter microstructure and atypical visual orienting in 7-month-olds at risk for autism. Am J Psychiatry. 2013;170(8):899-908.